Tuesday night and 7.30pm I was straight out of the door, having arranged to meet a few of the lads to watch West Brom v Newcastle.

Had an early 5.30am start for work this (Wednesday) morning so couldn’t make it to The Hawthorns and had sold on my ticket.

I love any away match but maybe West Brom on a cold, wet, rainy Tuesday night in late November isn’t the worst one to miss, if I have to.

Anybody who has been there before will tell you it isn’t the best away destination, drinking establishments almost non-existent as it is next to/part of an industrial estate.

So anyway, stepped  through the door of my local with just over 20 minutes to go to kick-off, worrying whether we’d get some decent seats or have to stand, only to have a bit of a bigger problem…

The first clue was the tumbleweed blowing down the length of the bar, rather than the ‘eager’ hordes waiting for the match to start.

Only two punters in the whole place – Hmmm.

Turns out my local wasn’t showing the game, apparently they had been fined recently and so had stopped showing the games via foreign TV.

With getting to most matches and if I miss the odd one, then they have been on Sky, this had somehow passed me by.

They’d obviously had a few coming in expecting to see the game as the two resident barflies were able to point us in the direction of a bar that was showing the game.

Thankfully they weren’t wrong and we got to see the game, though would have been handy missing the first 55 minutes or so….

However, chatting to others in the boozer, it turns out that my local is only one of a fair few that had been done recently.

At one time pretty much every pub in our suburb of Newcastle showed the matches on the ‘dodgy’ foreign TV but apparently not any more.

The 10 or so that used to, has shrunk to one or two, with no doubt every chance of them having to throw in the towel as well if getting a ‘visit’/fine.

For so long, years and years now, this had become an established part of the overall Newcastle fan experience but apparently it is now a rapidly diminishing one.

I can only assume this is replicated elsewhere, as one of the blokes in the bar was telling me that he’d tried finding somewhere in Newcastle city centre first, and couldn’t find anywhere that West Brom v Newcastle was on.

Not sure how I feel about it overall. Obviously I want to see the matches on TV when I can’t make it to the actual game but I do find it a little bit tedious that in recent seasons we have had this phenomenon of expert pub goers who never go to a match but want to lecture you on everything.

I can understand the 3pm on a Saturday thing when 90 or so clubs are playing around the country and you don’t want fans of other clubs sitting in the pub watching Man Utd/Liverpool for nothing, rather than paying to watch their local team.

However, West Brom v Newcastle on a Tuesday night, you’d have to be a bit of a masochist to be a neutral wanting to watch that!

Newcastle fans bought up the away allocation ages ago for The Hawthorns, so who would it be harming if I was sitting in my local watching it back on Tyneside?

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  • Andy Mac

    The greed of Sky/BT/Premier League is nothing short of disgusting. The amounts of money being grasped from overseas TV channels is staggering and yet they still feel the need to patrol local pubs and stop fans, who cannot make it to away games, from enjoying one of the few pleasures in their lives. Not everyone can afford a Sky box, travel to away games every fortnight or superfast broadband so without being able to watch games these fans could give up gradually and eventually die off. Ask English cricket how well its doing since they sold their souls to satellite TV ?

    • Jezza

      Excellent comment.

    • nevfur

      I have no problem with people having to pay to watch it or pubs too but prices need to be realistic. Pubs are struggling so smaller pubs should pay a lot less than bigger ones. It’s not rocket science. A smaller fee to sky paid by lots of pubs is decent money compared to nothing they are getting now by setting the price too high.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Sky used to base their charges on rateable value but still way to high if it was cheaper all pubs would get it and the revenue would be the same. Sure if they halfed the price twice as many pubs would get as one thousand pounds a month is a lot of beer sales.

    • Mark Potter

      Their greed is correct. But it’s matched by the greed of fans who could go to a game, or pay for watching it at home, but instead choose to illegally stream it, or go to a pub where it is illegally transmitted. I don’t moralise, just state facts. More than half of people watching live games do so through illegal methods.

      It’s difficult to understand why anyone would think that Sky would turn a blind eye to such large scale infringement of their rights to broadcast live games. It’s like expecting Tesco’s to turn a blind eye if half of the people who went into their stores helped themselves to things they didn’t pay for. You can’t say it is OK because they charge too much for milk and loaves of bread, so people are entitled to steal them.

      My objections have been two fold. First I was a Sky subscriber and paid for the footie coverage. But they wouldn’t allow me to watch the games I was paying for while abroad. They geolock their streaming service even for full account holders. So, even when you have (for now) freedom of movement in the EU, you don’t have freedom to view your own account outside of the UK.

      The BBC don’t charge subscriptions, but they also geolock their streaming, so from abroad you can’t watch Match of the Day, even when you are British and paying for a UK TV licence at home.

      Second, even when in the UK, you can’t watch any game you want. Despite them recording every Prem game, only certain games are broadcast in the UK. Newcastle games which Newcastle fans in the UK can’t legally watch live (like the WBA one) are being shown live on US, French, etc. TV channels. But we are not allowed to view those channels in the UK, even if you are willing to pay for them.

