Filed: Wednesday, 5th September 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel
West Ham United's fixture at Aston Villa on October 6th has caused something of a furore.
That's because for the first time ever West Ham's visit to Villa Park will be the only top flight fixture kicking off at the traditional 3pm Saturday afternoon slot, due to the involvement of several clubs in European action the preceeding week.
The only other Saturday game that day features Manchester United and Wigan - but that kicks off at 12.45pm. The remaining Premier League fixtures that weekend all take place the following day - Sunday 7th October.
So whilst it may be bad news for football in general, and those who prefer to watch their football on a Saturday afternoon, it's good news for any Hammers fans who will be tuning into Match of the Day that Saturday evening.
So far this season, West Ham have featured at the tail end of the three MOTD programmes broadcast, with no more than two or three minutes action shown from each game.
United's 3-0 win at Reading last weekend didn't even merit a single comment according to the BBC, who instead continue to concentrate on action from games involving the 'big four' - ironically the main criticism of supporters when ITV held the highlights franchise prior to it returning to the BBC two years ago.
Premier League fixture list - weekend of Oct 6/7
Saturday, 6th October
Man Utd v Wigan (12:45pm)
Aston Villa v West Ham (3pm)
Sunday, 7th October
Arsenal v Sunderland (12pm)
Reading v Derby (2pm)
Blackburn v Birmingham; Bolton v Chelsea; Liverpool v Tottenham; Man City v Middlesbrough; Newcastle v Everton (3pm)
Fulham v Portsmouth (4.10pm)
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by Terry Bonds
07:16PM 16th Sep 2007
''I like the fact they said NOTHING about West Ham v Middlesborough on MOTD yesterday, the only thing mentioned was we had moved up to 5th. Every other game got some discussion. Tsk! Typical ...''
by Paul Goddard
11:46AM 12th Sep 2007
''Sky aren't perfect by any means, but thank God for Football First...I never bother watching MOTD now. I do feel that after what happened last season that the MOTD panel tend to have an anti-West Ham bias.''
10:57AM 7th Sep 2007
''This is a disgrace. As much as TV money has helped forward the English game, the kick-off times have slowly become more and more ridiculous, ripping the heart and soul from the game. It makes a mockery of football as we know it.''
by David Jarvis
12:05AM 7th Sep 2007
''I am sorry to hear your woes in WHU not featuring in any games on TV. In Sydney, Oz thanks to Fox/Shy TV we have so far seen every Hammers game live. As from the start of the season we now have a choice of 7 live games on Saturday (inc 3pm k/o) and see all early and late games on Sat/Sun/Mon. About time Hammers supporters applied to emigrate. We estimate we will see around 36 live Hammers games this season. Sorry!''
08:31PM 6th Sep 2007
''The only flaw of course is that we get stuffed royally and won't want to watch 30 mins of the Hammers getting beaten. However I don't think the Beeb will even bother to have a MOTD on that Saturday - I will be amazed if they don't just extend the Sunday programme. Of course that means we will again be shown right at the tail end as every angle will have been covered by the press in the morning ...''