Saturday, 10 June 2006

BrokenTV's World Cup: Day One (and a bit)

Poland vs Ecuador.


Not one, but two sponsors for their coverage. The EDF Energy ones should be over quickly and be fairly inoffensive, but the ones for rubbish lager Budweiser, featuring ha-ha-larious spoof US soccer commentators, is sure to get tremendously tiresome very quickly.
- 1 point.

Uh-oh. Bad cover version of Bowie's Heroes as a theme. The German language version of the original that BBC played in their coverage of Germany-Costa Rica was much better.
- 2 points.

It seems their in-match graphics are less stupidly huge than the Beeb's web-coverage-friendly enormotext, which our eyes are quite pleased by. Quite nice on-screen presentation all round, really.
+ 1 point.

A DayToday-esque graph on Germany, Poland and Ecuador's respective sea levels, presented in such a way that we can surely expect more official ITV graphs as the tournament progresses. Excellent stuff.
+ 3 points.

The ad breaks seem much, much shorter than you'd expect. This is probably because it's only Ecuador vs Poland, and because no-one watches ITV any more, but we're feeling charitable. And at least lots of advertisers bother making half-decent adverts when a World Cup's on. Gillette and co banging on about 'real fans' when it's because of those exact companies hardly any real fans can actually go to the matches is a bit rich, but that's not ITV's fault.
+ 2 points.

Half time. Members of the England squad respond to questions from members of The Public. Despite our phobia of broadcasters banging on endlessly about England (there are 31 other teams involved, after all), quite a nice thing to include. We're not sure if they'd devote as much coverage to any other British nation if they'd been involved, but unless the other British nations start being more good, we're not likely to know any time soon (the Kirin Cup doesn't count).
+ 1 point.

We're taking a point back for the adverts, because that fucking TomTom advert has just been on.
- 1 point.

Ah, that ITV stalwart, a piss-easy compo that costs a lot of money in phone calls to enter.
- 1 point.

ITV Total: +2 points.

Bits we'd missed from the earlier match because we'd gone out, but had Sky+'ed.


Half time. Messing around with a slow-moving graphical gimmick to prove something we could see perfectly well for ourselves anyway - Costa Rica's first goal was onside. Sometimes I think BBC Sport resent not having adverts, which means they've got an extra six minutes to fill with nonsense every half-time.
-1 point.

A Peter Crouch interview. Better than droning on about Rooney's foot. And they shut up about his robot dance after the first minute of it, thankfully.
+1 point.

The aforementioned EnormoText lettering for the scores and time added on. We'll bet people with huge TVs are going to get serious sick of that. BrokenTV's telly isn't very large, and it made our eyes hurt a bit.
-2 points.

The backdrop of the Brandenburg Gate for the Beeb's punditry looks much, much nicer than ITV's cramped corporate box look. Plus, there's more room for the pundits to spread out - they had to be arranged in a right-angle on ITV, for Cloughey's sake.
+2 points.

BBC1 Total: 0 points.


(By the way, we know it's now meant to be UKTVG2, but that's the second stupidest name for a TV channel ever, so we're sticking with the old name. And we're not going to start saying ITV1 until their range of decent programming extends beyond the stuff with Harry Hill in it.)

Having a EPG listing as '2006 FIFA World Cup Germany (TM)'. Oh, thanks for the trademark. I was about to print up all these T-shirts and everything, but now I won't bother. What's wrong with 'World Cup Live', or even 'Germany vs Costa Rica Live'? Worried it'd look a bit daft on the stupidest name for a TV channel ever, UKTVG2+1?
- 1 point.

Bringing in Members Of Ver Public to watch their coverage, and interviewing them about the game while it's going on. Have they learned nothing from Channel Five's coverage of England matches in 1997?
- 2 points.

They're asking Spoony back to judge a special 'Spoony's Goal of the Season' (we think they actually mean tournament). Lord, no.
- 3 points.

Piss-easy rip-off phone compo, for a much more rubbish prize than ITV have up for grabs.
- 2 points.

UKG2 Total: -8 points.

Other stuff:

Best World Cup-related Advert So Far: Puma.
For having Pele in it, and for trumpeting the fact that the likes of Iran and Saudi Arabia wear their gear. A refreshing change from saluting the efforts of moneyed Serie A, Premiership and La Liga stars.

Current standing at close of play Friday, 9th June.

BBC: 2 points
ITV: 2 points
UKG2: -16 points

So, all to play for between the big two. Meanwhile, this year's minnows looking very much out of their depth. What will day two bring? And will the added on effect of Chiles-fronted highlights shows (that we haven't had time to watch yet) shove some extra points into the BBC column? We shall see.

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