Next Sunday is time for the Beeb to wheel out the annual celebration of all things sporting that is Sports Personality Of The Year. It’s true that the broadcaster no longer has a monopoly of major sporting events, but this event is well liked by athletes and viewers alike.
But, alas, it is not liked by Richard “Dirty” Desmond’s remaining hacks at the increasingly threadbare Daily Express. In today’s paper, one Neil Squires has put his name to a piece titled “BBC Ditch The Ashes For Sports Personality Of The Year”. So it might be thought that the Beeb were intending to screen the Third Ashes Test this weekend.
Except that they weren’t. The BBC decided at the outset not to bid for the rights, and eventually ITV decided to buy in: the highlights will be screened on ITV4. So the BBC have not “ditched” anything. And the lack of accuracy in the Express article doesn’t stop there.
Sports Personality Of The Year will be broadcast from 1900 to 2100 hours on Sunday next. Squires asserts that “At the same time ... highlights from day four of the Third Test will be running on ITV4”. Except that they won’t: the broadcast does not start until 2200 hours.
Otherwise, the article is pure Phil Space and why-oh-why. Typical of the poorly thought out arguments is this gem: “surely it is not too much to ask for the BBC to bid on our behalf for a few universally accessible highlights?”
You haven’t heard of something called Premiership Football, then, Neil?
[WARNING: anyone looking at the Express piece should avoid what look like hyperlinks in the text, as these are yet more adverts]