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THE ELECTRONIC LIVEIBIZA

Weekly Edition 014: Saturday 2th June 2001

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Commentary
by Gary Hardy

 
Television
 

Once upon a time things used to get done around here at rather a relaxed pace. I remember during the summer of 1978 having to go for a meal at the Intercontinental Restaurant and at the same time wanting to watch the World Cup Final between Argentina v Holland.

In those days the Intercontinental was a popular high-class eating spot in Calle Balanzat and this was the only public place here in central San Antonio where I could find a television to see the match and it was a black and white set.

Barry who originates from Sunderland and is known as Badger to his friends and the locals is a character who's been living here on the island for many a year.

In the early 1980s Badger and Stan opened the Victoria Tavern in central San Antonio and this was the very first place to offer the public satellite television viewing.

Previous to the Victoria Tavern, Badger was the barman at the famous Bar Capones in the West End of San Antonio, where he first experimented with satellite television by installing a dustbin lid on top of the roof of Bar Capones to receive pictures from I don't know where?

Each Saturday afternoon throughout the English football season in those days Badger with his wizardry technology skills was able to pick up the signal that the BBC sent out from the UK directly to the British Armed Forces stationed in Germany.

There was no commentary with these games just the sound of the ball being kicked, a distant noise from the crowd at the game and the referees whistle. Later on by using a short wave radio set Badger was then able to supple a live commentary of an English First Division football match that was broadcast each Saturday afternoon on the BBC World Service Radio.

However, those Saturday afternoon live radio football commentaries were not always coupled up with the live television matches that were being shown simultaneously. Therefore, you can imagine it was quiet a dilemma having to watch one game and at the same time listen to a completely different match whilst enjoying a glass or two of Guinness.

The piŔce de rÚsistance was the never-to-be-forgotten introduction of SKY satellite television at the beginning of the 1990s and this produced something here that we thought would live forever.

The Victoria Tavern was then in its heyday packed out to the rafters with soccer fans on those very hot, sticky and sweaty Saturday afternoons. Badger use to turn off the air-conditioning because he claimed that the excessive heat encouraged folk to drink more of his beer but it only made people run and make a beeline for the exit door at the sound of the final whistle.

During the 1992 FA Cup Final between Crystal Palace v Liverpool the Victoria Tavern was jammed full of Scousers all watching their beloved Liverpool when suddenly two young men came sneaking into the pub carrying a case of bottled beer.

Badger noticed this and immediately turned off the television and announced over the Tannoy that there would be no more of the match shown until the case of beer was bought and deposited behind his bar. There were ructions in that white hot furnace as every single person in the pub began to shout at the culprits until they were forced to hand over the case of beer to Badger and then everything resumed back to the football match.

Nevertheless, that hope has now proved short-lived, purely because, SKY plans to totally switch off its subscription Analogue transmissions at the end of this month of June and only broadcast their satellite television programmes as SKY Digital transmissions.

SKY Digital does not or can not pay rights for transmissions of sporting events and major films in Europe. The new Astra 2D satellite signals are focused more on the UK and as SKY move more of their channels over to this new satellite it will then make it near impossible for us folk here on the island to receive SKY Digital television.

Boundary: The strongest part of the Astra 2D satellite footprint extending from Iceland to only Barcelona unfortunately makes it too obvious that we will be out of range living here on the island of Ibiza. Give it cohesion there is no point whatsoever in being an ultra-modern curmudgeon because the more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.

 
Gary Hardy
garyhardy@liveibiza.com
 

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