Watching football on Ceefax

by Chris Bertram on November 9, 2006

Though you can sometimes get the same effect by neurotically pressing “refresh” on Soccernet or similar, I know all about “this phenomenon”: :

bq. Everyone who watches football on Ceefax will have a favourite text moment, even if it’s just the thrill of seeing the screen refresh to reveal, with great dramatic timing, that in fact it’s still 0-0 and you’re staring intently at a black rectangle with some numbers on it. Occasionally I’ve watched the last 20 minutes of a cup tie, or sat through a penalty shoot-out. Sad, perhaps, but surprisingly engrossing. It’s not just football, either. With my four housemates I watched the last 200 runs of Brian Lara’s record-breaking 501 not out for Warwickshire in 1994 on Ceefax. And it was great.

Apparently, Ceefax and Teletext will be phased out from 2008. Life will not be the same.



Simstim 11.09.06 at 11:59 am

I experienced most of the 2005 Ashes series via the Graun’s over-by-over page.


bpower 11.09.06 at 4:47 pm

Don’t mind the war, this’ll have them stormin Number 10.


shwe 11.10.06 at 6:02 am

sad moment indeed


strewelpeter 11.10.06 at 7:46 am

For sport as pure information there is nothing to beat ‘watching’ an event as an in running market on betfair.
Try it, you’ll see what I mean.


astrongmaybe 11.11.06 at 2:36 pm

It just goes to show what strange varieties “the live” comes in. It’s an interesting topic. When they first began radio sports commentary in the mid-1920s, no one was sure if people would be able to follow it, so they printed out squared diagrams of the rugby pitch in the radio magazines, for the commentator to refer to. It turned out that whatever effort of imagination/abstraction could be done without external support, so it was phased out almost immediately.

Shit – I just realized that this means the end of teletext subtitles for football too. They were always my favourites – to see the subtitler desperately trying to make sense of the commentators’ more abstruse ramblings. Sometimes, a sentence would tentatively begin, then speed up, then a loooooooong pause, then… you could almost see the subtitler’s thought-bubble thinking… “Oh f*** it…” and starting anew.

Comments on this entry are closed.