Peterborough United saved face. doled out a walloping to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and appeased fans in one fell swoop tonight by restoring free to listen match day commentary.
The club says it has listened to fans and agreed for match day commentary to continue on local radio but instead of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire – which has been broadcasting matches for nearly 30 years – it has agreed a deal with community station Peterborough PCR FM.
PCR FM director and morning show presenter Dave King said: “As the community radio station for the city, we are delighted to be working with Peterborough United to offer the Posh+ commentary on our 103.2 FM frequency.
“We see the football club as a huge part of the community, so it aligns perfectly with what we’re all about. Each home and away league game plus cup competitions for the whole season will be free to listen to on 103.2 FM across Peterborough.
“So, get your radios pre-tuned onto that frequency in time for the start of the season. Our online and app listeners won’t get the games, it is FM listeners only.
“When we launch on DAB later this year, the Posh+ commentary will also be available on this platform. All of the volunteers and presenters at PCR FM wish Darren Ferguson and his squad all the best in what we hope will be a successful season.”
Views of supporters taken into account
The club says that over the last seven days, the football club has taken into consideration the views of the supporters following their announcement that bringing commentary on their matches would only be available in-house via their Posh+ subscription service.
A club spokesperson said: “We have worked with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire for many years and PUFC were one of around 50% of football clubs in Sky Bet League One that provided full-match commentary via the BBC of every fixture last season.
“There were no personal reasons why we decided to end our deal with the BBC, but when we entered into that process, it must be stated that there were no questions asked from senior management at the BBC as to our reasons why, nor were there any further conversations about how we moved forward.
“Even since the decision became public, and the fans feelings were made clear, there have been no attempts to re-engage nor any attempts to clear up some important points regarding the ongoing access the BBC will still have at PUFC games.”
The spokesperson added: “It is important to note that at any stage in the future the BBC could have, at the end of each contract, decided to end the relationship due to budget cuts or re allocating funds to other areas which could leave our fans at any given time with no match day commentary.
“We as a club believe that online access to all things PUFC is important for our fan base as we invest in content for our Posh+ platform.
“It’s important to clear up a significant point around the notion that we have banned, or we are not giving access to the BBC.
BBC can still provide pre-match show and updates
“The BBC on match days will still be able to provide a pre-match show, a post-match show and they can do three updates during the first half, three updates during the second half and provide post-match reaction including an interview with the manager and where applicable, players.
“As a football club we still believe that our relationship with the BBC is important, however, we are of the opinion that moving forward there are a lot of challenges within local radio which is highlighted by the upcoming change in programming.
“The BBC will always be welcome at PUFC.”
The spokesperson added: “It’s also important to point out that a lot of the headlines have referred to the fact that we as a club are charging £5 for match day commentary. Any Posh fan can sign up for a year of Posh+ for as little as 87p per week, which will give them all home and away match day commentary plus all the amazing content Posh+ will continue to deliver as it grows.
“Whilst we understood as a club that there would be supporters that would be disappointed with the decision to bring commentary in-house to Posh+, we always recognise when there are things we could have done differently.
“We accept that this was never going to be a universally popular decision and that some of our supporter-base, in particular the older generation, may find it difficult to utilise our service.
“We have listened to that feedback and over the last few days after a suggestion from the chairman, we have had internal conversations about how we can find a resolution.
“We are delighted to confirm that the commentary production that will be on Posh+ will also be available to listen to on FM radio for free, thanks to a new partnership with the city’s Community Radio Station PCR FM.”
The agreement will run until the end of the current campaign and will see the radio station take commentary from just before kick-off for all Sky Bet League One fixtures, EFL Trophy games and the Carabao Cup.
Emirates FA Cup rights still with BBC
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire retain the rights for the Emirates FA Cup.
The spokesperson said that Peterborough Community Radio (PCR) broadcast a range of shows from studios based in the Herlington Centre.
“As a non-for-profit organisation, they are staffed mostly by volunteers. Their remit, as well as playing great music, is to offer a platform for local news and information and support the work of many charitable groups across the city. It’s a voice for Peterborough,” said the spokesperson.
“In addition, the club are also pleased to confirm that when Posh are playing away from home, the club will host a venue for supporters, particularly those who are not able to listen to commentary via Posh+ or PCR FM due to their location. The venue will allow supporters to listen to the broadcast and socialise with others.”
Chairman Darragh MacAnthony said: “I think it is important to listen to your fan-base and there is no doubt that we perhaps started sprinting before we were jogging.
“I have heard from a lot of our older supporters who are unable to utilise the technology or struggle with internet access, so by bringing the commentary back to an FM radio station will hopefully alleviate some of those challenges.
“We are putting together a simple guide of how to sign up to Posh+ and will be putting on ‘listener events’ so that our older fans can come to the stadium when we were away from home and listen to the games with other supporters.
“We also are organising an appointment-based service where our older fans can come into the club with their tech to have an in-person tutorial if they choose to use the Posh+ platform. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise an appointment with one of our staff members today.
“When we made the decision initially to bring the commentary in-house, it was to sit alongside our video content, which I believe our fans will love, particularly with what it is to come with access in the dressing room, podcasts and much more.
“I personally believe that local BBC radio is a service that one day may not be there regarding Posh coverage, and I am confident that moving forward other clubs will follow suit in terms of the commentary of games being in-house, but I accept that right now, we perhaps just need to take a step back, which is what we have done with the alternative radio offering.”
A full list of Posh+ prices can be found here.
You can sign up to Posh+ here.
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