When I got one again in 2000 the programmes and advertisements had changed. There were lots of people from ethnic minorities on screen, the view of family life offered was uniformly negative and advertising logos had invaded the world of sport.The same holds true of rugby union in Britain. From all that I have seen, in the USA (where they are supposed to be so much more money-driven than we are) sports fields are free of this sort of commercialism.
People think the cricket authorities are stuffy, but really they are the most shamelessly commercial administrators of all. There are now logos on the players' clothing and painted on the field of play. For the right price you could probably get your company's slogan tattooed on the President of the MCC's buttocks.
Tonight's international in Cardiff, where England won a tense victory over Wales, even had the RBS logo plastered over the centre of the pitch. Was this really a good idea? The bank's extravagant sports sponsorship programme is a potent symbol of the regime of Sir Fred Goodwin that led the bank to ruin with annual losses of £28bn. I am not sure rugby is doing a favour by reminding us of that throughout the game.
And if rugby needs the money so much, can't the ground authorities at least find a way of putting the logo on to the grass that does not cover the players in blue paint and make them look ridiculous?
Later. In the Super Bowl final the logo on the field was that of the National Football League itself.