Cristiano Ronaldo’s second Manchester United debut is set to come against Newcastle, but the only fans who will see it will be from the game
Imagine if a subscription TV channel – Sky Sports or BT Sport – were to show Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United second arc.
At this point there would definitely be a countdown.
Six days, five hours, 45 minutes, 20 seconds until Cristiano’s first pout.
And there would obviously be a name for the occasion.
‘CR7 – The sequel’, something like that.
Presenters might need to wear special gear, preview programs are already being rolled out.
And after the endless previews and before the endless reviews, we would have a Ronnie-cam during the proceedings.
Instead, if you’re planning on keeping up to date with Ronaldo’s progress (below) against Newcastle United mighty power on Saturday, you’ll need to turn on your wireless.
Past, old-fashioned, even archaic. And absolutely fantastic.
The wonderful Ian Dennis will walk away from Ronaldo’s last free kick to announce a start in Sutton, or a late winner in Leyton Orient. At halftime, Mark Chapman will give us an update on the batting collapse in England, check the BMW PGA Championship standings at Wentworth and write a halftime report from Warrington Wolves v Salford Red Devils in Super League.
They’ll make a big deal of the Ronaldo Show, of course, but the traditions of the BBC will always remain.
You can bet Sky Sports has explored the possibility of modifying their plans.
When they pay the kind of money they make, who could blame them? And these days, the very idea that a Premier League football game of such interest simply cannot be broadcast live is almost beyond belief.
But it’s still great.
Because the “3pm TV blackout” is ALMOST beyond comprehension.
My home town team play in The Pitching In Northern Premier League and have a game at Radcliffe FC on September 11th.
Would a few fans be dissuaded from going if Ronaldo’s second coming was shown live on TV in the pub? Very probably.
But on September 11, they’ll be able to check out their squad, listen to United’s game on Radio 5 Live if they choose, and then watch the highlights on Match of the Day after a few drinks. It’s old school, but there’s nothing wrong with a little old school every now and then.
It is slightly heartwarming that the first comeback for one of the most spectacular transfers in recent times has not been moved to television.
In their annoyance at missing something, subscription channels may well push for the 3 p.m. blackout to be lifted at some point. Premier League silver buyers will likely agree.
In any other country, the idea that the kind of game taking place at Old Trafford would not be shown live on any TV channel would be seen as some kind of joke.
Never mind, because the protected time slot is a last vestige of the tradition of English football. And there is no problem with that.