For the last few years Beijing TV's sports channel has bought the rights to show some of the English Premier League football games live. Not that many, unfortunately. Usually only one or two per weekend; and often not the biggest match-ups, because they are often allocated midday kick-off times which clash with early evening games in the domestic premier league here. (I suspect most Chinese football fans would rather watch a top English game than their domestic league, but BTV is not going to pander to consumer demand!)
Still, I've got the opportunity to watch occasional footie in the comfort of my own home. I shouldn't complain.
This weekend BTV was showing the Chelsea v Arsenal match. Nice. Not live, mind you - because the game between Beijing and Changchun (we lost, miserably, at home) was given priority; but a full recorded rerun was shown immediately after the local game.
I think there was another complete re-rerun at some point today as well. (And probably on several more occasions through the coming week; they like to make the most from the fees they've paid, our Chinese TV stations.) I dipped into the channel several times at random this morning, hoping perhaps they might have another game to show in full as well. NO.
Or at least some highlights of the other games played yesterday - because there were a whopping 29 goals scored in Saturday's 8 Premiership fixtures. NO. They only showed the goals from the Chelsea v Arsenal game I'd already seen.
Now, BTV does have the rights to show highlights of all the Premiership games. (I'd kind of expect that to come automatically bundled with the live game package they've bought.) And it seems unlikely that the English Football Association would place restrictions on when those highlights can be shown (really, is there any value to them in insisting that a highlights reel can't be shown until later in the week?). BTV does have one or more weekly Premiership review shows with all of the week's goals (I just saw one on Friday). But apparently they are unable or unwilling to provide one over the weekend - WTF??
[And, of course, when they do finally show full highlights of all the games, they spoil the suspense for anyone who's been avoiding checking the results by displaying the final score on screen from the outset of each game!]