Your favorite team is playing an important game and it's nowhere to be seen. What do you do? Perhaps you go to a friend's house that has the game on his television. Maybe you even go to a sports bar. In extreme circumstances, you may even have to drop a few bucks and pay to watch the game.
But if you wouldn't be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to watch your team, you aren't a true fan. A true fan is Irish soccer fan David Feeney. Living in Australia, Feeney didn't have a way to watch the World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Sweden. So he did what any committed fan should do.
He bought the broadcast rights himself.
Here's the story via Reuters:
"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."
Clearly David Feeney is unaware of the looming sports rights bubble.
My favorite part of the story is that Feeney went ahead and also bought the rights to England vs Ukraine, because if you're going to buy international broadcast rights for one game, you might as well go the whole way and make it a doubleheader. And it's not as if he has milliond of dollars to spend, putting up his house in order to borrow the money to make this happen. Gee it would really suck if Ireland went on to lose this game.
So the next time you try to debate the qualities of your fandom and how great it is, remember this – you're no David Feeney.