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ITV Sports Launch Review
By: Paul Holmes
A DAWN of a new TV era has started with ITV Sports officially launching earlier at 5:30pm to show the match between Man City and Watford (why not Grimsby Vs Crewe?!?).
To be fair the network probably picked the best game available (cue arguments from Gillingham fans), two of the hot favourites for the divisional title went head to head in an exciting game ending 3-0 to City. But who cares about the result when all that matters is what the coverage was like?
Well to be honest at first I was embarrassed watching it, the mistakes were frequent and at times amateurish. One incident happened before the game when Gabby Yorath (Loan) plugged a feature that was coming after the break and that was it...... the camera just stayed on her and she sat for a good 30 seconds smiling, in the corner Ally McCoist giggled to himself whilst Gabby apologised for the problem.
Later on Gabby had a cheap swipe at the Mariners, when she made the trademark "Places like Stockport and Grimsby" comment, Ally stuck up for us but I can't remember his exact words. Oh former Town captain Graham Taylor was the other studio guest.
Onto the game, Clive Tyldsley and Fat Ron 'Town will go down' Atkinson were in the commentary box. Clive told us how it had always been his ambition to work with..... Terry Venables, Ron didn't get the joke. Whilst introducing the teams Tyldsley decided that Shaun Goater had changed his first name (can't remember what to).
In the game the coverage was pretty much what you expect from ITV, not as good as SKY yet about a million times better than the Beeb. The coverage was almost identical to the Champions League.
After the game ITV used their 'Hawkeye' system to determine a few offside decisions that were obvious to Stevie Wonder, it looked good though giving the exact distance from the last man and the offending player.
Gabby then plugged a few more ITV Sports matches before saying goodbye whilst Ally was still giggling in the corner.
P.S I lost count of Fat Ron's little phrases of lollipops and thimmygigs. Then again he was awfully quiet, probably eating humble pie
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