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Smallscreen

Football television coverage, with its tiresome cast of has-beens and also-rans, remains stuck in the past. Why will no one break the mould?

By David Herman   July 2006

Channel 4’s coverage of the Ashes won four prizes at the Royal Television Society’s recent sports awards. No surprise there—Mark Nicholas and his team reinvented cricket coverage. They gave us new technology (Hawk-Eye, super slo-mo, revealing sound), detailed expert analysis from Simon Hughes and a large team of smart commentators.

Compare this with football coverage, which has barely changed since the 1960s. The technology has improved, of course. In 1966 we saw the action replay for the first time, during the opening game of the World Cup between England and Uruguay. The BBC was besieged by calls from puzzled viewers…

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