BBC: “Distressing Scenes” Stopped Us Showing Full Leeds Highlights – by Rob Atkinson


Manish: "Upsetting scenes"

Manish: “Upsetting scenes”

Many fans of Leeds United – and even Huddersfield Town – were mystified at the BBC’s decision to show only brief highlights on the Football League Show of the pulsating West Yorkshire derby between Town and United on Saturday. Leeds fans have become used to an apparent BBC policy whereby matches featuring the League’s biggest and most illustrious club are given only scant coverage by the corporation, usually about thirty seconds somewhere towards the end of the programme’s Championship montage.

Derby games, though, might normally be considered a special case, with a large (for Huddersfield) and passionate crowd creating a vibrant atmosphere and adding to the spectacle of fierce local rivals going at it hammer and tongs. And yet, once again, the coverage was minimal. At the start of the programme, reference was made to “today’s early kick-off”, but this was an allusion to the Brentford v ‘Boro live Sky game – not the Town v Leeds affair which also had a lunchtime start.

When asked for an explanation of what might seem, on the face of it, to be slightly odd editorial decisions, a BBC spokesperson commented “Actually, we had planned to show extended highlights of Huddersfield Town versus Leeds United, featuring the match prominently near the start of our Championship section. But sadly, there were some distressing scenes caught by our cameras and we felt that these would be too traumatic to show to the vast majority of our viewers. We are always wary of transmitting events and unforeseen developments that may upset our audience. In this case, the game turned out in a way we could not possibly have foreseen – and we felt we had to reduce coverage to the minimum allowable and leave it till later in the programme.”

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything – whilst fully cognisant of the fact that the Huddersfield player Tommy Smith sustained a head or neck injury towards the end of the game, and that scenes such as that are always difficult and possibly traumatic viewing – still felt that this incident, upsetting though it undoubtedly was, hardly justified “pulling” the full highlights. We therefore put it to the BBC that, by the time the programme was broadcast, Tommy Smith was in a stable condition in hospital, sitting up and talking to doctors. Surely, the coverage could have gone ahead as planned – maybe with a reassuring message that the player was fine now, and in no danger?

The BBC spokesperson spluttered a little, and we wondered if he had perhaps choked on a corporate nibble. “The injury to the Huddersfield player? You thought that’s what I was talking about? No, no, no,” our contact laughed uproariously. “Oh, dear me, that’s a good one…” The laughter continued unabated as we waited patiently for our man to calm down and explain himself. “Look, you’ve totally misunderstood me,” he chortled, eventually. “When I referred to distressing scenes that we couldn’t possibly have anticipated, I didn’t mean some common or garden injury! Think, man! This was a Leeds United away win, clinched by a superb goal in the last few minutes! Can you imagine anything more horrible, more upsetting for our viewers?? We couldn’t possibly expose them to that – now could we?”

Manish Bhasin is a self-satisfied git.

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48 responses to “BBC: “Distressing Scenes” Stopped Us Showing Full Leeds Highlights – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Well said. I hope you’ve sent a copy to TFLS editorial team

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  2. Good. Do you get any feedback from BBC Sport?

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  3. I pondered staying up to watch the football league show , couldn’t wait to see the game, but decided to record it instead , so this morning it was up with the larks and after a quick wash and brush up it was straight down stairs to see the “high lights” , I wish I’d had a lay in rob , especially after then watching the tennis , I wonder if udders had won their cup final it would have so low in the pecking order !!

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  4. leeds oldie

    Typical B.B.C unless its a london team or “southern ” team lesds will always be last or there abouts
    There excuse is drivell as they showed the air ambulance anyway …

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  5. I totally agree with your article Rob. After so many poor Leeds results this season, I normally don’t have the heart to watch the pathetic The Football League Show, who for some reason, nearly always show extended highlights of Leeds defeats, but when Leeds win, it’s two minutes worth of action, at the most.
    The BBC certainly do hate Leeds and did anyone notice that Look North did not show the Luke Murphy match winning goal, against Bournemouth, the day after the match, like they normally would.
    All that Look North did was to announce that “Leeds beat Bournemouth 1-0 at Elland Road last night”.
    I’m sure that if Leeds had lost against Bournemouth, they would have showed the goal action and their Leeds – hating presenters would have smugly reveled in it.

