Thursday, June 01, 2006

Terrestrial choices

When the BBC regained the rights to Premiership highlights, they went into hubris overload. ‘You love Match of the Day don’t you, aren’t we brilliant with our coverage,’ that kind of thing. Up to that point they were probably right but even the excuse of excitement of having a ratings and kudos winner back on BBC1 could not mask the sniffy superiority that, for me, was a bit of turn off.

It’s like Wogan on Eurovision. It seems recently he’s become more self-aware of his status as “the only reason people watch.” To my mind this has affected the performance, and where once the acerbic wit was charming and funny, it now comes across a little condescending.

You would think then, when it comes to football coverage, ITV would up their game to take away Auntie’s bask-friendly grandeur. However, when they allow the smug-a-thon between McCoist and Townsend to drift onto the pitch, they miss the trick on almost every level. They even ruined Des Lynam, the cads, although Ol’ Smoothy seems happy enough now, nodding off while Geoffrey Durham does close-up magic going into the ad-bumper conundrum.

So, with the BBC’s hoity-toityness in mind, I guess I should be quite happy that their World Cup finals trailer appears to serve only to highlight the cliché-proneness of their pundits and chunterers. Self-deprecation at last from the Corporation, you might think, although I imagine they see Hansen and Pearce et al’s metaphors and similes as examples of Coleridge-esque lyricality.

So, when it comes to England’s latter stage games, if they get there, and the final, who will you choose for your coverage when it’s split? The full-of-itself BBC, or the ‘bless them, they’re trying’ ITV crew? I’ve always been one for the underdog, but…

Judging by ITV’s ‘World Cup Heaven & Hell’ series currently on as build up, it doesn’t bode well. Come the finals themselves though, perhaps they’ll have some tricks up their sleeve to nicely tortoise the BBC’s overconfident hare.

I’m hoping for some innovation, maybe a snick-o-meter mic attached to every English metatarsal or perhaps a facility on Digital to mute individual pundits, maybe with an optional child-lock for the duration of the finals. My finger is hovering over the Pleat button as we speak.

Whatever's your poison, I hope you enjoy the tournament folks.


Blogger Ben said...

I'm a BBC man through and through. Smug? Perhaps, but then they've got the right to be - superior to ITV in every way. I'm a Lineker fan, and you can't beat a bit of Motty and Hansen either. That said, Ian Wright should be a children's entertainer rather than a pundit, Garth Crooks is beyond useless and Barry Davies is an arse.

Love the idea of a snick-o-meter on English metatarsals! The snick-o-meter, incidentally, must be one of the finest inventions ever.

4:15 pm, June 01, 2006

Blogger Matt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:24 pm, June 01, 2006

Blogger Matt said...

Ooh, I didn't realise that when you deleted a comment it leaves a message saying that a comment has been deleted. Anyway, umm, what I was trying to say was:

By the time he gave up the football I'd gradually come around to the idea that Barry Davis was an arse, and then they gave his 'second choice commentator for the big-ish games that Motson doesn't fancy' role to Jonathan Pearce. Cheers, BBC.

However, this is no excuse for Barry doing the voiceover for the XBox advert. I'm sure that the pay for the gymnastics and opening ceremony work he seems to specialise in these days can't be so bad that he's had to resort to such drastic measures...

5:28 pm, June 01, 2006

Blogger ian said...

I read somewhere today that Clive Tyldesley had won an award as commentator of the year. Clearly, he was the only entrant.

I shall be watching on German TV and not understanding a word of it.

9:32 pm, June 01, 2006

Blogger Simon said...

Let's be honest, we're talking about ITV here, and their idea of innovation is a red button service with some news off Teletext on and nothing else. Notably ITV are flinging as much as they can at the quotable punditry stakes with both Stuart Pearce and Sam Allardyce (although there's rumours Martin O'Neill has agreed to a late BBC call-up), but then they go and promote Steve Rider, who never presented football on the Beeb, to top frontman just for the tournament. What goes through that network's minds I'll never be able to tell.

9:58 pm, June 01, 2006

Blogger Paul said...

If the David Pleat button was a trigger you'd keep pressing till it went "click".

10:34 am, June 02, 2006

Blogger Chris Brown said...

There can be few people less qualified than I to discuss TV football coverage, but I did notice that the Beeb's radio trailers use 'Won't Get Fooled Again'. Are they trying to tell us something?

12:52 pm, June 04, 2006

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