I couldn’t stop smiling the entire length of the video. The groom’s reactions are just perfect. Just like the rendition of the Champions League Anthem.
People keep asking me what kind of wife I want. Up there is the answer. I swear on everything holy, I will be her slave for life.
(Hattip for the video: Ashay Kubal)
So finally the draw for the Fifa World Cup 2010 in South Africa has been declared. It was quite a ceremony hosted by the South African Charlize Theron.The draw is quite exciting and I must say that most of the groups are unpredictable with this being a home tournament for the African teams. Group G is going to be the 'Group of Death' this time around, with Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast and the unknown North Korea. France meanwhile would be feeling quite lucky to have been drafted in Group A! I am looking for my favorites Spain and defending champions Italy who have got relatively easy groups. So onto June 2010!
When I was 14 years old, I had a pretty tough time dealing with academics. One of the subjects I was a little better at was Math and even in that I pretty much sucked at most of the chapters. So, I decided to practice like hell what I knew best and hope that most of the questions in the exam were from those chapters. This was when my teacher told me, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
I don’t think the smart alecs at ESPN-Star Sports (ESS) had a teacher like that. ‘Why?’ you ask. Because they decided that if they have xxx million dollars, the best thing to do, is to put all of these xxx million in one stupid little wicker basket called cricket. Oh! I forgot they have one of their xxx eggs in the EPL!
The point is, in the fight against SET, Ten/Zee and Neo, they are trying their best to get the biggest television rights away from the others. So they bid a whopping $975 million for a ten year broadcast rights deal for the Airtle Champions League (ACL). What happened? It Bombed! Advertisers are asking their money back, agencies are saying they will not advertise in the ACL again and all of them want some compensation or the other! This is fine I guess in the short term for a giant like ESS. One might say that they have the next ten years to earn this money back. But what if it flops again? The IPL is with SET, cricket in India is with Neo and most of the other places locked up by Ten. ESS does have the ICC events till the next world cup but is that enough? Maybe they bit off more than they can chew.
The best thing they could have done in this case was move to other sports apart from cricket. Football comes to mind and one might say that they do have the costliest league – EPL. But again, is one event enough? They could have wrapped up the relatively cheaper La Liga as well, but they let it go off their hands. All they had to invest in was the broadcast rights and Sky gives them the rest (presenters, commentary and all). They have the sheer cheek to call them the home of football and start a campaign called ‘I Love this Game’! They say all that with one league? Neo has more football on TV than ESS! Ten even shows Barca TV and ManU TV apart from the UEFA Champions League!
The problem is, none of the sports broadcasters in India are focussed on what THEY want to do. They think they have figured out the Indian consumer better than HUL and everything they dish out is what we want to see! Well, as if we have a choice!
I think the Indian audience is mature enough for a ‘Complete’ sports broadcasting channel. And the sorry part is, as of today, even if ALL of these channels are combined, we still don’t have most of the quality sports from around the world.
This is absolutely pathetic!
It seems ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has decided to not renew their contract to broadcast La Liga in Asia. They have to pay USD 1 million per year for these rights as opposed to 13.5 million for 3 years for the EPL – this contract expires in 2010. This is the same way they lost the rights to the UEFA Champions League and Cup broadcast to Ten Sports – this also costs 1 million per year.
Their argument is they have enough cricket and EPL in their calendar and not many people would want to watch football at midnight (which is when La Liga is played – IST). Are you kidding me? Just this year when I though there will be more Liga matches on TV thanks to Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema, Zlatan and more gong to Spain, they decide to take the plug out completely! Not to mention the number of Ronaldo fans who would now want to watch Real Madrid games!
I have no hopes from Ten Sports giving more weightage to Spanish match in the Champions League as well now. To add to all this, it seems no other channel is interested in picking up the rights for La Liga as well.
It is a sad year for football! Atleast for me…
The Champ is finally here! Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos a.k.a. Kaka. The new number 8! I don’t however like the fact that Gago gets 5 instead. Kaka should have got 5!
Anyways, look at the bloody crowd! And I love all the Champions League trophies kept on the stage 🙂
First of three presentations in a week. Albiol next and then on to the whiner!
I have been actively hooked onto football for a really long time now. However, the first real tournament I followed was the 1998 World Cup. Just before this I was badly hooked to FIFA ’98 which I still think is one of the best football games ever! We hardly used to get a lot of football on TV before that. After that I have watched every major tournament that has been aired all these years.
It was around the same time that I got a taste of club football. The Manchester Uniteds’, the Barcelonas’, the Juventus’, Newcastle Uniteds’ (yes it was awesome then), the Chelseas’ (it quite sucked back then) of the world were all new and the fact that teams other than nations were playing was somewhat weird. The fact that not many people watched all this didn’t help increase my knowledge (quite different from now ain’t it?). But one team that somehow caught my fancy was Real Madrid Club de Futbol; it had just won the Champions League in 1998 (which I didn’t even know existed), and would win it again in 2000 (which I DID watch). It’s been 11 years, 3 World Cups, 3 European Championships, 11 Champions League, and 11 La Ligas of which I have watched all. The two teams I support, national and club, are Italy and Real Madrid. In these 11 years, Italy has won the World Cup in 2006 and reached the finals of the European Championship in 2000 losing to France in extra time. Real Madrid, has won the Champions League twice (not counting the 1998 season), been the La Liga champions 4 times and runners up 4 times; and I have watched every one of these.
It has been 11 years and I still love this club. Right when it was captained by Fernando Hierro with team mates like Raul, Roberto Carlos, Clarence Seedorf, Davor Suker, Fernando Morientes, Fernando Redondo and 17 year old called Iker Casillas; then captained by Raul and players like Carlos, Figo, Beckham, Casillas, Ronaldo, Owen (yes, Michael Owen) and the best ever – Zinedine Zidane; right upto now, still captained by Raul and supported by Casillas (who is still only 28 and the captain of Spain), Van Nistelrooy, Cannavaro, Robben, Segio Ramos, Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Pepe and the latest confirmed signing Kaka (don’t want to comment on Ronaldo right now)!
It has not been the best of clubs to support for the only fact that you don’t get many people on your side. You either like Real Madrid or you hate them and around here, people are too obsessed with watching the EPL (which in my opinion is only the second best league) to like Real Madrid. Yes, it does not have the best defence, it has never had, but this is not because they didn’t have enough money to splurge on defence, but because investing in defence is not what Real Madrid does. They invest in attacking players who are magicians on the pitch, defenders have never been heroes in Madrid (apart from Casillas, who should be inducted in the Hall of Fame now itself). That is how they have always played and always will play.
Los Galacticos, Los Blancos, Los Merengues, Real, Madrid are all names they are known by. But their fans are only called Madridistas. I am one, and will be for a very long time.