BT Sport has been forced to abandon post-match interviews outside football grounds – because football fans cannot be relied upon not to swear.
The broadcaster was rapped on the knuckles by the regulator Ofcom after a live broadcast in February was repeatedly interrupted by foul language from chanting Arsenal fans.
Presenter Jake Humphrey had to apologise to viewers after a series of clearly audible instances of the f-word were broadcast as he attempted to discuss Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup win over Liverpool on February 16 at around 6.30pm.
He said: “Apologies for some of the words being used there by the Arsenal fans. What they’re chanting now is an awful lot better.”
But the incident was found to have breached Ofcom’s broadcasting regulations and has forced BT Sport to abandon post-match analysis from outside grounds altogether according to the latest Ofcom complaints bulletin.
However BT will broadcast outside grounds before kick off because it believes the emotions of fans are “significantly reduced” it was reported in the bulletin, which has been published today.
BT Sport will be forced to explain themselves to Ofcom officials in a hastily convened meeting to discuss the breach which follows another example of the broadcast by BT Sport of inappropriate content before the watershed was reported by Ofcom in October.
BT Sport was then forced to issue an apology following former footballer David Ginola’s embarrassing gaffe – after he made an inappropriate gesture towards presenter Humphrey live on air.
The broadcaster will be required to “discuss its compliance arrangements” after Ofcom said it was “concerned that a similar instance of offensive language… should arise so soon after the previous compliance failure”.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.