“he’s been hit by a sniper “

Believably this is one of the comments or commentary that slipped from the lips of Mark Lawrenson the other night – he spoke these words as an Italian player briefly rolled about on the pitch clutching his thigh enjoying a few seconds respite from the Spanish crushing.

I presume he knows that while he was chipping in the occasional bon mot Twitter was alive with a wall of derision on everything he said.

He’s paid to utter words like these, paid a lot of money – so why is it that the BBC and others pay people to speak utter nonsense ?

It must be that the broadcasters believe that they make a positive difference and that the money paid somehow adds to the ratings.I cannot believe there is any evidence for this.

Before I continue it’s a bit unfair that Mark is singled out as ITV have their very own howler in the shape of Adrian Chiles who exacts exactly the same Twitter response although in 3 handy spikes pre match – half time and post match drivel. It seems ironic that as ITV does everything it can to wriggle out of Regional Television it has as its lead the very epitome of what poor regional tv was about in the first place.

So what has been the viewers reaction to poor or puerile commentary ? Well they’ve stuck with the pictures and sought the commentary elsewhere.

Hats off to the BBC as you could via the red button even listen to a CBBC version of the match which is where many current commentators would feel more comfortable.

ITV of course had no alternative so many switched to Radio : Radio Five Live or to Absolute radio who probably had the best spoken coverage of anyone.

So is there any evidence that the pundits add to the rating ? Unfortunately no, even with Lawro winding up viewers the BBC blew ITV out of the dual coverage water by a magnitude of 6 to 1.

It does however spoil the experience of millions of viewers,millions who expressed similar dissatisfaction with Fearne Cotton and her sick bag during the Jubilee flotilla. Millions who with second screen technology who can now tick the pictures and swop the commentary.

So what is the solution, how can the viewer be allowed to enjoy a match with only the slightest of chivvying……

Only one solution and that’s to get Motty back to do the lot – he’d never say that.

  • Paul Keers

    Writing, like live commentary, is a particular skill, and it’s all too easy to criticise someone’s failures.

    Someone, for example, who writes “ads to the ratings” when he means “adds”; writes “have there very own howler” when it should be “their”; and writes “Has as it’s lead” when he means “its”.

    Sometimes, it’s worth employing someone out of their usual role, as former footballer or digital media expert, because they bring additional insights to their commentary.

    And sometimes, they just get it wrong…

    • martin bowley

      Thanks for the spell check

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