Is it time to take a permanent break?

Tim MacWilliam, Future Radio I have never been a massive fan of Formula One but when I occasionally cast an eye towards the end of the season to witness Lewis Hamilton's near miss and then subsequent championship a year later I was left open mouthed at the astonishing decision to take advert breaks throughout the race.

Tim MacWilliam, Future Radio

I have never been a massive fan of Formula One but when I occasionally cast an eye towards the end of the season to witness Lewis Hamilton's near miss and then subsequent championship a year later I was left open mouthed at the astonishing decision to take advert breaks throughout the race.

I have a real sympathy for F1 fans as ITV play a version of Russian roulette going to commercials when anything can happen and quite often seems to, surely this is the quickest way to alienate any product being promoted while the world championship sits on a knife edge, welcome to the world of ITV sport.

This week you had to feel slightly sorry for them when the two hours of FA Cup boredom culminated in a goal for Everton while we were being treated to the benefits of BT broadband.


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I had initially assumed someone in the house had sat on the remote control but it was someone at ITV who had sat on the wrong button - of course if a goal hadn't been scored no-one would have noticed

While Sky soon silenced the doubters with innovative new ideas for live television that have raised the bar for everyone the more established commercial broadcaster continues to fall flat on their face.

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Looking back ten years I remember Solskjaer's last minute winner over Bayern Munich giving the European Cup to Manchester United, the amazing drama of the moment ruined by the decision to go to an ad break just a split second after the final whistle prompting David Mellor to suggest that ITV be stripped of broadcasting rights

Of course the lessons were never learned and on the last day of the regular season at Carrow Road in 2002 following a 2-0 win over Stockport, a large TV audience waited with baited breath along with 25,000 at the match to see if Burnley had pipped us to the play-offs with a vital third goal in their match.

Surely any programme editor or producer should have stayed with the Norwich fans glued to portable radios while they lived through the agony of Paul Gascoigne striking the post in injury time before the whistle blew and unconfined joy ensued, but of course the armchair audience were forced to contemplate the posh chocolates enjoyed by the ambassador thus missing the chance to share in the magic moment when the Canaries reached the play-offs

So will the lessons be learned from Wednesday night and more importantly will the lessons be learned that football and indeed all sports should consider how they are portrayed by the broadcaster not just the amount of money they pay? The effects of the disastrous liaison with ITV digital are still being felt years later.

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