BT Showcase – Review of Champions League Coverage

BT Showcase – Review of Champions League Coverage

Hello all, here’s my review of BT Showcase’s first Champions League game…


Gary Lineker introduces the build up to Club Brugge v Manchester United.  Guests in the studio at the ground are Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes.  There’s a few ad breaks to fit in before kick off, but I liked the pre-match build up, it included an interview with Louis Van Gaal the United manager, and looked at potential key players during the game.


Kick off with commentary from Ian Darke and Michael Owen.  Really enjoyed the commentary – Ian Darke in particular is really knowledgeable and not only that, I think he’s pretty good at keeping the viewers interested too.  Rooney scores after 20 minutes to effectively end the tie, but I keep watching – I’m enjoying the coverage.


Half time – and same format to ITV, two ad breaks with a bit of analysis from Lineker, Ferdinand and Scholes in between.  A tried and tested formula – it works.


Second half – which I start five minutes late but thanks to my Panasonic Hard Drive (and putting bits of the second half on double speed) I eventually catch up with the live game again.  At 4-0, it was a comfortable win for United; and as BT are not obliged to show United again on Freeview it’s a shame such a one-sided tie was picked (after the first leg it looked almost certain United would go through, a two goal advantage was pretty comfortable).  But, from BT’s point of view, it means now those key group games at Old Trafford and away can be advertised as ‘exclusive to BT Sport Europe’ – I don’t think we’ll see United again on BT Showcase…


Des Kelly interviews hat trick hero Wayne Rooney, and we have reaction from Lineker, etc.  Overall, good coverage – but one thought.  BT are “obliged” to show each British team in Europe at least once – in both Champions and Europa League.  Southampton are 1-1 in their Europa League tie tomorrow night, and let’s face it could get knocked out.  What happens if they lose?  BT Showcase aren’t showing the tie, I think they should?


My mate Ian text me earlier saying he’s watching the Barnsley/Everton game on Sky Sports through Now TV.  Thought he was picking the wrong game, was convinced that was going to be a walkover.  Just checked the score.  How wrong I was!

Let’s be honest though, BT didn’t publicise that this match was on free-to-air as much as they perhaps could have done.  There’s been wall to wall advertisements in the press, they could have easily advertised “Watch Club Brugge v Man United on BT Showcase tonight from 7pm”.  Why would they want to do that?  Well, the more people see their coverage, the more people might choose to pay for more?  Yes, they promoted the game on social media (e.g Twitter, Facebook) but I think of football fans like my Uncle Frank, not actively involved in the world of social media.  How do people like Uncle Frank find it?  Well, lucky for Frank – I told him 😉


BT Showcase can be found on Freeview Channel 59.  There’s no listings in TV guides for this channel but I can tell you the next scheduled programme is Fear the Walking Dead Episode 1 at 9pm this Monday to promote new channel AMC.


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