People associate watching football in 21st-century with watching it at a stadium, listening to the commentary over the radio, or watching the match live on television. But they rarely mention alternative viewing options. This is because people don’t consider it cool enough to watch a soccer match.
Ceefax was introduced in the 1970s. Other technological advances in the 1990s like sky/cable TV and the internet have provided other ways to track team progress. This has created a ‘cult’ feel.
Ceefax, which is phonetic for “See Facts”) is the oldest alternative to traditional viewing. It was introduced in 1974 by the BBC (who were at the time working on providing subtitles for television for the deaf). Their system was the first to use teletext technology in the world. It was a basic information system without sound, pictures or anyone giving you basic information.
You could access it via your TV remote. It consisted of simple pages of text in blue-and-white. What does all this have to do football? Ceefax provides information on a variety of topics such as News and Sport, Weather and TV Listings. These pages are also kept current (most often being the first to report on a breaking story).
Ceefax was used on match days by most people in the British Isles, especially before the advent of the internet. Ceefax is the original internet. Everyone looks at live football match for today scores on Ceefax. Ceefax users will often leave their homes on Saturday afternoons to check their team’s standings. They will also wait anxiously for the blue-and white text to change to refresh to see if their team wins the game. People can become anxious while staring at the blue-and white text. I know of people who have spent a lot of match time waiting for the black rectangles in their favour to change.
While some might argue that it’s sad to wait for your TV to refresh, it can be incredibly engrossing. It is the perfect medium if you only care about the score. You don’t get annoying ads, inept soccer commentators, or annoying analysis. It only shows the scores you are most interested in. This alternative viewing will soon disappear with the plans to replace analogue TV signals in the British Isles with digital for 2008.
Due to technological advancements, a similar version of Ceefax has been developed online over the past decade. Many versions of the TV Ceefax system are available online in various forms. They usually fall under the heading of “Live Scores”. You will be surprised at the number of sites that are returned when you search the internet for soccer live scores. It is basically a modern version of Ceefax.
Instead of watching Ceefax refresh on your TV, you can now watch an internet site refresh from your computer. The service is the same, but it comes from a different medium. As with Ceefax, most soccer fans in Britain will be able, upon asking, to name the website they use to track their team’s progress on match days. The main difference between them would be the way websites place advertisements alongside scores to take advantage of the increased number of users.