Updated:Mar 15, 2023 6:58 pm
Today it was announced that Gary Linker would be returning to BBC Sport’s Match Of The Day this weekend, after being accused of his comments on the language used by ministers in discussing the government asylum policy.
Tim Davie(Director General of BBC) made a public apology on Monday, regarding the disruption to the weekend’s sports programming, and put forward an independent review of the corporation’s internal social media guidelines.
“Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences,” “I apologise for this. The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air.”Tim Davie: The Guardian
“Impartiality is important to the BBC,” “It is also important to the public. The BBC has a commitment to impartiality in its charter and a commitment to freedom of expression. That is a difficult balancing act to get right where people are subject to different contracts and on-air positions, and with a different audience and social media profiles.”
But why say this now when you could have spoken to Lineker about what exactly was he trying to say?
Since its inception in 1964, MOTD has been the BBC’s most popular sports program, especially for football fans.
Its pundits include ex-Premier League footballers such as Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, who were in support of Lineker’s accusations, and decided to also step down from punditry if Lineker was stripped from presenting the show.
“BBC bosses need to appreciate better how important Match of the Day is and what Gary Lineker brings to it. In an era of teams being more tactically sophisticated, the insight that Lineker & pundits bring is even more important. They spend hours watching games, then air analysis.”Alan Shearer: Mirror
And this is where the fans are playing their part to convince the BBC that the show is a well-run production and does not intend to offend anyone of that sort, regardless of their opinion.
But with Lineker being the BBC’s highest-paid presenter, he should maybe have thought about rephrasing his comments in a way that the government would not have felt offended.
Coming back to the topic of MOTD and Lineker, people don’t just watch the show to catch up on the day’s games, they love the match analysis that he and his fellow pundits give, and sometimes they can be amusing, and that’s the beauty of the show.
Sometimes when you watch a show and you get used to the presenter, and then you suddenly realize that they are no longer part of it, you may begin to lose interest, and that’s when people stop watching the show and find other platforms, such as YouTube, etc, to watch highlights of the day’s games.
And when that happens, the BBC would be left with no choice, but to shut down the show, if the number of viewers that love watching the show decrease.
According to the Daily Mail, Match of the Day contributes just 2% of the Premier League’s annual broadcast income of £ 3.5 billion, yet arguably delivers more benefits to a larger number of viewers than any other TV deal done by the league.
This is why it is so important to keep the show running, along with its presenters and pundits, to ensure that the program and the BBC, make its worth.
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