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    • Yep – we only sound paranoid because the buggers are always getting at us!!

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    • Paul, the crew of Look North, most of them Terriers fans, are slack brained feck wits who’d rather show “wellybob” throwing events rather than real news

      BTW, this is the complaint I sent to the Beeb: Complaint Summary: Bias against Leeds United

      Full Complaint: Any coverage of Leeds United on The Football League Show is usually brief and appears at the end of the show’s Championship section. On Saturday 31 January 2015, at the start of the programme reference was made to “today’s early kick-offs” but only showed the Brentford v Middlesborough match; the local, lunchtime derby between Huddersfield and Leeds did not feature. The Football League is in conflict with Leeds so, arguably, The Football League Show might take the FL’s side – the clue is in its title! However, the FL is a private company answerable only to its members whilst TFLS is produced by the BBC, a corporation answerable to the public, and should not take sides in its reportage. This bias is compounded by TFLS focusing on Leeds’ failings but never on its strengths.

      More complaints along similar lines might help as they are judged on volume. What might help also is asking for grinning dog presenters to be replaced by real news hounds willing to ask questions about the governance of English football.

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  6. Alec wilson

    BBC saying to disressing to show Leeds goal, make me laugh , they happy enough to show bloke who had heart attack a few seasons ago ! They have ties with the Football league obviously ! No showing of Leeds wining ! Nice to hear Smith home anyway.
    So BBC, bullshit excuse .

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  7. Ah, the least coverage for Leeds the better.
    Just how the FL like it…. Mot

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    • They have no interest in Leeds, always at the end of the The Football League Show; biased with sport, anti everything as far as I am concerned, disgusted at their biased news coverage of world events too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. Distressing scenes bollocks they show worse in war torne countrys like Iraq Afghanistan ect and that’s before the 9pm so called water shed. It wouldn,t surprise me the FL are behind this pleading to the beeb don’t give Leeds any publicity when they win but as much as you like when they loose .

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  9. Just get a LUTV account then you can watch the highlights in 24 hours and full 90 in 2 days

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  10. After reading your article (tongue in cheek, maybe, but plenty of bite) I went to make a complaint on the BBC website. In the process, I was asked to join a viewers panel. With justice, Manish may be less smug in future editions of TFLS.
    MOT

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  11. Maz Asghar

    I wrote to the bbc last season re. their so called coverage of the Wolves game at home, whilst we won and dominated the match the 3 seconds that they deigned to show suggested that Wolves were unjustifiably beaten. The reply that I received was utter bull, clearly written by some biased turd who fancied himself clever, I replied suggesting that the reply was utter crap…..needless to say I received no further communication. Obviously bbc sport live up the fundament of the arsehole league!

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    • There seems to be a real lack of accountability – the kind of smugness that comes with an institution which is spoon-fed its funding via a compulsory licence scheme.

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  12. This is the bbc, so notsuprised as far as they are concerned there’s only 3 areas in England – London, surrey and “t’north” by which they mean manchester/salford

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  13. When Leeds were battling it out at and near the top of the Premier League in O’Leary’s time BBC Yorkshire (who produce Look North), based in Leeds received a number of complains from Huddersfield, Bradford, Sheffiel etc etc about them favouring Leeds, even though they didn’t and had they it would have been fully justified. They have been over compensating ever since.
    As far as TFLS goes it’s the same as all the other channels and radio stations, run by people who think they hate Leeds, but can’t really remember why.

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  14. Do some of your readers actually believe this article to be true??

