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 Post subject: Pieces of Hate: Fan TV
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:56 pm 
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Fan channels are popular in 2015 and it’s not hard to understand why. This is now a world in which the supporter feels marginalised and so it’s entirely natural for a movement that returns their voice to be embraced. If the modern day fan has really just become a consumer, then social media – despite its many evils – does at least add a pair of eyes to the corporate facade.

They allow supporters to be heard at a time when clubs seem only interested in holding them by their ankles and shaking their pockets empty. Catching fans immediately after they leave matches, these cameras capture that elusive real-person angle that Sky and BT seem less interested in and present a perspective which challenges Richard Scudamore’s perfect world. They are a force for good. Well, that’s at least how it started.

Now, as the genre evolves, that original concept is mutating into something ugly. Rather than offering a true depiction of fan culture, they reward those with the loudest voices and the lowest levels of self-respect. Less forums of self-expression than avenues for low-grade opportunity, they are becoming character creation factories. The ubiquitous Arsenal Fan TV, for instance, has become a theatre of the absurd in which preposterously affected personalities are thrust into the football community’s conscious. It’s all scripted buzz-phrases and Jeremy Kyle culture and it possesses the charm of watching two unpopular children being forced to fight in a playground.

There’s Claude (angry, middle-aged) pointing and shouting at Ty (merchandise fetish), there are the smirking faces behind them giving knowing looks to the camera, and here we all are laughing away at this humanity car-crash – and we aren’t just slowing down to see the accident, we’re getting out of the car, setting up deckchairs and gathering around the wreckage.

It’s The Only Way is Essex just without any of the make-up, music, or reassuring feeling that everyone reverts to relative normality when the ad breaks roll. These characters may have refined their catchphrases and practiced their rants in the bathroom mirror, but they are almost exclusively the object of the humour rather than an actual part of it.

While it’s pious to insist that all fan channels should exist exclusively with a straight-face, it’s still dispiriting to watch the industry break its ideological moorings and drift into such questionable waters. It’s become an exploitative mocku-soap in which the more times Bully (Nose ring) can make Mo (“net spend”) cry the better.

And as the online traffic surges, so does the temptation to bend to that demand.

Like the well-intentioned circus owner who has watched the crowds tire of his acrobats, jugglers and elephants, the cheap heat of freakshow voyeurism has been allowed to subvert this industry’s honesty. The views are up and the revenue is rolling in, and the temptation to keep pushing the three-nosed curiosities into the spotlight grows ever more overwhelming.

But for all of Arsenal Fan TV’s unsettling melodrama, a more potent evil is starting to flow through the industry’s veins.

Like any developing market place, this genre’s success and its increasing value has attracted outsiders. While many who were present at the industry’s birth still retain an independent quality – and an authentic, mouth-piece function – the dark hand of professionalism can be felt elsewhere. The original entrepreneurs may have struck oil with a bucket and spade, but now the heavy duty rigs are being craned onto the fertile ground.

SpurredOn, Full Time Devils, Chelsea Fans’ Channel and Blue Moon Rising are all operated by Shotglass Media, a digital wing of Fremantle UK, the production company behind The Apprentice, Take Me Out and Britain’s Got Talent. Big budget backing discredits the “by the fans, for the fans” selling-point, because it implies the existence of a business decision and a cost/benefit analysis. These channels aren’t being set-up by supporters who suffer the game’s peaks and troughs, but by hair-gelled suits who are after a quick fondle of football’s gusset.

“Hey, what’s up guys! Isn’t Emmanuel Adebayor a lazy money-grabber? ”

Close your eyes and you can almost hear the brainstorm: who do the fans hate? What are their engagement rates like for this topic? Which demographics are we targeting here?

It’s all faux-passion and forcefully slurred vowels; it’s you and I, but after we’ve spent a year at RADA and been dressed in the latest derelicte collection. Trained, stylised presenters artfully dip topics in outrage-kerosine, hold them against social media’s perpetual flame, and wait for the fires of digital revenue to burn. Part of the cold set of capitalist realities though it may be, it is also symptomatic of a particularly toxic cynicism. A supporter’s passion is personal and this is really just a clandestine way of taxing it.

