As a fan of teams out of my local market, I know far too well the stresses of being unable to watch an important game.
The end result costs me a few hundred dollars a year thanks to MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass and NFL Sunday Ticket.
I’m not sure how I survived without them before, but I damn sure know I couldn’t survive without them now.
That’s probably a similar feeling felt by David Feeney, an Irish fan who just so happened to be living in Australia. Only problem? The game wasn’t being broadcast there. Not because it couldn’t be, but because nobody bought the rights to do it. I mean, why would most people in Australia care to watch Sweden and Ireland duke it out?
Well, Feeney cared, dammit. So much so that he plopped down the money to buy the broadcast rights to the game.
“Originally from Dublin, Feeney contacted a friend involved in broadcasting in Ireland before making a bid to Kentaro, the German media company that owned the broadcast rights.
“They said my bid was too low, but that it was close… then I raised bid and they said OK,” says Feeney, who has partnered with a horse-racing channel to show the match via a closed-circuit system at a number of venues across Australia.
Australia is home to thousands of Irish people who have left the country since a property crash, and recession hit the country in 2008.
Feeney has also secured England’s qualifier away to Ukraine, and having used his home as security to borrow the money to buy the rights – costing “in the tens of thousands of dollars,” he said – the Irishman says the hardest person to convince in the whole process had been his wife.”
Epic (though slightly disturbing) fandom.
H/T Awful Announcing