Anger that derby match overlooked by TV

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:31 10 September 2010

Lucy Bolton

Pub landlords in Norwich have joined fans to blast Sky TV for not showing Sunday's derby match with Ipswich Town live.

Pub landlords in Norwich have joined fans to blast Sky TV for not showing Sunday's derby match with Ipswich Town live.

Pubs have been hit by the increased cost of hops and barley, taxes going up in the budget and the smoking ban, and can make huge sums of money from people watching live games.

But Sky is not showing Sunday's match, a blow for pubs which would have netted thousands of pounds from punters piling in to watch the Portman Road clash.

Phil Cutter, landlord at the Murderers' pub in Timberhill, said: “Just by Sky not showing it, I think we will lose about £2,000 to £3,000.

“Obviously, I'm disappointed because it's always a sell-out when the derby games are on, and it always creates a good atmosphere in the pub.

“It beggars belief that Sky's not showing it, because it usually has in the past. Maybe, they think that the positions we're in the Championship means the game is not important.”

Jeff Davies, landlord at The Mischief in Fye Bridge Street, said they could have made more than £1,000 if the game had been shown live.

He said: “We're doing well at the moment with sales up 10pc on last year and the year before, but it would have been a boost.

“A lot of pubs are finding it hard at the moment with the increased taxes and other things, so this could have been a real boost to many.

“When Norwich played Fulham in the last Premiership game they played, before they went down, we had 260 people in the pub.

“For most Norwich games we have more than 200 people. It would have been the same for the derby game.

“I cannot understand why Sky does not show local games for local areas. A lot of pubs that have Sky are thinking about getting rid of it next year, because it costs £11,000 a year.”

Supporters groups are also disappointed, but Kathy Blake, of the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association (NCISA), said she was not surprised.

She said: “It's all to do with the money. And if you look back at the last 2/3 years, Sky has missed out a few derby matches as well. They probably think if you don't live in Norfolk or Suffolk it's not a particularly important game.”

Andy Cullen, the club's director of sales and marketing, said he would have liked to have beamed the pictures live to Canaries fans in Norwich, but three factors ruled against it.

He said: “If we were going for promotion then the demand would have been there, but we just had 2,500 applications for the 2,400 tickets at Portman Road.

“We took the judgement that we stood to lose a lot of money, even if we had been allowed to show it, as it would have clashed with Sky's Blackburn versus Liverpool game. We could not have shown it at a cinema because it has to be in the confines of the stadium.”

Trevor Wicks, who runs the Hollywood Cinema in Norwich's Anglia Square, said he would have shown the game live at his theatre, if he had been approached.

A spokesman for Sky said he did not wish to comment on why the game was not being shown live. On Sunday the Sky channels are offering up Manchester United versus Arsenal, sea bass fishing, test cricket and wrestling.

Do you think the game should have been on television? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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