diamond geezer

 Thursday, June 12, 2014

If you were hoping to escape the World Cup by hiding on the tube, think again.
TfL & ESPNFC team up to deliver football updates

Commuters will see news, results and score updates from ESPNFC’s team of global football experts in Brazil displayed in more than 140 stations across the London Underground network
Yes that's right, as well as telling you where the next trains are going, for the next five weeks electronic displays in tube stations are also going to tell you who just scored for Cameroon, and what the result was yesterday in the Switzerland v Ecuador game. I'm sure some people will be pleased.
England legend John Barnes today launched a partnership between Transport for London (TfL) and global football website ESPNFC to bring live football updates to London’s commuters this summer.
I must say I'd never heard of ESPNFC before. That's probably because they're a long-standing American company, for whom 'football' doesn't usually mean soccer, and have only recently gone global. But I guess I have heard of them now, which is the whole point of their sponsorship. I may have heard too much about them by mid-July.
The partnership will see ESPNFC and TfL bring news, results and score updates from Brazil to commuters via overhead platform Dot Matrix Indicators (DMIs), and on 400 Electronic Service Update Boards (ESUBs) located at the entrances of London Underground stations.
TfL's press release writers do love a spelt-out acronym (although apparently ESPNFC isn't one). The inclusion of ESUBs as well as DMIs brings confirmation that World Cup updates won't just be on platforms, they'll be front of house too. But with wi-fi being all over the Underground these days, it seems that ESPNFC's updates will be scrolling past in locations where anyone could have used their smartphone to check the football results if they were interested, which isn't quite so groundbreaking.
The DMI updates will be displayed at more than 140 stations including the entire Central line, Northern line, Bakerloo line and Jubilee line.
Platform level updates will only be available at around half of Underground stations, and this is because some tube lines have better DMIs than others. Indeed at many stations on many of the other lines the Next Train Indicators aren't even capable of telling you where the next train's going, so it would be taking the piss if they were suddenly able to announce that a man 6000 miles away had pulled his hamstring.
The service will begin on Thursday 12 June with live updates from the Brazil and Croatia game in Sao Paolo, and will continue until Monday 14 July.
That's 33 days that TfL's electronic displays will be telling us the football results rather than whatever they'd normally be showing on the bottom line. ESPNFC have apparently paid £100000 for the privilege of their sponsorship, which works out at about £3000 per day, or £21 per station per day, or £5.60 per electronic indicator per day.
With matches in Brazil kicking off in the afternoon and evening, fans will be able to stay up to date during rush hour and on their way home from a night out.
The travelling public will no doubt be especially interested in live updates on England's football matches, but these will probably take up no more than six hours of the next five weeks. Sorry to anyone hoping to watch a recording of any match at home later without discovering the result, because TfL will be delivering whopping spoilers for every match in the tournament. But it'll only be the equivalent of watching football on Ceefax... an occasional update of names and numbers, so don't expect excitement.
In addition, each morning ESPNFC will deliver recap news and results from overnight, and provide all the latest news from Brazil through the day.
Do we really need recaps throughout the day, when it's nothing but repeats and speculation? I know a number of people who sit near me at work would say yes - they could prattle on and on about goal scorers and injury worries all day. But they're also exactly the kind of people who'd already know the result of the Iran Nigeria game, so wouldn't need to "discover" it on their morning commute as if it were some ESPNFC-dispensed secret.
ESPNFC ambassador John Barnes, who lived in London from the age of 12, and played for England in two World Cups, commented:
'This is a great way to keep fans up to date during the big games. There will be plenty of people who have to travel while matches are being played, or may have missed the results from matches the night before – ESPNFC is ensuring they won’t miss out. There are often debates about the use of technology in football, but I think everyone will agree this is a good one.'
Note the brandspeak there in the word "ambassador", which really means that John has been paid lots of money to tell people how good ESPNFC is. John then goes on to tell people how good ESPNFC is. And sorry John, but I'd very much like to disagree with your last comment, because I can assure you that not everyone thinks this use of technology is a good one.
Mike Brown MVO, Managing Director of London Underground and Rail, said:
'This is a great way to keep our passengers up to date on the football and we are really pleased to be teaming up with ESPNFC to deliver this. It also generates a bit of money to allow us to keep investing in further improvements to the tube network.'
It's not something you can ever imagine TfL saying before, "we must keep our passengers up to date on the football." But this time there's money in it, as Mike says, all of which can be invested in improving the network. Just not very much money. £100,000 is only enough to buy one tenth of a new S Stock carriage, or a mere 28% of a Routemaster bus. £100,000 would also be too small to pay the salaries of 366 of TfL and Crossrail's executives, because they earn more than that. £100,000 is less than what you'd get if every Londoner threw a 2p coin into a bucket. £100,000 is essentially a drop in the ocean, but for that we get advertising where none has been before.
The partnership will help secure income for reinvestment in London’s transport network as part of a wider commercial strategy that is currently forecast to generate £3.5bn over the coming years.
Look at the huge difference between the £100,000 ESPNFC have stumped up and the £3.5bn TfL needs to earn from commercial activity in the future. This World Cup sponsorship contributes a mere 0.003% of what's needed to make up the balance from government funding cuts. It's also an early skirmish in the battle to monetise London's transport network, a mission which is about to become increasingly intrusive. And sure there have always been adverts on the tube, and our fares would be rather higher without them. But ESPNFC's success in feeding sponsored advertorial through a public information feed is a first, and I fear the very thin end of a very large wedge.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21  Jul21  Aug21  Sep21  Oct21  Nov21  Dec21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
our bow
ian visits
blue witch
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
bus and train user
ruth's coastal walk
the ladies who bus
round the rails we go
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel
from the murky depths

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
The DG Tour of Britain

read the archive
Dec21  Nov21  Oct21  Sep21
Aug21  Jul21  Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards