Andy Gray Returns To Co-Commentary For First Time Since Losing Sky Job
Andy Gray's return to co-commentary for the first time since losing his Sky job after making off-camera sexist comments in '11 "earned BT Sport a mixed reception," according to the London GUARDIAN. Gray, who has worked alongside former colleague Richard Keys on TalkSport and in Doha since the row, "made a one-off appearance" at Stevenage -- "prompting some viewers to threaten to cancel their subscriptions over BT's apparent endorsement of sexist views" (GUARDIAN, 1/25). In London, Charles Sale reported the fact beIN Sports agreed to Gray working for BT Sport, even on a one-off basis, "opens up some intriguing possibilities over future shared football ambitions." It "will cause huge concern" for Sky if beIN Sports and BT "join forces for the next Premier League rights auction" (DAILY MAIL, 1/24). In Dublin, Ben Rumsby reported the decision to appoint Gray, widely credited with reinventing football punditry in Britain during almost 20 years at Sky, "is part of a wider strategy" to build a relationship with Middle East network beIN Sports, formerly Al Jazeera Sport. BT Sport’s appointment of Gray for Saturday’s game "could lead to further appearances on the new network." And if his U.K. TV return alone "fails to create shockwaves at his former employers at Sky, a blossoming relationship between BT Sport and a broadcaster whose financial muscle dwarfs even that of its bitter rival just might" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 1/24).