      It’s not really surprising that even fans who are willing to pay, find ways to get round the restrictions. Whether it’s entirely legit or not. And even knowing that Sky will do everything possible to stop them. Cat and mouse. Sky blocked most pubs, people moved onto Kodi boxes. Sky blocked them…

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Aye it surely is getting tough to get streams for certain games because they are now messing with them.
    The turncoat Chronic has also done it’s bit to cast anyone using Kodi as : “The Scum Of The Earth”, And has also helped push that agenda as it has for other issues in the area
    I never thought the local paper would turn on it’s own people the way that has in recent years although it is now a subservient to The Trinity Mirror Group which are all connected to the same corrupt corporatism !

    • TheNutJob

      I was out in Toon last night but wor kid had loads of trouble with his Kodi & he knows what he`s doing

      • HTL

        I am having the same issues, even though I use a VPN, seems like some of the 3rd party plug-in developers/providers have received cease and desist letters/threats so have had to stop developing/distributing and immediately withdraw the plug-ins.

        Kodi is fully legal free and open source software so should not be affected it is the 3rd party plug-ins/scrapers that are,

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    You have holidays which twenty days plus eight public holidays. How you chose to use them is up to you when we have only nineteen away games and most of them are on a Saturday or Sunday there is no excuse for missing an away game.
    The problem with putting all games on T.V is that it affects attendances not in the premiership but at non league level and the lower leagues of our game.

    • Soldier

      20 days, you need to get a new job. i get 42 plus public holidays

      • Danimal

        Monkseaton Clarko is talking about day release from whatever weird Ashley cult he inhabits, not holidays as you or I understand them.

        • Danimal

          On a more positive note, is every single match going our way this evening?

          • TheNutJob

            seen them

          • gallowgate26

            There is a cigarette paper between the bottom 11 sides in this league. It would be nice to see hippo heed and Everton’s entitled fans to go doon, but the bottom three losing and us getting a point is exactly what we need. Moyes the relegation specialist will hopefully take Wet Spam down.

          • Danimal

            Hope you’re right. I think we could/might finish above three of Swansea, Palace, Huddersfield, Brighton, maybe West Ham if they don’t get new manager bounce. Our two “winnable” home games are against Leicester (Mahrez, Vardy etc) and Everton (Rooney etc). That’s a very thick cigarette paper. Joselu would probably trip over it anyway.

        • TheNutJob

          Clarko`s from area 51

          • Danimal

            But is it area 51 gross or net? Because net is irrelevant remember. Having De Jong, Murphy D, Hanley, Anita, Wijnaldum, (whisper it) Sissoko would not have helped at all this season. They’re all irrelevant. They’d have all been left on the bench, if in the squad at all. If Brighton or Huddersfield had any of those players they’d have offloaded them sharpish.

          • TheFatController

            He’s been thanking Alan (pardew) for beating (David moyes’) Man Utd. I didn’t somehow feel it quite so necessary to thank ‘Alan’ for winning a game at the Stadium of Plight, for some reason ….

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            What was said was the player’s sold this season were surplus to requirements so we were very luck to get any money at all Brighton and Huddersfield off loading as many players but getting nothing in return, Well done to Ashley for tying up the Merino deal so quick and providing the funds.
            Believe it are not there are a lot of Ashley fans out there who do not share the views of the militants on here who have hated all the Chairmen of the club.

          • Danimal

            I just hate this one. Happy to clear that up for you.

      • Leazes Ender

        Even in Wartime?

        • Soldier

          depends how long the war is, but most tours of active service lasts 6 months then you get R & R

          • Leazes Ender

            They usually last about five or six years …. but I’m only using a couple of them to derive an average here.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        No wonder we don’t win wars anymore, far too many holidays in the public sector.

  • grantham mag

    For a pub to have sky its normally well over a thousand pound a month, its not viable in the smaller pubs.

  • Rich Lawson

    Thanks for the tip off,my local has a somewhat suspect box on the shelf under the big screen covered by a bar towel,I’ll let them know !

  • Geordiegiants

    Greed, Greed and more Greed. We are being squeezed for every last penny before the bubble bursts.

  • Mark Potter

    Slightly off topic. But a good opportunity to give credit to the club for one aspect of coverage of the games. The BBC geolock all of their streaming services, so you can’t listen to any BBC radio abroad over the Internet. Radio Newcastle also don’t broadcast live Newcastle games in the UK.

    But the club stream all of the games live from their website. And I think you don’t even need to register first. They are available across the whole world. So anyone, wherever you happen to be, should be able to stream coverage from their phone and listen to the games with a headset. Presumably many people at work or travelling, or living or working abroad, can take advantage of this entirely free service. As well as the many people living in the area who can’t get to games. It’s not as good as seeing games on TV, but it’s entirely legit.