Friday, July 3, 2009

The BBC rocks

The Murray v Wawrinka match was remarkable in several ways. Obviously, it was an outstanding tennis match and it was heartening to see Murray prove himself up against such a physically strong player. Also, as my contemporary John McEnroe said, it is astonishing to think that Wimbledon now has a roof (on the centre court) and a video/computer line call checker. Both came beautifully into play in the Murray/Wawrinka match, which would have involved an overnight pause if it hadn't been for the roof.

But the biggest feat of the match was to demonstrate the awesome national treasure that is the BBC. Now come on, just look at what they did. They showed the match from 6.46pm until 10.40pm non-stop on BBC1! Four hours of prime time TV without a single advert break, meanwhile they shoved their regular programmes unceremoniously onto BBC2.

Now that is great, and it is hard to think of any other broadcaster in the world who can do that, on such a scale, providing the game to millions.

Top slicing anyone? Come off it. ITV has provided regional programmes for years through advertising. In fact, the regional programmes now are a shadow of what they were in the sixties and seventies.

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