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Gary Lineker "has launched a passionate defence of Match of the Day by suggesting that the BBC's often maligned football highlights programme still 'sets the tone' and 'leads the way' in its coverage of the game," according to Donald McRae of the London GUARDIAN. He "also voiced his belief that enduring criticism of the programme, which the former England striker began to present in 1999, has been led by the Daily Mail, and 'their anti-BBC issue.'" Scrutiny of Match of the Day "has intensified since the emergence of Gary Neville as a trenchant football pundit at Sky." Lineker admits "I wish we had [Neville] on Match of the Day," but points to the fact that the BBC program "is still much more widely watched than Sky's football shows and that 'we generally hit between six to seven million [viewers] every weekend.'" Lineker's comments follow the announcement that the BBC's leading football pundit, Alan Hansen, "will leave after the World Cup next summer." Lineker: "Match of the Day has fundamentally improved since we got the [TV rights] contract back in 2003, but football is so emotive and that's why people are never going to be entirely satisfied" (GUARDIAN, 9/30).
German pay-TV channel Sky "received satisfying ratings for its broadcast of Sunday's Bundesliga games," according to Alexander Krei of DWDL. The game between Bremen and Nuremberg, which started at 3:30pm German time, attracted an average of 520,000 viewers. In the target demographic 14-49, the 3-3 draw obtained a 3.7% market share. Sunday's second matchup in which Stuttgart beat Braunschweig 4-0 was watched by 510,000 viewers. The game, which started at 5:30pm, recorded a 3.1% share in the target demographic (DWDL, 9/30).
BERLIN MARATHON: DWDL's Krei also reported German public broadcaster ARD "obtained only average ratings for its broadcast of Sunday's Berlin Marathon." Starting at 8:20am, ARD attracted an average of 600,000 viewers. The number translated into a market share of 7.8%. In the target demographic, the broadcast received a 4.4% share. German regional public broadcaster RBB, which also aired the marathon, "received convincing ratings." The channel attracted an average of 100,000 viewers during its five-hour broadcast. The number equaled a market share of 11% in its viewing area, Berlin and Brandenburg (DWDL, 9/30).