Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Will you be watching pre-season friendlies on Cherries Player?

I noted that AFCB have been quick to promote the relaunched HD Cherries Player service with its paid for subscription. The service really had to be improved on what has gone before now that the club is in the Premier League. Personally I found it annoying to have half cut interviews and a lot of coverage that was basically in the public domain anyway on Cherries Player, but now the service seems to be more for those who can afford to spend a bit more for some exclusive coverage. That starts with the Cherries' pre-season friendlies in distant lands. But hang on a second, last year wasn't one pre-season match free to watch on the club's YouTube channel? I still have a faint hope  that they might show one game on YouTube.
Pay-TV rules football these days.
Now there might be less freebies around than in previous seasons. Fans have already had to fork out for their Premier League season tickets and will no doubt be lining up for the new shirts (they won't be cheap) and perhaps a subscription to SkySports and BTSport to keep tabs on the Cherries. Cherries Player has a hard job to offer the right kind of coverage for a premium price and with so much media attention on the club it is hard to find time to make exclusive interviews.

However, not everyone will be able to make the games at Exeter or against Cardiff and if they are not prepared to travel abroad then the chance to watch AFCB before 8 August really only surfaces with Cherries Player. The first pre-season match against Philadelphia Union will be the first live game to be aired on the new HD Cherries Player (if testing goes okay), so it will be interesting to see how many fans sign up just to watch this game. 

I understand that the club is not a charity and is an entertainment business. They have a right to charge what they like for their product and how it is screened. We saw last season that there was an experiment for the Derby away game that saw fans come together at Dean Court to watch the game while boosting the coffers in the 1910 Bar by having a drink and watching the game - surely such an event could be held again. It was very enjoyable from the reaction I heard back from fans after the match, even if it was one of the few defeats the team had last season.

I am probably not alone in the knowledge that I'll have to make some decisions this season about the games that I can go and see and those I can't, but I hope the club offers genuine supporters one or two opportunities to follow the Cherries without having to constantly break the bank.

If you have signed up for Cherries Player since it has gone HD, what do you think of it? Is it better value for money now?

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