This article by Owen Gibson is a good read, not only analysing the potential decline in live viewing figures for football but also the way viewing habits for sport are changing. It touches on the issue of piracy – people watching live via illegal websites – and includes a strong defence from Sky.

You would have thought Leicester’s amazing triumph would have created a surge of interest in the game. But perhaps not and, if ratings do genuinely tumble, those holding the rights may well spontaneously combust.

I’ve only ever worked outside the Sport genre. We entertainment types find the whole thing a bit macho and I’ve never been fond of the smell of stale sweat. So I am taking my softie life in my own hands when I declare that I find TV football productions to be really unimaginative.Beyond the game itself, creative production techniques are not developing fast enough to surprise and entertain jaded viewers.

It can’t be helped if the game is dull; there have been some terrible games in recent seasons and your average producer can’t do much about that.  But they can produce the commentaries. These are often uninspired, frequently dissolving into chats about anything other than events on the pitch. There are also instances where the commentators are so busy talking about some player’s past, or the colour of his hair, that they miss a key moment of action.

Then we have expert chat delivered in the predictably dreary suit and tie method from a small, hot pod in the rafters of the Tunnock’s Arena.  There is nothing quite as dull as watching three men in tight suits aimlessly banter about a penalty decision. We’ve seen this sort of thing for years and, even though Thierry’s quite charming, it’s all a bit old now. In terms of live punterdom, the best they seem to have come up with is to have their experts standing by a dinky plinth at the edge of the pitch. I’ve seen Graeme Souness stare at one of these things as if he’s about to headbutt it.

Yes, despite all the money and hoohah, sports production is very often just terribly naff. It lacks wit or surprise. I think we now expect more from the producers, especially when their work is hyped to the rafters by the promotions teams. What tricks can they come up with to genuinely surprise their viewers? We shall be watching (or maybe not).




There are three remaining SCRIPT EDITING FOR DRAMA TV regional training sessions with Channel 4 Screenwriting guru Philip Shelley.
He is an incredibly well-connected and experienced script editor/consultant. Each HETV funded session features a guest writer. The two days of training will help you understand the politics and practice of working with scripts on high end dramas and films. Incredibly insightful, great fun and terrific value.
Nottingham, Oct 18 & 19
Cardiff Nov 1st & 2nd
Belfast Nov 15 & 16.


Special guest on two of our recent Script Supervisor training courses has been Sharon Mansfield. Like a lot of talented script supervisors, Sharon has worked in both Television & Film. Though our course is primarily aimed at throwing light on the work of script supervisors on High End TV Drama, we also cover some aspects of working on movies. Sharon’s CV is fantastic; she recently spent six months on ‘STAR WARS 8’ and has credits on ‘SKYFALL’ and the Harry Potter movies.

So if you are interested in this kind of work, do come on our London course on the 25th and 26th October at RADA Studios. It’s for people who might like a career in script supervision working in TV Drama and Film and it also provides valuable insight for directors, writers and crew who want to better understand how script supervision works within a TV production.

Grand Scheme’s courses in Drama are supported by the HETV Levy Fund/Creative Skillset.