BBC suffer huge technical error just seconds into Chelsea vs Man Utd as already-limited coverage descends into farce | The Sun

THE BBC suffered another farce as the world feed commentary cut after just 19 seconds in a major technical gaffe.

The Beeb were showing today's top-of-the-table Chelsea vs Manchester United crunch clash in the WSL.

But with no pundits or commentators working for the broadcaster as they stood in solidarity with Gary Lineker, the commentary was provided by Nigel Adderley, who "welcomed viewers from around the world" and referenced the "global audience".

However, just 19 SECONDS into the match at Kingsmeadow, the sound cut out – leaving TV viewers only able to hear the stadium noise – just like on Match of the Day last night.

It was just a brief technical blip though, and Adderley's dulcet tones returned 22 seconds later.

The Beeb already had the rights to show the 12.30pm kick-off, with the show set to start 15 minutes earlier on BBC Two, before the major fallout following Lineker's suspension.


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Instead, the schedule was changed to start at 12.25pm to allow time for a ten-minute Hairy Bikers apple pie masterclass, with the WSL listing on BBC iPlayer stating: "Reshmin Chowdhury presents the action as Chelsea entertain Manchester United."

But instead of the usual format of a presenter and pundits either in a studio or pitchside, fans were greeted by initial silence and a general camera view of the pitch – and pointedly no sign of Chowdhury or any other pundits.

There was the Beeb's WSL theme tune and intro compilation featuring Chelsea and United stars.

But then it went straight into the world feed with commentator Nigel Adderley's introduction.

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Blue Is The Colour pumped out over the Kingsmeadow tannoy as the players lined up in the tunnel – with the song even heard during the theme tune video.

The BBC were able to use the world feed, aimed primarily at the US and global audience, for commentary amid the BBC boycott due to a separate contract with the FA.

But with no presenter or pundits for such a mammoth game in women's football, it had a very different feel from the usual pre-match build-up – although the graphics with the line-ups retained the BBC Sport branding and style.

Half-time consisted of highlights from last week's Continental League Cup final with no analysis on the live match.

And there will be no post-match reaction or live interviews.

One viewer said: "The sound has not been great so far (not a comment on Nigel Adderley). The BBC have totally killed their sport provision.

"Normally you'd see putting a high profile WSL game on terrestrial TV with all the associated pomp as a real honour – this is not as good as the FA Player."

Another joked: "Are the sound engineers also showing solidarity at the BBC? The volume pitchside and the world feed commentary are completely mismatched 🤣🤣🤣"

And a third fumed: "It's a real shame that the biggest WSL game of the season is being impacted by the BBC's idiotic decision to suspend Gary Lineker. The last thing women's football needs is reduced coverage."

Alex Scott and Kelly Somers regularly present the WSL Match of the Day matches but both refused to work on Football Focus while Eilidh Barbour likes tweets from her colleagues regarding the boycott.

The WSL coverage is the latest BBC sports programme to be affected by the decision to suspend Lineker for his tweets relating to the Government's Illegal Migration Bill.

A "farcical" Match of the Day, which he has presented since 1999, looked totally bizarre with no theme tune, studio chat, punditry, interviews or commentary.

Pundits and commentators including Alan Shearer and Ian Wright stood in support with Lineker – who made the most of his free Saturday after being told to step back by the Beeb to go and watch his beloved Leicester at the King Power.


The reduced-length, 20-minute MOTD was watched by 2.58million people last night – up 500,000 on the previous week – no doubt because curious fans were simply intrigued by how the show would look.

Football Focus, Final Score and BBC Radio 5 Live Sport were all pulled just hours before they were set to go on air on Saturday, too.

Later tonight, Match of the Day 2 – usually presented by Mark Chapman who refused to present 5 Live Sport – will have no host or pundits in a similar reduced format.

As revealed by The Sun, BBC boss Tim Davie is in a personal stalemate with Lineker as neither man prepares to back down in the impartiality row.

BBC bosses have demanded Lineker agree to stop posting political messages online after he criticised the Government’s small boats policies.

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But a source close to the £1.35m-a-year England legend insisted he would carry on, despite the reaction to his comparison between Tory immigration rhetoric and Nazi Germany.

BBC director-general Tim Davie admitted it had been a “difficult day” — but said of quitting: “My job is to serve licence fee-payers and I look forward to resolving this situation.”

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