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robertclark1251,435 posts since 13 Jan 2009
STV Central Reporting Scotland
When you're covering a sporting event in the 1980s, overseas, then the technology wasn't as advanced as it was today, and therefore, possibly not as reliable. I've mentioned in this thread the 1988 US Masters golf, when coverage was lost for a couple of minutes, AFTER we had seen Sandy Lyle win.

Well, I seem to recall in 1986, the football world cup final that year was beset early on with losses of pictures and sound on the BBC, although one breakdown was just pictures, but retained sound. During the loss of pictures, we had a photo of the stadium, and reading "World Cup Grandstand, temporary fault"

Coverage of the final was being hosted from London, and not in Mexico.

Another issue, but more bizarre, and also outwith the broadcasters control, came during a period when a far eastern gang were involved in trying to fix matches in the premier league, using the bizarre means of floodlight failures. Whilst not going into the specifics of the crime, failures happened in the second half, and some far eastern bookies paid out on half time scores, if the match was abandoned.

One game I remember in particular involved Arsenal, though I don't think it was at Highbury. The second half was just seconds old, when the floodlights went out. Not only that, but the failure caused, for some reason, Sky to lose all pictures for about a minute, and just have sound only. In the end, the sky studios in London, where presentation was coming from, had a technical issue as well, meaning when pictures were restored, a camera had to focus on Alan Parry and his co-commentator Trevor Francis, discussing the 1st half, until they could get power established back at London.
Steve Williams2,846 posts since 1 Aug 2008
When you're covering a sporting event in the 1980s, overseas, then the technology wasn't as advanced as it was today, and therefore, possibly not as reliable. I've mentioned in this thread the 1988 US Masters golf, when coverage was lost for a couple of minutes, AFTER we had seen Sandy Lyle win.

Well, I seem to recall in 1986, the football world cup final that year was beset early on with losses of pictures and sound on the BBC, although one breakdown was just pictures, but retained sound. During the loss of pictures, we had a photo of the stadium, and reading "World Cup Grandstand, temporary fault"

Coverage of the final was being hosted from London, and not in Mexico.


The 1986 World Cup was notorious, the first few days were a complete technical disaster all over the world, Brazil and Canada were unable to see their opening matches - http://carousel.royalwebhosting.net/itv/WorldCup86.html

As that site mentions, ITV's first live match, Brazil vs Spain, was affected, as they couldn't get any commentary from Mexico and eventually Brian Moore and Brian Clough had to take over from London. In fact ITV had some standby commentators, including Clive Tyldesley, then still on Radio City, but presumably they decided that for their first match they should use Moore and not some bloke from local radio who'd never been on TV before. Tyldesley still did a commentary anyway, and was relieved they didn't use it as he failed to notice a goal has been disallowed and spent the rest of the match giving out the wrong score.

As well as that Masters breakdown, I've got a TV Times from 1982 when Steve Rider, then at ITV of course, talks about covering the US Masters for ITV earlier that year - they had the rights in those days - and he said they lost pictures and sound from the course about five minutes before the end, and never got it back. Apparently it was the fault of US TV, though, not ITV.
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