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    • Worryingly, I think they do. I don’t really want to have to plaster a “THIS IS SATIRE!!” warning all over any piece not meant to be taken literally – but you do sometimes wonder. Caveat lector, eh?

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  15. Excellent Rob. That conversation could well have been true. After all fiction is stranger than fact, especially where Leeds are concerned.I remember as a kid when I could tell if Leeds had won purely by the look on David Coleman/Frank Boughs face on Grandstand just before the results sequence. I too am not paranoid.

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  16. Rob, a couple of weeks ago when we drew away to Bolton, just before MoTD came on, the announcer said “….followed by the Football League Show with extended highlights of Bolton v Leeds”. So I stayed up to watch and all we got was the usual 30 seconds near the end of the championship round up, as per usual. I was furious – how can they be allowed to mislead us like that?

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  17. I stopped watching BBC news last year as my own protest at their creeping left wing views and in particular the unashamedly biased coverage of the ‘gay marriage’ issue.

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  18. Dat woz gud I lyked dat an it mad me laff wen I av ony jus stopt crieing cuz town got beet by nasty L666s. This iz troo sined Dan

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  19. BITESYERLEGS 74

    BBC… Without doubt THE most biased broadcaster there is. And its not just when it comes to LUFC matters. I could go on a rant, but I won’t. And Eastenders is shite.

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  20. And we have to pay a tv TAX for this bias !!

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  21. Tut Tut Rob, going under my name and using it for the ‘hilarious’ grammatical piece. Not laughed as much since I read on here people actually write in to the BBC complaining about LUFC coverage ! My original piece obviously hit a nerve so you decided not to post it .Have you got the number for the Vendetta Hotline, I think I may have a case.

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  22. Mike Roddy

    well written as usual probably could live with the poor coverage but for the presenter to say that the horrific injury had happened in the build up to the goal suggesting Leeds had taken advantage of the situation is both insulting and discriminative against us. I know we all seem paranoid but talking to people who hadn’t listened to the radio or read the reports actually thought Tommy Smith was laying on the ground with his future in the balance as dirty Leeds carried on with our attack and scored. They actually believed the ref should have stopped the game before we scored.

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  23. Non PC opinions not allowed ?

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  24. Granulated

    The BBC are awesome.. They show extended footage of the game that was televised live on Sky earlier.. coz, there must’ve been soooooo many people wanting to see the highlights…

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  25. Granulated

    Shoulda blown up after the collision between Smith & the keeper but before the ball crossed the line ?? The window of opportunity was approximately 0.1 seconds !!

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  26. As far as football goes in Australia (the round ball variety), apart from the laughable Asia Cup victory they’re carrying on about, and the third-rate national competition, it doesn’t exist on free-to-air television.
    FoxTel worships at the altar of “Manyoooo” of course, and up until a few years ago they showed The Football League Show, and I even saw the odd Leeds match live and in full! However, that has been dropped and only PL and the odd Cup matches are shown live.
    I have only heard poor reports about LUTV, otherwise I would subscribe even though I suspect the Filthy Beard still has an interest in it.
    So, be grateful for your 30 seconds, because it’s thirty more than we get here in our Football League Wilderness!

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  27. Hey Sickpot. I’m in ‘Straya too. Football league games are shown live on BeIn Sports and we get at least twice as many games shown live on that channel than any of the other Championship teams. Stop giving your money to Murdoch and subscribe to Bein instead mate. I also subscribe to LUTV and the buffering ain’t too bad.

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  28. Mike from Downunder

    The BBC dosen’t even know Leeds as a city actually exists. You only have to look at all their weather maps. They never show Leeds on them. Lots of poxy places like Hull or Carlisle but never the third largest city in the UK. They just hate Leeds .. but guess what, I hate them too.

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    • And when they talk about say ecconomic differences between the north and south, anything cultural, anything about hs2 or some other such harebrained scheme its ALWAYS about fucking Manchester. Even though Leeds is the ecconomic and technology powerhouse of the north already.

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