Thursday, 30 January 2014

Time for BT Sport to sort themselves out

Yesterday I spent the evening in the Mill Hill Services club watching Manchester City stuff Tottenham Hotspur. I love watching football in pubs and clubs with a crowd. You get a completely different perspective on a match to sitting at home, where the atmosphere is calm and you can analyse things in a completely rational manner. Yesterdays match turned on the decision to disallow a goal scored by Tottenham Hotspur for offside. TV armchair fans have become used to the slick and professional presentation of SKY TV. What we witnessed yesterday was nothing short of scandalous. The coverage completely failed to show the relevant camera angle showing the offside line properly until several minutes after the incident. They also failed to show the view from the Linesman until much later. The graphics they used were derided in the club as looking like "subbuteo players". BT have spent a huge amount on the football contract, but seem to have spent nothing on investment in a proper backroom staff. One of my ex studio staff works as a live VT editor for SKY TV. When we discussed the job of a live VT editor, she told me that it is a highly specialised skill and few people are any good at it. Being able to supply the best camera angle and the best clip within seconds of the incident is a key part of the job and involves a whole team of people. It seems to me that BT are scrimping on this. Whilst the viewers at the club were interested in the football, by the end we were talking more about how bad BT Sport are at covering games, compared to SKY than what a great game of football we'd been watching. I wonder if the executives at BT who decide how much they want to spend on technical support for the games ever watch football at all, let alone in clubs and pubs. They need to sort it out ASAP as they are in danger of becoming a laughing stock.

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