Life’s Little Irritants – No 21

Ten Digit CodeWhen I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child, but now I have put away childish things, as Corinthians put it.

You see, when I was young I used to get upset about quite serious things, like social inequalities, the hypocrisy of religion and the world’s starving, but being a male of a certain age, my grumpiness quotient has reached its optimum and I can now get heated over the most trivial of things.

Like tv sports coverage. I really enjoy watching football from my armchair, but one of the things that is spoiling my enjoyment is that stupid ten digit code that flashes on the bottom of the screen from time to time.

If you click on the photo above that I took today you can see what I mean in the bottom left-hand corner. Apparently it’s some sort of security idea to stop people pirating the coverage for live streaming on the web and we just have to put up with it.

Sky/Virgin claim that it’s done discreetly, but it’s a bit like when you’re talking to someone with a wart on their nose – your eye is simply drawn to it until you end up staring.

The funny thing is that it only appears when the coverage is live. If you wind it back the numbers disappear, so it seems the only way to avoid it is to use the TiVo trickery to watch the game when the match is over.

It’s got to stop, but I doubt that it will.

Another thing that has to stop is the way the BBC handles the football coverage on the late Saturday night news. There was a time when they would simply say something like: ‘Here are today’s results. If you don’t wish to know the scores, look away now.’ And they would appear briefly and without commentary. All you had to do was look away or close your eyes.

Now they give a similar warning, but then read out the results aloud, telling us who scored, who got sent off and what the league table looks like while I’m scrambling around for the remote to mute the set.

Why do they do that? Match of the Day immediately follows the news and if there are people who can’t be bothered to wait two minutes to watch then they don’t deserve to get a précis of the games either.

Especially since there are so many other opportunities to learn what is going on throughout the day. National and local radio coverage, Soccer Saturday, live updates on the net, not to mention the illegal streaming, without those bloody ten digits of course!

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

6 comments… Add yours
  • Trevor Rowley 24th February 2013

    Religion doesn’t have the monopoly on hypocrisy, Mr P. There is human failing in all areas of society – be it inside or outside of religion. Anyway, aiming high isn’t such a bad thing, really, despite most of us not being able to clear the end of the runway.

    • Mr Parrot 25th February 2013

      Obviously my post was about more trivial matters than religious hypocrisy Trevor and I only used it as an example of the sort of thing that might have exorcised me as a young man!

  • Roger Green 24th February 2013

    That’s NOTHING compared with American TV, which will actually have little promos on the bottom of the screen of one show while another show is on!

    • Mr Parrot 25th February 2013

      Oh we get that sort of thing too Roger. The tv companies are obviously terrified that we might switch channels and it is particularly annoying when the credits run at the end of a programme which are overlaid with promos for what is coming next. They also whiz up the screen too fast to read and both make it impossible to spot the name of the actor you were interested in!

      • Roger Green 25th February 2013

        At the end of the show is one thing – during the show, at the bottom of the screen, with people moving while I’m trying to watch the current program, is absolutely maddening.

  • Jay from The Depp Effect 26th February 2013

    You know, I am sick to death of the powers that be making us bend over backwards to cater for losses due to criminal activity. It’s not our fault, for heaven’s sake! And it’s getting worse. Your football example is only one of a hundred little annoyances we have to deal with every day.

    Make it stop!!

    I remember those days when they’d say ‘look away now’. I guess these days they are read out for deaf people, but they could at least leave a decent interval. Maybe they could say ‘After this next short item we will be reading out the results, so get your mute button ready’!


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