The Secret History of Television and Football

The Secret History of Television and Football

Lankaster Lecture Theatre (University College London)
Medawar Building,
Malet Place (off Torrington Place),
London WC1

Thursday 1st November  2012 at 6pm

(For directions click here)

Given by: Alex Fynn

In this presentation Alex Fynn examines the relationship between football and television from its amateur beginnings in the 1950s to the high technology presentation of today, pointing up a number of key developments from the Stanley Matthews final in 1953 to the UEFA Champions League final in 2012. He will take you on a journey that encompasses money, exploitation, money, and an eventual realization that live football may be an event that appeals to thousands who attend the games, but when broadcast on television its audience is worldwide and numbered in billions.

Alex will examine the key points on this revolutionary route from the first ever Match of the Day in 1964, via the first regular live broadcast English Football League First Division games in 1988, to the Sky Sports revolution in 1992, and up to the current state of play. He will examine how the broadcasting rights were acquired and how production has developed from the four cameras in fixed positions at the Matthews final to the 25 plus cameras and their associated accoutrements that are de rigeur for today’s production pre-requisites. Along the way a number of key personalities will be discussed, from both behind and in front of the camera, from the BBC’s innovators Paul Fox and Peter Dimmock, via others who were significant contributors such as ITV’s John Bromley and Greg Dyke, and BSkyB’s Vic Wakeling. And in front of the camera, from the legend master of sports broadcasting David Coleman, to Kenneth Wolstenholme, Brian Moore, and of course the John Motson and Barry Davies debate, right up to Martin Tyler.


  • Deloitte (2012). Annual Review of Football Finance. Manchester: Deloitte.
  • Fynn, A. & Guest. L. (1998). For Love Or Money: Manchester United or England – the business of winning. London Andre Deutsch.
  • Fynn, A. & Guest, L. (1994). Out of Time: Why Football Isn’t Working. London: Simon & Schuster.
  • Kelner, M. (2012). Sit Down & Cheer. Wisden SportsWriting.
  • Maitrot, E. (1998)Sport et télé – les liaisons secretes. Flammarion. (In the French language).


Alex Fynn is a well-known consultant to the sports’ industry who has also written extensively on the subject of the football business. His clients have included Arsenal, Celtic, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur football teams, as well as the Football League and the Football Association. Through his work he has been influential in the formation of both the English Premier League and the UEFA European Champions League. Previously Alex was a director of the well-known advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, latterly as vice-chairman. He was responsible for a number of major clients including Procter & Gamble. Throughout his career Alex has acted as an advisor on the negotiation of the sale of TV broadcasting rights for a number of clubs and federations including the FA, the Football League, the RFU and the British Athletics Federation.

Contact Details

Twitter: Follow Alex @AlexFynn1

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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