How “I don’t want to know the score” got so hard

Posted on April 25, 2012


One of the reasons there is so much money in some professional sports is that we, the watching public, prefer to watch our teams in real-time. (‘Live’, to me, means physically at a game.)

That means fewer people time-shift their TV watching with DVRs like Sky+ boxes, Tivo or VCRs. (Yes, VCRs.)

That means more people watch the ads.

And that means the broadcasting rights go for much money.

Today this piece from the guys at CNET UK struck me because it relates to that age-old concept of ‘Not wanting to know the result’. (It even references the classic Likely Lads episode from the 1970s where they glimpse part of a newspaper proclaiming ‘England fl-‘, leading to all sorts of speculation – though ultimately the incomplete headline reads something like ‘…flooded off’. I don’t think this counts as a spoiler, 35 years on.)

Back to the present – and the reason for this post. Last week I was at a work event, at a traditional pub with nary a plasma showing Sky Sports within 50 yards. If at home, I would have watched the Chelsea v Barca first leg game. But I wasn’t, so I recorded it.

While I was happy to watch the entire game a couple of hours late (on that occasion), I didn’t want to know the result. Have you tried that recently? It’s very hard to do.

I accomplished the journey home etc. but only by not looking at Facebook, Twitter, basically any site I go to for reading about sport. Years ago it would have simply been a case of not talking to friends or overhearing something on radio or TV.

What’s hard is being cut-off from everything else – ie the whole rest of the internet – because of the risk of seeing what you’re trying to avoid.

Which brings us to the promo for Heineken that CNET mentioned today. Here’s the video that relates to their Keep It Legendary app (ridiculous name, I know).

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