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ITV’s FA Cup coverage was caught offside with Middlesbrough 1-2 Sunderland

9 February 2012 by

If it was up to me I would have football only shown on the BBC or on Sky Sports because they do a fantastic job at broadcasting football yet with the way things are with money in football the highest bidder gets the rights and that’s what ITV did to get the FA Cup coverage yet if anyone tuning into watch Middlesbrough vs Sunderland last night you would of had a hard time knowing they were covering the game.

Fabio Capello resigning as the England manager last night was out of nowhere, the news of which broke at around 7pm. With the way of the world the news was everywhere, you really couldn’t miss it, it was all over Twitter, BBC News, Sky News and it was on every website going so in a 30 minute block before ITV1 went on air with the FA Cup 4th round replay of Middlesbrough vs Sunderland so I would say everyone was clued up on Capello resigning.

The ITV team opened the program with talk of Capello resigning, fine, I was fine with that because some tuning into the game may not of known but they came back from an ad break to talk more on Fabio Capello resigning and the pathetic coverage started from there.

The opening 15 minutes should draw you into watching the game televised, i.e. tell you team news, manager interviews, talk about the two clubs playing but we got none of that. In the opening 15 minutes we got the views of Adrian Chiles, Roy Keane and Gareth Southgate on Capello resigning. I didn’t know the team news up until 30 seconds before the kick off which as a viewer isn’t good enough because I want to know whose playing.

Half time and it was Middlesbrough 0-1 Sunderland thanks to a brilliant strike from Jack Colback but did the ITV team care for that or any of the other 45 minutes of the game, no. More talk on Capello resigning. Sure it was massive news in football but ITV1 were there to broadcast an FA Cup game and the ITV team are employed to talk about that game but 15 minutes rolled on and nothing but Capello.

As a Sunderland fan I was finding it a little disrespectful on both teams that the ITV team couldn’t be arsed with the game going on over their shoulders. Apart from a small 20 seconds where Keane and Southgate said Colback’s goal was great that was the only half time analysis we the viewer got. Not good enough.

I know pundits can be annoying but sometimes as a viewer I don’t mind an ex-players input into the game but we got none from ITV.

The 2nd half went on and Lukas Jutkiewicz scored for Middlesbrough, great moment for him, the fans in the stadium and watching because credit to Middlesbrough, they played really well and you got a good amount of excitement from Peter Drury and Andy Townsend because of that but that soon went and even they were joining in telling the news of Capello resigning.

ITV were submitting us into submission with the amount of Fabio Capello talk during this game but if we thought they’d shut up about it they went lower and started to show what the England players were tweeting on Capello resigning.

Like we should care less what Wayne Rooney is tweeting about Capello, I care for the football match that was going on but my focus was not on the game it was on how bad ITV were covering the game and banging on about Capello even though I knew everything about it by know.

Full time came and the game went into extra time, Adrian Chiles still passing on the message of Capello resigning because it wasn’t as if they were banging on about it.

Stephane Sessegnon popped up with the winner 8 minutes before time and it ended Middlesbrough 1-2 Sunderland. Sunderland move on to play Arsenal in the 5th round while Middlesbrough can hold their heads up high after performing brilliantly. You’d expect now the ITV team to talk about the game that had finished and they did, all of about 6 minutes.

Highlights included both managers interviewed, all the goals, more Capello talk in there too and the two idiot fans that ran onto the pitch, yes ITV thought that two idiot fans running onto the pitch was a highlight. After all of that they then spent 30 minutes talking more about Capello. So in total about an hour of the 3 that ITV1 were on air with the game was spent talking about Fabio Capello resigning, appalling coverage.

At the end of the program I knew Middlesbrough 1-2 Sunderland was the worst televised game ever, not because of the game but because of the pathetic coverage where the ITV team only wanted to talk about Capello.

ITV should learn that when they went to broadcast a live football match they should concentrate on that game and not on other issues, talk about other issues for maybe 2 minutes but not for a third of the broadcast because as a viewer I expect more than the shower of rubbish I got with Middlesbrough 1-2 Sunderland.

Sunderland vs Arsenal 5th round tie is live on ITV1 as well, think I’ll go to that so I can watch the match and not watch more redeem chat on something other than the match that is being shown.

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  • Gordo

    Good article my friend I said a similar thing a few weeks ago

  • Bill Harris

    I agree entirley with the views expressed, I was equally displeased, though I would point out that Roy Keane, more than once, said “… we have just had a cracking game here…” in an attempt to get the show back on track, but it was like water off a ducks back to the one track miind of Mr Childs.

  • graeme

    excellent comments Graham, I could not agree more, see you at the cup game!

