SKY TV in Britain is a broadcaster which dominates sports. It shows Champions League soccer; it covers international rugby; it follows intercontinental cricket tours; it beams out the NFL and its Super Bowl; it even has a channel dedicated to Formula 1.
It is responsible for nursing hangovers on a Sunday afternoon as they schedule back to back premier league games. It becomes the focal point of nights out as pay per view boxing clashes are set up. It is home to some of the most controversial and entertaining former sportsmen and women.
Of course this major broadcaster does not always get it right. More often than not they are the forefront of the Zeitgeist, blowing stories out of proportion. They are, after all, Sky Sports and their dedicated news channel has to turn something up, right?
In the hunt for exclusives they sometimes overplay the significance of events. They will repeat a segment till it is ingrained in your consciousness. Also, by placing far too much emphasis on the opinions of those who ‘played the game’ analysis can fall to the mercy of some with agendas or connections with others still in the game.
As a Scotsman I would suggests that this is impossible to avoid, as it is England’s Sky Sports. However, sometimes they get it right and sometimes they accidentally get it very, very right.
Look at these two videos following the Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Chelsea. Obviously the Sky Sports team were Pro-Chelsea, an English side. However, when the Fernando Torres goal went in, rendering Chelsea Champions League finalist, pandemonium erupted.
Gary Neville, the former Manchester United captain and one of the truly impressive and professional pundits for Sky, fell into what is now dubbed ‘the Scoregasm’. This is just pure enjoyment and, while very funny, also captures the feeling at that time.
Immediately after this, though, one of Sky’s roving reporters, Geoff Shreeves, attempted to glean some emotion out of Branislav Ivanovic who had just realized he would miss out on the Champions League final because of a ban. It is car crash TV at its finest, and alongside Neville’s drooling scream seems wholly appropriate for a night where Chelsea smashed away convention and did something few thought possible.