Euro 2008 wasn't much cop, says Peter Preston

England’s exit from Euro 2008 will be nastiest for broadcasters, writes Peter Preston.

ITV has already reckoned up the damage to its own P&L: some £10m in lost ad revenue.

And the press? Always an acute watcher of ABCs, Preston notes that during the last European Championships, the Sun’s circulation fell by 4.8%. The Mirror fell by 5.9%.

“We had all the costs, all the extra pages, all the headlines,” writes Preston, “but not much you could call tangible reward.”

Really? This seems to leave advertising out of the equation: retailers pushing plasma screens, the Guardian pushing Delia’s half-time recipes, and a myriad of sponsored supplements.

According to Claire Beale at the Indy, British advertisers laid out £300m to promote their wares in and around the World Cup in 2006. On that basis, surely the uplift for Euro 2008 would have reached £150m-£200m.

For the hell of it, let’s assume that £50m of that amount would have made its way into press advertising. At least a few million of that amount would have reached Carolyn McCall’s coffers in Farrington Road.

I guess it takes a real trustafarian to be blasé about that kind of money.

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