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The Radio Humberside Situation

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 29/06/2007

IN regard to the discussions taking place on the message board regarding the GTFC/Radio Humberside agreement, it is sad to report that there is no current deal between the two and it appears that there is not likely to be one.

Both local and national BBC negotiators attempted to secure an agreement for this season by offering more than what they paid last season, but the club turned down their offer. Radio Humberside want an agreement but the price has to be reasonable and in line with other agreements with other clubs.

The agreements that have worked over the years with all Football League clubs is that there is a national Football League/BBC agreement but each station negotiates with their local teams for their rights for the season because the BBC cannot afford to pay on a match by match basis.

Most clubs seem to be happy to do this, as it is a service for them and their supporters. In return they also offer them free commentary for their websites, which otherwise would cost them several thousand pounds. As part of the deals the local radio station usually get free tickets to give away to promote the next match etc.

Although Humberside have made an increased offer for the service this season, it did not match the figure that GTFC have placed on it.

Last season Humberside were not allowed to do interviews after the game at home games but were allowed to do them at away games which were then able to go on Mariners World. They were not allowed to ask questions at press conferences until everybody else had asked theirs and not allowed to talk to Macca after his last game when Macca wanted to so he could thank the fans!

Humberside were hoping to have these restrictions removed in a new agreement for this season but were unable to meet the additional fee that Town were asking.

In the end, the BBC negotiators gave up and have no plans to re-establish the discussions as GTFC appear to see a commercial value in the commentaries and interviews for Mariners World etc that the BBC don't see, at least not in the terms of the fee the club are looking at.

The BBC however will still be putting some money into Grimsby Town, as all the away BBC Local Radio stations who do commentary on their teams against Town will have to pay Town a fee.

In theory some commentaries of away games on Humberside would be possible if the away clubs and Town give Humberside permission and as long as they pay Town and the away clubs a fee. However it would be a very limited number of games and because of the difficulties between Town and Humberside it seems unlikely they will do any.

That is the current situation.

Click HERE for Part 2

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