The industry’s founding fathers are to be applauded for identifying a niche and forgiven for breeding something which has grown beyond their control. But the perimeter has been breached now; invading agencies are inside the building and they are bagging up as much of the game’s soul as they can find. Maybe it represents the final frontier of the game’s monetisation? The point at which everything a supporter does, thinks or feels can be converted into cash for somebody else.

There was a benevolent purpose to fan channels once and a genuine intention to use them to reclaim something that had been taken. That’s still visible in the father and son who talk honestly about the game or the season-ticket holder who’s worried about an ageing centre-half, but that layer occurs metres below the pantomimic posturing and the corporate misdirection.

You can follow Seb Stafford-Bloor on Twitter (@SebSB)

Read more: http://thesetpieces.com/features/pieces ... z3qWy3JvvX


I've never really got in to the whole Fan TV thing mainly because I don't like people suggesting that they are the true reflection of the way fans think I prefer podcasts as these are very clearly just opinions and they tend to be a bit more structured in terms of a debate or in the case of some of the Utd ones a reminder that football should be a bit of a laugh.

Having been to the Emirates these fan TV things actually draw a pretty big crowd pre game it seems the youngsters would rather gather and watch that than try and sneak a pint in the pub pre/post game


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 Post subject: Re: Pieces of Hate: Fan TV
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:37 pm 
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I don't think I've ever heard of this.

United have one? Is it club official?

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 Post subject: Re: Pieces of Hate: Fan TV
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:47 pm 
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idontfeardeath wrote:
I don't think I've ever heard of this.

United have one? Is it club official?


Full Time Devils is the Utd one.

It's not club official they're basically youtube channels that broadcast after matches.

Normally you have a host with a few regular guest pundits or fans who give an opinion before the game or after.

Did you not ever seen any of the Andy Tate Vines that went viral 2 years ago? That all came from full time devils.


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 Post subject: Re: Pieces of Hate: Fan TV
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:19 am 
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I watch most of videos coming out from full time devilz..Andy Tate is fun to listen .. Arsenal have AFTV with black guy ( no racial intent) with mic questioning fans ..

I always look forward to it .. I think its a good portal for fans..

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 Post subject: Re: Pieces of Hate: Fan TV
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:54 pm 
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JSP wrote:
idontfeardeath wrote:
I don't think I've ever heard of this.

United have one? Is it club official?


Full Time Devils is the Utd one.

It's not club official they're basically youtube channels that broadcast after matches.

Normally you have a host with a few regular guest pundits or fans who give an opinion before the game or after.

Did you not ever seen any of the Andy Tate Vines that went viral 2 years ago? That all came from full time devils.


Nah I don't believe I saw any of them.

I will check the channel out sometime but from what you say podcast are a better idea. What podcast do you recommend. Flying tonight could download a couple to listen too.

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 Post subject: Re: Pieces of Hate: Fan TV
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:15 pm 
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idontfeardeath wrote:
Nah I don't believe I saw any of them.

I will check the channel out sometime but from what you say podcast are a better idea. What podcast do you recommend. Flying tonight could download a couple to listen too.


Utd based ones ~ Red Mancunian, United We Stand & United Rant (can be a bit negative) are ones I listen to sometimes listen to BBC Red Wednesday (this is the weekly Utd phone in on BBC Manchester).

Generic Football Ones ~ The Football Ramble, Guardian Football Weekly, The Times Football Podcast are all a good sort of summary but they tend to all cover the same thing Football Ramble is the least serious the other 2 can sound a bit the same.

There's a funny Arsenal one called The Tuesday Club (Alan Davies and a few comedian mates).

The Big Interview with Graham Hunter (I'd recommend downloading all of these they are excellant) he does an hour long interview with Gary Neville, Darren Fletcher, Gordan Strachan, Jamie Carragher and a few others they're very very good imo.

Something a bit different BBC 5 lives world football phone in can be interesting hear lots about football all over the world.

I listen to quite a lot while driving and at work but these are the better ones.


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