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TV sport does not have a level playing field



The Scottish Affairs Committee has called for free TV access for the Scotland national football team games (“Demand for action on sports coverage”, The Herald, March 2), but it seems to me that this will never happen until broadcasting is devolved and we have a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation that properly reflects 21st century Scotland, and not just on sport.

As it is understood that the BBC pay £30 million a year of our licence fees to cover the English FA Cup and ITV must have paid a sizeable sum to win its rights from BT Sport, there is no excuse for them not to bid a sufficient sum in order to secure the rights to Scottish international games, particularly in view of the exorbitant increases by the pay-for-view TV companies.
Fraser Grant, Edinburgh

• I FULLY endorse the view put forward by AM Crozier concerning sport having such dominance on TV channels. Sport as a subject and topic is totally over-rated as far as matters of importance to the general public, with much more to concern us all too clearly evident. The daily sackings, as it appears, of football managers is far down the list of priorities in the majority of our lives.
John Macnab, Falkirk

He who pays the piper

WHY do folk make such a big deal about no Scottish football on TV (Letters, March 2 & 3)? The rights were sold as below to the best of my knowledge:

LIVE Scottish football on TV includes 48 live matches from the Scottish Premiership shown by Sky Sports. The Scottish Cup is shared between BBC Scotland and Viaplay Sports, with both televising the Scottish Cup final. The Viaplay Cup is exclusive to Viaplay Sports including the Viaplay Cup final. There are also lower leagues appearing on terrestrial TV in Scotland.

English matches in the United Kingdom are broadcast live on television by Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video. BT Sport has the European games and coverage of the FA Cup in 2022/23 will be entirely split between BBC and ITV in a big victory for fans of football live on free-to-air TV hence; it’s why we saw some good games last week on TV

Basically he who pays the most shows the games, often to the detriment of fans.
Douglas Jardine, Bishopbriggs

Read more letters: Licensing scheme for B&Bs will do real damage to the Highlands

Time to get real on ferries

I RECENTLY had an opportunity to study the general arrangement drawings for the ill-fated new and still incomplete CMAL/Calmac ferry Glen Sannox. I was staggered to see the sheer lavishness of the crew accommodation. This is spread over the vessel’s two top decks and provides spacious suites for master, chief officer, chief engineer and 2nd engineer, 30 large en-suite single staterooms for each rating and other members of the ship’s crew. Added to this is generous recreation, relaxing and crew dining provision served by stewards.

Bearing in mind that the planned crew complement is more than twice that of ferries of other operators on equivalent service, that the ship is designed for a short 50-minute crossing and will tie up at night, the question must be asked: who, in these straightened times, approved this over-the-top provision which has to come out of public funds, when our health and education services are at near breaking point through lack of funds?

It may be of interest to compare the crewing arrangements on a ship of the Royal Navy of broadly similar size – say a frigate. In that case, ratings share a six-berth room on two-tier bunks, junior officers share a small cabin, single cabins are available only for the rank of Lieutenant Commander and above and only the commanding officer has an en-suite state room. And these ships are on deployment on the high seas for weeks or even months on end.

I’m not suggesting that naval conditions should apply on the ships of Calmac, but there must surely be a happy medium. We have been had for too long. It’s time our feather-bedded state-funded ferries were opened up to the hard realities of de-bundled tendering. The quality and capacity of service to our island communities would be improved immeasurably thereby and the cost to the public purse greatly reduced.
Roy Pedersen, Inverness

Double standards

I’M old, verging on decrepit and sometimes the subtle nuances of contemporary society and its mores escape me. If it is infra dig and considered offensive for a Caucasian man to black up or go blackface as it can be interpreted as demeaning those born of that race, why is it acceptable for the same man to deliberately dress as a woman or worse still a caricature of a woman, as is the case with Grayson Perry, RuPaul or a contestant on a BBC quiz show?

Does the behaviour of these attention-seekers not demean women or do they have to black up first? Please help me to understand, but keep it simple since I’m obviously intellectually challenged.
David J Crawford, Glasgow

Back to the drawing board

I NOTE that Glasgow School of Art has been forced to abandon the procurement process for appointing an architect to lead the £62 million restoration of Glasgow’s most iconic building. This reason given is “the identification of a technical error in the scoring matrix used in the procurement process.”

But on its own website the GSA boasts that it is “a member of Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) Ltd which is the Procurement Centre of Expertise for 60 Universities and Colleges.” Oh dear, looks like the attainment gap has struck again.
Robert Menzies, Falkirk

Anyone for crickets?

I HOPE that the quest for unusual tastes adopted by a self-admittedly “very curious” German entrepreneur who has enhanced his Eiscreme creations with cricket toppings, liver sausage, Gorgonzola and gold flakes (“Ice cream is good grub with an insect topping”, The Herald, March 3) fails to cross the North Sea, or the next time I view a fly in my soup should I view this as a suicide attempt, accident, or Teutonic luxury?

Perhaps we’re better out of the EU after all.
R Russell Smith, Largs

Read more letters: Here’s how Glasgow can balance the books


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