The Commentary Controversy | Vital Football

The Commentary Controversy

Brendan Bradley

Vital Squad Member
#1
I realise there are different views about the importance of this, however an Accrington Stanley fan complained to BBC Radio Lincolnshire about last week's game.

First point - I've never understood why people get so wound up about this they have to bother making an "official" complaint

Second point - The only positive thing I can say about the reply is that at least he had the decency to do it......

Copy of email. 14/2/2021:

Hi,
I'm an Accrington Stanley supporter. I've just watched the Lincoln City v Accrington Stanley game on iFollow linked with a Radio Lincolnshire commentary.

This has to be one of the worst live commentaries I've heard. The main commentator was very poor, he hardly ever referred to any of the Stanley players by name. Constantly referring to them as "the Accrington player". Was he provided with a detailed away team sheet before the kick off?

No complaints regarding the co-presenter, in fact I found him to be very complementary and more knowledgeable throughout the game.

There are several comments regarding this issue beginning to appear on the Stanley fans forum.

I feel I had to bring this to your attention as it spoiled my enjoyment of the game.

Kind Regards,




Reply. 17/2/2021:

Thanks for your email about our commentary, and the issue of the naming of players.

When I began commentating I would take great pride in naming every player on the pitch in both teams. However the commentary coaches I have had since, have encouraged me, as a local radio commentator, to focus on the teams we cover in terms of names. The argument is that the vast majority of our local audience won’t know many of the other teams players’, so we should talk about teams rather than individuals.

Clearly things have changed of late as BBC Commentary is now taken on Ifollow. As a consequence you now have a radio commentary with a video feed, and also a reliance on just one of the stations, because of covid guidelines, and not your usual station at away games.

Whilst our focus has to remain on our local audience, we may look to tweak what we do during the covid crisis to add a few more opposition players. I appreciate this won’t impact Accrington games, unless we meet in the playoffs, but hopefully it reflects that we are open to what you say.

Good luck for the rest of the season.

Best Wishes

Michael Hortin
Sports Editor
BBC Radio Lincolnshire
 
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sedgleyimp

Vital Football Hero
#3
So by that argument any England game covered nationally shouldn't bother learning how to pronounce the names of the Polish midfielders because there will only be England supporters listening. A poor excuse in my opinion.

Was it worthy of an official complaint. Not sure, but if it gets Hortin and whomever his commentary coaches are to think about it perhaps it might benefit us all in the future
 

mikeosullivan

Vital Reserves Team
#8
Very pleased to see the Accrington fan took the time to complain. I was cringing at times watching that game on iFollow, feeling sorry for the Accrington fans who has paid their £10 and had no option (other than turning the sound off) to listen to Hortin's total lack of preparation.

We can comment on here all we like, but its only direct complaints like that to Radio Lincolnshire that will make him do his job better.
 

oldgaurd

Vital 1st Team Regular
#9
Very pleased to see the Accrington fan took the time to complain. I was cringing at times watching that game on iFollow, feeling sorry for the Accrington fans who has paid their £10 and had no option (other than turning the sound off) to listen to Hortin's total lack of preparation.

We can comment on here all we like, but its only direct complaints like that to Radio Lincolnshire that will make him do his job better.
I still cant get Kelly Marie out of my head . That song will for ever be synonymous with that late Accy equalizer .'My head is a spin
 

Impala

Vital Squad Member
#10
Hard to argue with the Stanley fan's points raised, and he doesn't even mention the technical issues last week. Radio commentary will always vary with TV (where you will get away with short silences), so I can forgive some of the nonsense they come out with. However, surely they should do some research on the opposition and know some names?
And does anyone really believe Hortin receives Commentary training?? Who are these people.
Other than Pompey/Hull briefly getting a bit excitable, the 'away' commentaries we've had have been great; Wimbledon's in particular was fantastic. It's noticeable 'away' commentators have a bit of a script on Lincoln to fill breaks in play; even if this is not provided by the club then half an hour on Google/Twitter or emailing their counterparts would provide some material, it's not rocket science.
 

bristolimp

Vital Football Hero
#11
Have a woken up in a parallel universe where CV-19 doesn’t exist? Why is this not front page news?

Very funny that the scouser complained (not like them?) and got a reply from the horses mouth
 

HoofGrantBrown

Vital Squad Member
#17
I realise there are different views about the importance of this, however an Accrington Stanley fan complained to BBC Radio Lincolnshire about last week's game.

First point - I've never understood why people get so wound up about this they have to bother making an "official" complaint

Second point - The only positive thing I can say about the reply is that at least he had the decency to do it......

Copy of email. 14/2/2021:

Hi,
I'm an Accrington Stanley supporter. I've just watched the Lincoln City v Accrington Stanley game on iFollow linked with a Radio Lincolnshire commentary.

This has to be one of the worst live commentaries I've heard. The main commentator was very poor, he hardly ever referred to any of the Stanley players by name. Constantly referring to them as "the Accrington player". Was he provided with a detailed away team sheet before the kick off?

No complaints regarding the co-presenter, in fact I found him to be very complementary and more knowledgeable throughout the game.

There are several comments regarding this issue beginning to appear on the Stanley fans forum.

I feel I had to bring this to your attention as it spoiled my enjoyment of the game.

Kind Regards,




Reply. 17/2/2021:

Thanks for your email about our commentary, and the issue of the naming of players.

When I began commentating I would take great pride in naming every player on the pitch in both teams. However the commentary coaches I have had since, have encouraged me, as a local radio commentator, to focus on the teams we cover in terms of names. The argument is that the vast majority of our local audience won’t know many of the other teams players’, so we should talk about teams rather than individuals.

Clearly things have changed of late as BBC Commentary is now taken on Ifollow. As a consequence you now have a radio commentary with a video feed, and also a reliance on just one of the stations, because of covid guidelines, and not your usual station at away games.

Whilst our focus has to remain on our local audience, we may look to tweak what we do during the covid crisis to add a few more opposition players. I appreciate this won’t impact Accrington games, unless we meet in the playoffs, but hopefully it reflects that we are open to what you say.

Good luck for the rest of the season.

Best Wishes

Michael Hortin
Sports Editor
BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Firstly, commentary coaches?? Do such people really exist?? Is there a bbc team of them going from station to station, training up all the sports presenters?? Are they the bunch Thommo got sent to to learn that players don't actually have any handbags on the pitch and that apparently we're all too thick to realise that too??

Secondly, the Accrington complainer was very mild in his complaints. Hortin gets it far more in the neck on this site every week! No mention at all of the repeated Radio Lincs cock-ups!

Thirdly, did Hortin really think that we have zero interest in the other teams' players?

Fourthly, and whilst it will be nice if he gets to say who some of opposition players are, maybe he can also have a go at our players names too?! Eyoma had loads of touches before he actually came on recently, etc etc.

Fifthly, despite all of above, I do actually enjoy the more amateur approach to broadcasting.
 

BMF 53

Vital Youth Team
#18
My view is that the commentaries given by Radio Lincs are fine when we were non-league, league 2 etc. As we have moved up the ladder, then more is and will be expected. Our footballing team has improved beyond recognition, and I am afraid that our radio commentary does now too. Throw in that away teams are now paying to listen to our local commentary. If we do get promoted, then can you imagine the response from the likes of Derby, Forest, Shef Utd etc if they have to take the Radio Lincs commentary at the moment? I cant fault the team for their enthusiasm etc, but the Accrington game wasnt their finest hour.
 

BMF 53

Vital Youth Team
#19
However, I did enjoy the fa cup run when loads of the radio lincs team got involved. I have Ipswich away in mind. Maybe this is the way forward?