Sunday, July 24, 2011

Outside it's America, inside it's....

A lot of you will be aware of the ongoing situation in the summer in North America in terms of the Celtic games being shown. A brief background to the story is that more and more clubs were making the NAFCSC aware that they simply could not afford the Premium Sports prices for this season as they were being raised. Then the Kearny CSC had made the NAFCSC aware at the AGM in Las Vegas that they had made a deal with Celtic and were going with Channel 67 this season. Within days it was clear that things had changed massively and Premium Sports were told that the deal with the NAFCSC was over and everyone would be going with Channel 67. There was some toing and froing, and lot of pertinent questions asked, not to mention a lot of worry about prices, would fans come to clubs to watch Channel 67 and would this lead to the end of the NAFCSC? As a huge supporter of the NAFCSC and the clubs therein, I was very worried that all the hard work and effort that has gone in in the last 16 years was all going to be lost.

So today there was a free trial, Channel 67 gave all clubs a password to see the service they would be asked to pay for game by game. It was worrying day for Celtic, the NAFCSC, Tony Hamilton and everyone who runs clubs, not to mention all the members of them. If this did not work, what then?

I couldn't sleep much last night, I hate these early KO's on a Sunday at the best of times and with the added pressure of it being the first game of the season, a must win and quite possibly the last time I ever visited my club if this all fell through, I was out the house at 6.15am and walking deserted, but boiling streets hoping for a good day. On arriving at the club, pretty early, it can be a strange experience if you arrive first, it's just you and a barman, it's early morning, you probably won't drink, although on special occasions you will and there is a kind of eerieness to it that can be a bit surreal. The first worry is always "will the feed be good?" then you're worried if it will fuck up at any point in the game as well, of course, also worrying about how the team do. That's a lot of stress for 7.30am on  a Sunday morning FFS! More people flooded in and the picture came up, a pre show, and then the game.

So the question everyone must asking is, did it work? You know something, it pretty much did. With a brief blackout apart, and a few minor complaints at the start about audio being ahead of the action, it was not too bad at all and plenty people must have breathed a sigh of relief. It's not easy supporting Celtic in America, the hassle you have to go through just to see a game, but with a possible, fruitful relationship between the North American CSC's and Channel 67 on the horizon, things could well turn out the way today did for us, a win-win.

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