The rights to the match, which is now almost meaningless to England as the team have already qualified for next year’s World Cup in South Africa, had been bought by the, now bankrupt, Carlos Santana sports channel, but due to the collapse of the Irish broadcasters the rights were re-sold.
A surprise bid of £10 by the BBC’s text service, more famous for it’s “Bamboozle” puzzle pages and pisspoor jokes, such as “How to go to the toilet” by I.P.Freely, secured the rights to the match as there was no interest from any other broadcaster, as it’s believed no-one in England now gives a monkey’s and everyone will be tuning into “Strictly Come Dancing” to see if Anton Dubec calls Bruno Tonioli a “poof” or uses more racially inflammatory language to describe his dance partners new tan.
The service, as well as updating the scoreline on an annoyingly infrequent basis, will also be unveiling it’s revolutionary “Blockball” graphics system which will show a low resolution image of the pitch and have the players represented by either red (England) or yellow (Ukraine) pixels.
A version of this system was first used in the early 1980s, when it provided revolutionary coverage of the annual University Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford. A BBC boffin constructed a Ceefax page showing the route of the course using the graphics usually used for building the weather maps. Two dots then represented the boats and they were moved across the screen to track the crews once the race got under way. Despite getting, literally, tens of viewers this technological breakthrough was mothballed until it was realised that a variant could be used to bring previously unavailable live football to the masses.
The live match coverage will be available to anyone with Ceefax on page 311 starting at 5pm.