New Times In Serie A

"What the what?"
-Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
The latest stroke of genius concocted by Lega Calcio is a rather drastic re-shuffle of days and times of serie A games. Done to allegedly gain a favor for the Italian teams ahead of their Champions League playoff games in February, one game will be shifted to Friday night to allow an extra day of rest. The experiment then gets super freaky during the 2010/2011 season, where depending on whether there's a Champions League round or not, a full three games could be played on Friday evenings. And one game at lunch time on Sundays, 12,30. And another on Monday evenings. Super freaky, I told you.

It gets really weird when you consider that low attendances at the stadiums is a big problem in Italy, and that this set-up will play right into the hands of the tv networks holding the rights to the games. Good luck getting a lot of people to a 21,00 kick off on a Friday night between Lazio and Milan, or a Roma-Udinese, geniuses. To be fair, it does strengthen the position of television, and will probably add tv revenue for the clubs. But the revenue in serie A is already overwhelmingly stemming from tv, as opposed to ticket sales, which is a factor that has helped the EPL explode financially. I'm not quite sure how wise it is to further the divide in Italian football between revenue from tv and tickets, rather than trying to balance out the difference, but here we are. Football on Fridays and Mondays, how strange. RIP childhood memories of watching teletext for two hours every Sunday afternoon, waiting to see Balbo's or Fonseca's name on the screen.