Pay per view broadcaster SKY TV has reported that it haemorrhaged just under 500 million pounds since 2001 in ‘lost or stolen revenue’ in County Tyrone. Most of it is thought to be attributable to trade in illegal counterfeit box units.
An East Belfast based representative for Sky, Mr Philo-Farnsworth Jenkins, has told Tyrone Tribulations of the frustrations the Rupert Murdoch owned media company has had to face around mid-Ulster.
“We believe that the Carrickmore area is by far the worst offender for copyrighting issues. Only 3% housing we visited have actually admitted to even owning a television set, never mind pay per view packages. The majority even had dishes on the roofs. Our presence is hardly sustainable at this rate. When issuing notices to conform, we have received house-owner names such as Michael Mouse, The Man From God Knows Where, Napoleon Dynamite, Sean South, Vladimir Klitschko, Rupert Murdoch, Rupert The Bear, The Pope, Oz McCallan and we even had a Tiger Woods. It’s really not that funny.”
Jenkins has also spoken about the threats and unsafe conditions his drivers are facing in some parts of Tyrone.
“In the past four months, we have had a penis drawn on Homer Simpson’s forehead on one of our vans, and posters of an Irish footballer called Patrick Spillane stuck to five different windscreens. We’ve also actually had a van clamped by a youth of no more than 13 years of age – from where he got the clamp is still a mystery to the authorities. One of our employees conducting a door to door survey was even threatened with a gigantic wooden spoon as well as a hurling or shinty stick, and told to get out of the area. What is going wrong with NI youth these days? “
Mr Jenkins went on to say that typically the highest TV traffic bracket – week day mid-morning – is associated with a plethora of students and unemployed sitting at home drinking tea. He conceded that 97% of Tyrone homes not having a TV in this day and age is simply not credible:
“When you look at the nationwide viewing figures for Dr Phil, Jeremy Kyle and even Deal or No Deal, if it weren’t for the unemployed these programmes simply would not be on television. They would be replaced with more Homes Under The Hammer type stuff and yet Tyrone bucks the trend completely, with no one watching TV… You can laugh all you like but it is a serious matter.”
Also, despite the fact that GAA clubs throughout the island of Ireland have been offered a discount of some 30% to install a SKY box, only one GAA club anywhere – the PSNI Gaelic Athletic Club – has come forward to apply, though the club’s subscription money remains to be paid.
As local channel Ulster Television prepares to go south of the border, with first programmes due to air on January 1st 2015, UTV are preparing to install barriers and water cannon at their premises. They are expecting loitering and crowds to gather outside UTV house on the Ormeau Road over Christmas, as this can often be a quiet season for protesting.
A beleaguered Chinese family, who fled East Belfast after racial intimidation to settle in Ardboe, have been urged to return to the loughshore resort after a mix-up in accent saw them up roots for the second time in a month after one day in their new home.
Martin Tsang and his family received universal support after they highlighted the racial discrimination taking place in Knocknagoney in Belfast before deciding to settle in Ardboe, a move warmly welcomed by Lord Mayor of Ardboe Francie Forbes.
Tsang, however, was not impressed by Forbes’ welcome on that sunny morning:
“We got out of the car on the Ardboe Road only to be met by Forbes who said ‘there’s quare hate in Ardboe here today’ and he was smiling from ear to ear and winking. Sure we didn’t know he was talking about the heat. Then another man walked past with a fishing rod and said ‘Jaysus the hate will kill you today’. We were in a state of shock.”
The Tsangs persevered and drove up to their house only to be met by the postman looking up at the sun and who uttered ‘We haven’t had hate like this in Ardboe all year. I love the oul hate though. Can’t get enough of it. I suppose youse would be used to the hate now’.
The Tsangs immediately reversed out and set out for BBC studios only to be told of the accent variations along the loughshore.
Meanwhile, Lord Mayor Forbes has urged all schools in the area to work on contentious accent pronunciations, with all P1 teachers told to use the word heat as if rhymed with feet. When told that feet is pronounced fate in the area, the mayor just shook his head.