Come on You Webs…
Well, the new season is nearly upon us and in my eyes there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic. I'm not going to rant on about lack of players, or where Danny's future lies. As The Incider’s webmaster, I'll leave the player analysis up to RedTop and Edson. Instead, I want to look more at what is going on around our club off the field in terms of websites, the media department and just about anything else that’s not player-related.
We now have a new media channel - www.bcfcworld.com - which was introduced at the beginning of July. This is an addition to the traditional www.bcfc.co.uk site. What makes the new £34.99-a-season site different is that this is a subscription website featuring TV interviews, in-depth features on players and live commentary. First impressions show that despite the debate over the morality of charging fans for another tier of coverage over and above what is being offered for free, the club has attracted a worthwhile number of subscribers and the material on the site is pleasing the punters.
The content is certainly fascinating and of high enough quality to offer subscribers a more intense understanding of the club and the players. However, in terms of image quality on BCFC World, the video stream on a 56k modem is grainy at best when watching news updates and interviews. The match highlights library at this transfer speed is poor to the point of being unwatchable. The package is clearly set up with a view to subscribers having broadband, as the 300k feed produces a crystal clear picture of a quality similar to watching a television screen. Whilst many supporters will subscribe to this channel predominantly for the live match commentaries, I would recommend that those of you with a 56k modem think very carefully about what you will be getting for your money before you splash the cash. If you are expecting to be able to get full use of the video package with this data transfer speed, then prepare to be disappointed. However, if you are lucky enough to have broadband, then BCFC World rocks and is worth every penny!
It is now just over a year since FLPTV took over
the running of the 72 League club websites. The sites all have the
same basic frameset and it could be argued that the former award-winning
B.C.F.C. site that got ditched had more character and fewer adverts.
That said, the content of www.bcfc.co.uk has steadily improved.
It is always up to date and in my view is far better than many other
clubs’ official sites out there. This is partially due to
Adam Baker who I believe City are very lucky to have. He is a very
FTPTV have offered to let the clubs keep 80 per cent of future profits instead of the current 40 per cent if they wave away the unpaid debt. The decision taken is crucial to the financial state of many clubs who will already have budgeted for it. Incidentally, this news came on the same day that the papers raved about Rio Ferdinand going to Manchester United for about the same amount of cash. How the other half live, eh?
With the collapse of ITV Digital, it must surely
raise an eyebrow or two that the club could also lose another valuable
source of income should NTL/PTV go belly up. Last season alone the
club earned £166,000 from the official site - almost as much
as the ITV Digital deal. With so many clubs struggling, you have
to wonder if the implosion of the website deal could be more damaging
than the collapse of the ITV Digital contract. A sobering thought.