Thursday, 21 May 2009

TV3... why oh why

Howdy folks,

Thanks to work I didn’t catch the entire UEFA Cup final last night but upon flicking on the TV I made a serious schoolboy error by settling on TV3. In case any viewers were in any doubt they reminded us time and time again that this was “the last UEFA cup final ever”. As if we were witnessing a moment in history equal with D-Day or the last episode of Cheers.

The more accurate truth, that the competition – which has had its heart ripped out and then been shat upon by UEFA – is being re-branded as the Europa League barely got a mention. Coming complete with a new 48-team group stage that will get about as many viewers as Network Two’s usual bi-monthly screening of Judge (“I am de laawww”) Dredd at two in the morning, next year’s competition is already looking like one of UEFA’s great follies.

Now, I’d never complain about there being too much football on TV but I think it is time to face up to the fact that next season there will be too much football on the wrong channels. TV3 have exclusive rights to the Europa League and, lest we forget, will also be broadcasting the Tuesday night games in the Champions League. Some may see them as an easy target but this is a channel that drowns out the sound of the crowd so we can get to hear their unfeasibly stupid commentator Trevor Welch above everything else. They think people want this. They think this improves the viewing experience. They are very, very wrong.

They hire Mark Lawrenson again and again even though he says even less than he does on the BBC (which some may see as a plus in fairness), indeed the former Liverpool defender is clearly there for a nixer he can’t believe is still going no matter how little he tries. We don’t know as yet if Packie Bonner will be on board but let’s hope if he is then he’s gotten over that terror that consumed him until (a) they went to the ads or, (b) they discussed a goalkeeping error.

Please say they’ve hired a few new editors at least. This, after all, is the channel who chopped up highlights of one of the great European games of the decade (Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Barcelona in 2005) so badly that at one point the footage jumped from a Barcelona attack petering out directly to Frank Lampard swinging in a corner which John Terry nodded in as Ricardo Carvalho nudged the Catalan’s keeper out of the way.

They Tallaght-based company also specialise in showing shots of the bench that include subs that have already been introduced onto the pitch. Minor quibble I know, but it reminds you of the sub-standard fare they serve up to the viewing public. We’re not asking for miracles here, just a few easy steps to make their football shows bearable.

At present though, are TV3 the worst channel around for sports coverage? ITV at least have better sound and… okay well, nothing else but they have better sound. Setanta possess the chunky but often funny freakshow of Phat Pat, and also have a near-instant highlights package of the goals from the other Champions League games, which you have to admit, is pretty decent.

Elsewhere, while RTE may have slipped in recent years, they have been bang on form again of late and even Sky Sports have the odd decent match-commentary team as long as you avoid the planks in the studio.

Shoddily run, annoying and continually pining for mediocrity with zero controversial punditry, last night confirmed that TV3 have learned nothing in the years since RTE won sole coverage of the Champions League. Next season will be the usual dull mix, with most of the commentary and studio chat focusing on the ‘hey, we’re TV3, we have coverage woo-hoo!’ angle rather than the actual game itself. Maybe they should get Vincent Browne on to host the thing instead of Packie actually; at this stage he couldn’t make it any worse.

“Now, John Toshack you’ve managed in Europe, your views on David Silva in a moment, but first the thorny issue of Libertas…”

Roll on Wednesday nights next season…

Later folks, JJ


Mark said...

i'm not one for vendettas (well..., i am a bit...) but vincent browne needs a punch in the face

Parrotbait said...

Good post, agree with it mostly. ITV are horrible, can't see TV3 over in the UK and sorely miss RTE. Sky Sports are mostly pants IMO though and can't stand their sitting on the fence bullshit. I'd dearly love to see Dunphy on there for just 20 minutes some night, he's shake it up a bit I'd say

Anonymous said...

Trevor fucking Welch every Tuesday?? You can stick your champions league up your arse! TV3 is the worst television station in western Europe and probably beyond!