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Disbelieving Newcastle Fans Watch BT Sport Cut To Adverts During Tributes To John and Liam

10 years ago

If you ever wondered just how clueless the people are who run football these days, you only have to look at the BT Sport clowns responsible for the live coverage of Newcastle United v Sydney FC earlier today.

The company who now cover the Premier League alongside Sky, had shelled out to buy the right to cover the Football United four team tournament in New Zealand.

A minimal fee paid to cover pretty low key pre season matches, Newcastle/West Ham playing Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC, games surely only of interest to fans of the four clubs.

Events of course had overtaken this little tournament, with the sad loss of John Alder and Liam Sweeney, two Newcastle fans who were en route to New Zealand when tragedy struck.

Well publicised beforehand, Newcastle’s match with Sydney was to be the focus for the first proper tributes to the two supporters, at one of United’s games.

Somebody clearly forgot to tell BT Sport.

TV viewers watched incredulous as the emotional coverage of Fabricio Coloccini and Alan Pardew laying wreaths on the seats where Liam and John would have sat, was suddenly interrupted by adverts, with the cameras only coming back halfway through the minute’s silence.

The broadcaster has quite rightly been slated by supporters and been forced to apologise.

The disrespect to the occasion is obvious but it also tells you what nuggets we have in charge of the TV coverage, how they couldn’t realise that it was a great privilege and honour to cover this and that they were fortunate in terms of having such a poignant moment to cover, totally escapes me.

While manager, players and fans were giving their full attention and respect to the occasion, BT Sport were showing adverts for Birdseye, SEAT, McDonald’s, Expedia and Strongbow, plus one of their own in-house adverts for future match coverage.

The BT Sport spokesman/apologist reacted to the anger with;

“We apologise for any upset caused by a mistimed break during the Newcastle game.

“The timing was unintentional and we will show the tributes and the minute’s silence in full at the end of the game, as well as put all the footage online.”

I think they miss the point in that tributes/minute’s silence are all about capturing the moment as it happens if you are watching it live, not something which later you catch up with the highlights of. Must do better.


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