SBD/Issue 96/Sports Media

ITV Blunder Causes Viewers To Miss FA Cup Winning Goal

Gosling Scores Crucial Goal In Extra Time To 
Beat Liverpool, But Many Viewers Missed It
England's Football Association (FA) confirmed that it will "seek urgent talks" today with ITV after coverage of yesterday's Liverpool-Everton fourth-round FA cup match was "interrupted at [a] crucial moment by an unscheduled advertising break," according to Ley & Smith of the London TELEGRAPH. ITV announcer Steve Rider said "technical faults" were to blame for the commercials, which aired during extra time. When live coverage returned, Everton MF Dan Gosling had already scored the winning goal. It is understood that an automated system that airs ads "kicked in as the game continued in extra time." The system is "not designed for live events such as football games which can over-run and delay the schedule." ITV also "failed to show the game's other pivotal moment" -- Liverpool MF Lucas receiving a red card in the second half -- instead focusing on "close-ups of other players" (London TELEGRAPH, 2/5). In London, Bill Edgar reports some viewers had their coverage restored right as Gosling scored, but others "rejoined the action only when the Everton players were celebrating." Meanwhile, ITV also was forced to apologize following coverage of the Histon-Leeds United second-round FA Cup match when fans' profanities were audible on the broadcast (LONDON TIMES, 2/5). ITV today said that it has received 1,000 complaints about the Liverpool-Everton incident (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 2/5).

OUT OF LUCK? In Manchester, Owen Gibson writes through a "combination of bad luck and poor judgment," ITV's coverage of the FA Cup is "beginning to look cursed." The Histon-Leeds game "provided the hoped for shock but struggled for clear pictures through driving rain," and ITV later in that telecast apologized "after broadcasting swearing fans on the pitch and naked players in the dressing room" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 2/5).

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