Recently RTE, Ireland's national television and radio broadcaster, announced that they had won the rights to broadcast all fifty-one Euro 2016 matches as part of a European Broadcasting Union centrally negotiated contract with UEFA. This is good news for soccer enthusiasts. An awful lot of sport will be crammed into one month, images of which will be beamed live into TV sets from the 10th of June onward. For others, I'm sure the forthcoming summer of sport (the Rio Olympics will also be screened) will be a penance and could test relationships.
Below are the numbers regarding viewing times and some comparisons which put into context the extent of Euro 2016 coverage that could possibly be aired on RTE.
If the channel chooses to make all of the content available via TV broadcasts or online, a soccer addict could view approximately 4590 minutes of action on RTE over the month . This figure is a minimum and doesn't take into account opening/closing ceremonies, added time, extra time, highlight shows, the musings of any pundit or the superb Après Match. While it may not be practical to watch every game live (as the last two group games kick off together), I'm sure the RTE player could accommodate those that want to see every minute.
To put this number in perspective, season twenty seven of the Australian soap Home and Away aired by RTE lasted 4935 minutes, that's two hundred and thirty five episodes that ran for twenty one minutes each. In terms of just the ninety minutes of soccer, if one was to watch every Euro 2016 match it would be similar to watching close to an entire season of Home and Away in one month. Season fifty three of the Late Late Show, Ireland's premier national talk show, lasted 4440 minutes, that's thirty seven episodes lasting one hundred and twenty minutes each. Again, spending this time with Ryan Tubridy over one month is not far off the Euro 2016 footage that will be available to RTE.
In terms of other popular drama and entertainment shows on RTE, watching the entire Euro 2016 would equate to viewing about two hundred and thirty episodes of The Big Bang Theory or about one hundred and fifteen episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. It would be the equivalent to watching RTE's latest Drama on the events of 1916, Rebellion, about 18 times or watching Francis Brennan rescue about one hundred and ninety two ailing guesthouses in At Your Service!
Of course, the European Championships only happens once every four years, so perhaps we should only think of a quarter of this broadcast time. For me these numbers put into perspective what those who have no preference for soccer have to endure for June 2016. The only silver lining for those that don’t like soccer...4590 minutes is slightly less soccer than the World Cup.
This entry is an adaption of a previous post that considered screening times on RTE for the 2014 World Cup