Some people may call me a hypocrite – some may call me worse. As someone who has been a Sky customer since 2001 (bar a year when one of my landlords wouldn’t let me put up a dish) I can say that I’m completely happy with their service. I know Rupert Murdoch is the man behind Sky and whilst I do not like him – I do like his product. I am not going to leave Sky or stop watching any FOX programming just because Murdoch is the man behind it.
However if my twitterfeed is to be believed that whilst not being alone on this island (one person did tweet me to say she felt the same – rock on) the rest of my feed have all left Sky because Virgin Media are better (they aren’t) have quit their Sky Sports package because ESPN are better (in the UK – they are not) and have all stated that they have never read a single page of The Sun, The News of the World or The Times. One person even claimed that she had ‘never even seen Sky TV and was therefore clean‘ (that says clean even though it doesn’t look like it in italics – weird…) This is the same person who has never read any story from a Murdoch newspaper but is also a journalist. Well I think it’s safe to say that she’s a pretty shit one if she refuses to read stories from certain newspapers – certainly The Times as I think it is fairly safe to say that you only learn how to write by reading all the newspapers when you are studying journalism but hey – what do I know?
Look I know people are upset. It is pretty clear that I am too considering what I wrote yesterday but lets not go crazy here folks. Saying that ESPN in the UK is better than Sky Sports for live sport is quite frankly crazy talk. If I’m being perfectly honest I could do without ESPN fine but I have it for the ESPN America channel. PTI, Around the Horn, College Football Live, College Gameday and then of course all the actual live sport is easily worth £9.99 pcm of my money. ESPN UK probably – no definately – isn’t.
As for saying Virgin Media are better than Sky – well there is only one scenario where that is true – in heavy rain. In every other way Sky is just a better service. More channels, more HD channels, better installation service, better engineers, better phone service. Just an all around better company. I love Richard Branson and I loathe Rupert Murdoch but I’m a customer and the head honchos at both companies will not dictate whom I get my television service from. I go for the better service to suit my needs and that is clearly for most people it will be Sky.
So some of these claims are outlandish but just before I went to bed last night I saw a campaign by people to stop buying from companies who advertise in the News of the World. You what? Are you freaking serious? You want to boycott these companies because it will make you feel better then fine. Putting together a campaign to do so though is sheer lunacy. Do you want these companies to start losing money and lay off workers? You want to see more people on benefits just because the company has a loose connection with Rupert Murdoch? What next – any company with a TV advert on any Sky television channel should be boycotted too?
Some people have totally lost their perspective but hey – when don’t people? Is everyone at a Rupert Murdoch company evil? No. Is everyone who worked for the News of the World evil? No. Is everyone who worked for the News of the World at the time of the Milly Dowler phone hacking evil? No. I once went for a job at The Sun – had I got it would I suddenly have been evil and persona non grata? Well that’s up to you to decide I suppose but I’m heavily leaning towards no.
The main problem I suppose is that if I was to decide they were all evil and withdrawn my funding of around £70 pcm to them (I have the full package, HD, multiroom etc…) then all I would be doing is cutting off my nose to spite my face. My few quid a month does nothing for the company. Why would I want to do such a thing to get an inferior service and it not make an impact to old Rupert? If I was to act like many on my twitterfeed last night and stop watching any programme that is tainted by Murdoch then bye bye The Simpsons, American Dad, Family Guy, Futurama, Hell’s Kitchen USA and that doesn’t even touch upon all the live sport I’d be missing out on – the NFL, World Series, College Football (although the BigTen is mostly on ESPN/ABC) and then of course mos of the UK sport I watch is broadcast on the Sky Sports platform so I’d be missing out on all that too. Even if I got Virgin Media and had the Sky Sports channels some money would go to Rupert.
I’m not cutting off my nose to spite my face. I freaking love my Sky TV package and will continue to do so. I can watch Sky and still loathe Rupert Murdoch. I will continue to buy what I want from where I want and not care about their possible past or present links to any Murdoch product. I think that Michael Atherton is the best darn cricket writer we’ve had in ages but he works for The Times – should I now disregard and not read his work? It just stinks of reactionary idealists not living in the real world.
So go ahead and call me a hypocrite. I know some out there are dying to say so. I know it’s not populist but it’s just the real world. Now if we were to organise a boycott of News International to get Tim McCarver out of a job then I might sign up for that – actually I know I’d sign up for that. Get Tim McCarver off Major League Baseball telecasts! (that is what we were talking about right?) To see why Tim McCarver is so bad please watch the video below but to sum up – yeah some people at the News of the World deserve to see an inside of a jail cell for what they did but large scale boycotts of News International services and anyone even associated with the company is pathetic. Pathetic.
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