Youtube vs Jan Walden

Apparently too many people are watching Veikkausliiga football. This is a season of record crowds, European success and (what’s becoming a) a nip and tuck title race, and the excitement is rather spoiling the family picnic like atmosphere that often prevails at Finnish football games.

The powers that be are doing something about it though. Yes, the fearless defenders of media rights at Veikkausliiga have decided to join a class action brought by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the English Premier League.

It’s a no-lose situation for Veikkausliiga, if the action fails they have their costs paid and if they win they get all Finnish football pulled from the biggest video streaming website in the world.

Yes, apparently that is a ‘win’ for Veikkausliiga. What kind of thinking prevails at Finnair Stadium for them to believe their interests are remotely analogous to the EPL? Are they so short sighted they can’t understand that publicity on youtube is a good thing for Finnish football, attracts more customers and gives more exposure to sponsors?

Let’s not forget that we came very close to a situation where TamU’s win in Sofia wasn’t televised. After TamU won the first leg and it became obvious that the game had to be covered, the price went up, too far for Urheilukanava to be able to announce they were covering the game more than 48 hours in advance, but not far enough to ensure that a small hotel in ‘Horsewater’ town couldn’t save the day by offering them some money.

In today’s Helsingin Sanomat, the only proper national newspaper in Finland, there was no coverage of the game whatsoever. This is not a sport that is indispensable to national life here.

So I think you’ll agree that exposure on youtube is, on balance, a good thing. It gets people into Finnish football, and people who would never find the highlights I often link to at Iltalehti.fi might have more chance of finding Finnish football action by going to youtube and searching for ‘Veikkausliiga’.

So, in honour of Veikkausliiga’s day in the sun as the fags of the global entertainment business, here is Football in Finland’s top 5 Finnish football youtube clips:

1) Poland 1 Finland 3
2) Shefki Kuqi displays what Terry Yorath called his ‘television shaped head’ in Prague
3) Pitch invasion at Ratina stadium
4) ‘Greatest moments’ of 2006
5) Koparit vs Keps, 1986

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4 Responses

  1. Don’t be silly. Of course the videos are going to stay in YouTube but the case is probably settled and Veikkausliiga gets some compensation. That’s what has happened in the previous lawsuits against them.

    Why should YouTube be making money with copyrighted material with no compensation? Because it’s convenient for you? Of course it would be nice to have everything for free (and that’s how kids see things these days) but the world doesn’t really work that way.

  2. This is very, very fucking stupid. I don’t know whether it is because I’m such a Web 2.0 weirdo myself, or is this one of those fairly rare moments of enlightenment when witnessing utter human stupidity, for some forsaken reason, makes me angry, but it had been indeed a while since I last time heard about something as idiotic as this. Does the concept ‘future’ extend beyond ‘next week’ in Jan Walden’s thinking?

    Now and then, I’ve discussed with Finnish football purists what it actually is that prevents their game from becoming a more popular pastime in this country. They usually decide to…eh, swim the Finnish flow of thought, and blame someone or something else. That is, ice-hockey – not forgetting, the newspapers, TV channels, radio stations, investors, sponsors, city councils, and more generally the outrageously ignorant public, which all are unacceptably attracted by ice-hockey. Then I usually call them idiots.

    Usually, that is a correct perception.

    Seriously, Finnish football isn’t any more popular than it currently is simply because of the sad and unescapable fact that it has been, and still is, run by amateurs. Amateurs make bad, boring and indifferent products.

    Think about it. The season 2006 was played with 13 teams because some Finnish football professionals down south managed to sell their club to a Chinese professional punter who first made them lose 8-0, then took his money and ran. Match-fixing happens probably almost everywhere, but I don’t know any other incident where it has happened so tragicomically. There were six new players brought into a winning lineup, including a goalkeepr whose last appearance had taken place in Belgium’s third highest league more than a year ago. Rang absolutely no bells. Everybody was caught their pants well down.

    That was two (kaksi, två, zwei, due, dva, 2) years ago. They’ve had two years to restore all that credibility they lost.

    Now Veikkausliiga’s wise men have obviously concluded that the league’s lately so very greatly skyrocketed credibility is soon to hit some mystic credibility glass ceiling and must be thus shot down.

    Why in the bloody hell couldn’t I watch my goals, dubious referee decisions, brutal tackles, nude pitch invasions and other good stuff from Youtube, Jan Walden? Veikkausliiga itself doesn’t provide anything and Iltalehti’s archives are as limited as they are inconvenient to use. You should pay money and not ask for it.

    You were right about HS, btw. No coverage whatsoever. Uusi Suomi was much better a paper, as my late grandfather would have added…

  3. I’m sure Jan Walden will be able to buy himself mansions in Barbados with all the riches Google have been swindling out of honest Finnish football folk.

    The dastardly rights thieves WILL be brought to justice, and the name of Orivesi Hotel will ring out through the ages!

    Come on. Finland is a small country on the edge of Europe with a poor standard of football that nobody much cares about. If it gets on youtube Jan Walden should send them a nice thank you letter and possibly a couple of t-shirts.

  4. Now and then, I’ve discussed with Finnish football purists what it actually is that prevents their game from becoming a more popular pastime in this country. They usually decide to…eh, swim the Finnish flow of thought, and blame someone or something else.

    I wouldn’t call myself a purist. Yes, it is dumb to blame someone else for your mistakes. Nevertheless, icehockey has to be mentioned, when we talk about the state of football.

    There is this funny thing called scarcity that you have to take into account, economically and timewise as well. Sponsors in certain area have only a certain amount of money. People have only certain amount of spare time.

    Granted though that not all of the Veikkausliiga cities have a SM-liiga hockey team as well. Also, the schedules between football and hockey don’t collide that badly really for the spectators.

    The bottom line still is that you have to compete with other sports, television, literature, theatre, arts and music. Note, compete, not blame. You have to be able to offer something different and preferably something more vital to people’s lives with football.

    There is one thing that sports do better than arts. They provide shared feelings, a sense of being part of the crowd. What does it take to become the talk of the town then?

    I really don’t know, but I do feel that there is a void in the cities when we look at the local identities. People don’t have that strong ties to their surroundings anymore and reading a book or a visit to the museum aren’t really active ways of having something you can relate to.

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