  • Kevin Snowdon

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s bad enough that ITV should pepper their football broadcasts with seemingly interminable sequences of puerile adverts, but their coverage of ‘the Fabio Capello resignation, sponsored by William Hill’ had me enraged! As a Sunderland supporter, I’ve always been a ‘club before country’ man, primarily because of a decades-long succession of England managers, of which Capello is merely the latest (though probably worst offending), who wouldn’t give any of our lads the steam off their doo-doos because England only select players from so-called fashionable clubs, wherever THAT notion came from… coincidentally enough, it didn’t seem to apply in 1966! Consequently, the England ‘club’ may represent my country, but I’ve never felt that it represents me. So if I’m watching Sunderland in a live match (itself only too rare an occurrence on terrestrial television), I want to hear informed opinion about Sunderland and, frankly, couldn’t give a rats about the latest instalment from the elitist soap opera that is Livermanchest-England-upon-Thames!

  • Trevor Henderson

    if this game had been man utd v liverpool, do you think capello would have recieved as much coverage , poor display itv pull your socks up or leave it to bbc, or sky.

  • Jeff Reay

    I'm really glad that I'm not the only one that was disgusted with the coverage. Chiles is a pathetic excuse for a football fan and presenter. You would never have thought that there had been an fa cup match which was very good to watch. ITV should give him the boot altogether.

  • juninhosmate

    To be honest you want to think yourselves lucky. I watched the game in the Middle East and the so called experts were Kevin Phillips, Dwight Yorke and Gordon Strachan. Being a Boro fan it was torture, again there was nothing about the match, just this lot drivelling on about that Italian gadgy who just left his 6 million pound a year job. The match itself had everything, that lot and obviously the ITV lot, well to me, they’ve got nowt.
    Good point by Mr Snowdon though!

  • Jack Routledge

    Totally agree with this. I can understand there being extended debate on Capello before the match but during halftime there's always a bit of tactical analysis, and we just didn't get it (not that I listen to it anyway as I think it's shallow and predictable). But it's still totally disrespectful. It's just gaffes galore with ITV.

  • Dean Costello

    I think this should apply to every major sport, it wasn't a coincidence I got bored of watching England and FA cup when ITV got its horrid mits on the coverage. Not to mention the sheer number of adverts.

  • Dean Costello

    Hang on did I just comment on a comment… Commentception.

  • Jack Routledge

    Yo dawg I heard you like comments so I commented on your comment relating to your comment about my comment.

  • Keith Clayton

    yoo guys crazeee

  • Keith Clayton

    commentception sounds like a strange new sex game

  • Neil Adamson

    Spot on

  • Mad Dave Redcar

    Great Article , as a Boro fan , i agree with the bloke who wrote this article , and thoroughly enjoyed the match , in a finely fought contest .I would also like to add , what have Boro done to upset Andy Townsend ? He was idolised here and snipes at us , on every match at the Riverside . I turned the game off at half time , and put it back on for the second half , because I can`t stand those self righteous to** pots , other than Gareth Southgate , and he`s ” Mr Nice-guy , dont want to upset anybody ” . ” Back to the Beeb ” I say .

  • Iain Lazenby

    I have just seen the FA’s so-called coverage on Youtube. It was appalling. Not one mention of the 6 million pound man, Rosie the dog’s owner or any tweets from football’s leading intellectuals. It’s not good enough!

  • Caroline Walker

    This is so true. All football should be on Sky Sports. SSN can rabbit about Capello all night while those wanting to watch the match can enjoy it uninterrupted.

  • Manny

    What was the score? Not sure I got it from the article.

    It’s spot on btw.

  • David Waugh

    ITv is always useless. I spend most matches screaming at the producer to show the bl@¥dy ball. Sky can be just as bad, especially in the second half when producers seem to lose interest in the game and spend time dwelling on the fans, manager, outside of the ground etc.

  • TerryD

    Agree with all of the comments, TV is like the England set up anything north of Manchester is meaningless unless you are a 30 goal a season striker. Only the top four and London get a mention, the northeast is far too cold for all the so called football glitteratie to travel too. The FA Cup has lost it’s glitter that is demonstrated by the fact that a non-English speaking Italian had resigned and he got most of the commentary, forget the fact he was going to fail again in the summer the cup game was more important and is what should have been commentated on. Take football away from Chiles and co,please please.

  • Alex Churcher

    Really annoyed me too and furthered my hatred of ITV sports coverage. Its offensive to fans of both sides that when they have their moment in the spotlight, it gets overlooked for something that noone could not have heard about. Their priority is always adverts, 4 minutes of coverage before the ads this time and then more before kickoff. Also a total disregard for the fact that anyone watching the game was watching it for one reason, the match itself. Fair enough mention Capello but don't forget the build up to the game or halftime and fulltime analysis. Its embarassing that none of the producers have watched BBC or Sky and thought, hmmm, we aren't very good are we, lets change it up! Remember when they missed Everton's winning goal against Liverpool because they went to ads too early. Its pathetic but as a Sunderland fan its been great to have every game shown live so I suppose its a case of every cloud!

  • Adrian Crowe

    I totally agree with comments here.As a Middlesbrough supporter of over 45 years I was disgusted with the ITV coverage.I`m in the process of contacting ITV Sport for their comments.

  • Kevin Snowdon

    Mr Crowe, I’ve also sent my comments to ITV, but I’m not exactly holding my breath over a response.

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