We're all Nottingham Forest fans here. Whether we go to every match home and away, attend a handful of games a season or support from afar, we all want the best for Nottingham Forest.
For whatever reason, not all of us can go to every Forest match. I am one such person. Much as I'd like to, it's just not a realistic option for me. So, come 14:45 on a Saturday afternoon (or 19:30 on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening), if I can't get down to the City Ground I'll be dutifully plugging in my earphones to listen to the match commentary on Radio Nottingham.
On the whole, Radio Nottingham's coverage of Forest matches is, in my opinion, very good. The excited nature of Colin Fray's commentary is nicely balanced with John McGovern's more studied opinions, or, on occasion, the comedic counterpoints of David Johnson. I've spent many a 90 minutes cheering, booing and getting far too excited whilst listening to coverage of Forest's endeavours.
So, the news confirmed on BBC Radio Nottingham's Twitter feed that, at the moment, they've not entered into negotiations with Forest to renew their contract to provide commentary is disastrous. Or is it? That very much depends on what - if anything - the club has planned to replace the Radio Nottingham coverage, if indeed it does not continue.
The club does have other options. It could make commentary exclusive to Forest Player. Whilst this would likely generate revenue with increased uptake of the service, it would definitely be very unpopular with fans as they would, rightly, not wish to pay for something they can currently enjoy for free. There are also other regional radio stations, such as Gem and Heart, who may be able to provide commentary, and indeed have done in the past.
Or, more interestingly, there's the possibility of striking a deal with an alternative broadcaster. In an interview given by Forest owner Fawaz al Hasawi in 2012, the idea of Arabic TV network Al Jazeera broadcasting coverage of Forest matches was mentioned. At the moment, the Football League sells the rights to its matches collectively, so this does not appear to be an option, not for television coverage anyway.
But what about radio? A quick internet search tells me that Al Jazeera does have an English radio channel. Could this be the answer? Would the coverage be as good? Who knows? It could actually be better as it wouldn't have the restriction of only being available to local listeners like Radio Nottingham's commentary is.
In a summer that's been full of all manner of rumours and speculation, this is another subject for Forest fans to chew over. Hopefully the club will do what is best for the fans and ensure that, regardless of who does the commentary, we'll all be still able to hear the forthcoming season for free.
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