Limited match day on Saturday watched by 2.6 million viewers: reports

Match Of The Day was watched by 2.6 million viewers on Saturday as it aired without expert commentary or analysis following a boycott in “solidarity” with Gary Lineker, according to reports.

The football highlights show was watched by nearly half a million more than last Saturday’s show, which had an audience of 2.1 million, according to BARB overnight figures as reported by BBC News.

However, the show was radically different, airing for just 20 minutes and featuring no hosts or their famous theme song, instead only airing brief highlight clips from the day’s matches.

On Friday, former England internationals Alan Shearer and Ian Wright announced their boycott of this weekend’s show after Lineker was asked by the BBC to stop hosting the show for comparing language used to launch a new government policy of asylum seekers with 1930s Germany in a tweet.

File photo of Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker
Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Several of the station’s other football shows were canceled at the last minute on Saturday as more presenters and reporters walked out, with neither Football Focus nor Final Score airing, while 5 Live’s radio coverage was cut. radically altered throughout the day.

The interruption of the broadcaster’s sports program for television and radio is expected to continue for the second day in a row.

Sunday’s Match Of The Day 2 will follow a reduced format similar to last night’s show, the PA news agency understands.

The show came into question on Saturday after soccer pundit Jermain Defoe announced he would not appear.

The former England striker tweeted on Saturday: “Always a great privilege to work with BBC MOTD. But tomorrow I have made the decision to retire from my expert duties. @GaryLineker.”

Leicester City v Chelsea – Premier League – King Power Stadium
Gary Lineker (Mike Egerton/PA)

Further doubt was raised as sportscaster Mark Chapman, who is due to present Match Of The Day 2, did not turn up for BBC Radio 5 Live Sport on Saturday.

The Women’s Super League match between Chelsea and Manchester United will also be broadcast on BBC Two, but without a pre-match presentation, but some kind of commentary is expected, the PA news agency understands.

Gabby Logan will also present live coverage from 2.15pm when Scotland play Ireland at Murrayfield, but Six Nations coverage will not be interrupted.

The BBC director general has apologized for the disruption caused to the station’s sports programming but confirmed he will not resign over the dispute over Lineker’s impartiality.


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