Arsenal has announced all their pre-season friendly games.
The curtain raiser is the trip to Underhill to face Barnet on 18 July. The squad then flies off to Austria for our traditional summer training camp. This could be the last Austrian training camp as the club is moving into the 21st Century and is contemplating a Far East or American tour for future years.
Whilst in Austria the team will play two friendlies against SC Columbia on 21 July, followed by a game against Szombathely Haladas on 27 July, whom we played last year. Again as with last year, the training camp is concluded with a friendly against German opposition, whilst last year it was VfB Stuttgart, this year it is Hannover 96 on 29 July.
Then it is back to England and the Emirates Cup where we will play Atletico Madrid and Rangers over the weekend 1 and 2 August.
Arsenal’s final pre-season game is on 8 August when we travel to Valencia for a friendly.
The club’s website states that the first four games can only be seen live on Arsenal TV Online. What does this mean for Arsenal TV? As of last night it was still on air, whilst the Setanta family of channels were all removed from the EPG. Arsenal TV and Liverpool TV were still broadcasting.
Arsenal as a top club needs a television channel, even if it is free to air.
Arsenal’s television channels are a bit of a Jekyll and Hide. We have Arsenal TV (ATV) and Arsenal TV Online (ATVO).
ATV is available as part of the Setanta Sports package, with as I understand it none of the subscription fees going to Arsenal, unlike MUTV and Chelsea TV. Arsenal’s income is via adverts; these are all Arsenal corporate sponsors.
ATVO is available online and it offers several “Channels” for £3.49 per month. ATVO revenue goes to Arsenal as part of a joint venture (the other half is owned by Kroenke).
ATV should be the flagship, Arsenal’s efforts should go here, but instead all the interviews, and behind the scene, “footage” is shown on ATVO. ATV is littered with repeats, how many times do we need to Matt Lucas tell us his Arsenal XI, who cares, look at the schedules and you will see Arsenal Youth repeated every night! On Fridays, we have a live fans phone in, which they then repeat later that night! Just in case you have missed it, there is also Bob Wilson meets John Radford; this is repeated at least once a week!
If you miss any of Arsenal TV at the regular time, 18:30 – 02:30, the whole shooting match is repeated again from 2.30am, why and who actually watches the repeat channel at say 5 o’clock in the morning?
ATVO, on the other hand has interview after interview with the players and the manager, these “behind the scenes” insights into Arsenal are crammed into a one-hour slot on ATV. ATV is clearly the poor relationship as far as Arsenal is concerned.
To cap it all, ATV does not even show the FA Youth Cup matches live! The forthcoming fixture against Tottenham is scheduled for ATVO but as far as Arsenal TV is concerned, it will be highlights only.
Arsenal need to address this indifference to ATV, perhaps they can offer ATV subscribers a 50% discount to subscribe to ATVO. What is not right is to try to fool Arsenal fans, it is not right to encourage fans to subscribe to Arsenal TV with the current content on offer. The club needs to improve the content of Arsenal TV.