Saturday Night Football - What does the audience do?

Sky have recently launched their latest coverage involving a studio audience, what does it really do?

With the change of television rights for this season, it seems that Sky Sports have seized upon an opportunity to revamp their coverage of live football a little ahead of this season.

With BT now broadcasting the Saturday lunchtime games, Sky have taken the opportunity to bring back Saturday evening coverage that used to be at home on ESPN and before that Setanta.

They call their programme Saturday Night Football and have lengthened the show so it can easily form part of Football First later on – which seems sensible.

The bit I don’t get is the need for there to be a studio audience. It makes it feel like a cross between the Million Pound Drop and The Wright Stuff but with a football match plonked in the middle and for me it has an incredibly weird feel about it.

First of all, I don’t get the fuss of wanting to be in the studio for football coverage watching a couple of other people talk about football and to then just applaud. You might get the odd bit of audience interaction but it feels like they’re just there to agree, repeat or rephrase whatever has been said by the pundits.

Very nice, a person in the same room as Jamie Redknapp agrees with what he has to say. If they wanted something like that then why not have a football version of Question Time in the week at a time when they don’t have anything else to broadcast, or is that a bit too serious for Sky (I seriously think that would be a great idea). Maybe they could expand the Footballer’s Football Show to audience participation? It has the perfect platform to build upon.

If Saturday Night Football was there to introduce more viewers to Sky before the match to watch coverage instead of tuning into watch the game then that’s it – then it’s hard to see why they’re going with it. Personally it makes me want to switch off and/or go to the pub to watch a game, not to mention any serious interaction would take longer than the time allocated for it.

Monday Night Football brings in viewers around the game because of the wonderful insight that has been provided by Gary Neville during his time on the show – which I think will get even better with Neville now able to bounce off Jamie Carragher from this season.

I get that it is trying to be a bit on the lighter side compared to the serious stuff on a Monday night, but there must be a better way of doing it, surely?

images: © House of Joy Photos, © stevendepolo

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