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BBC v ITV - Who's had the best... or worst World Cup so far?

From Adrian Chiles to Robbie Savage, the battle of the broadcasters this World Cup has failed to dazzle so far.

While watching the World Cup itself has proved a fantastic experience regardless of the quality of the half-time analysis that comes with it, UK audiences have been left pretty underwhelmed.

Here's how the BBC and ITV have fared so far...

*Disclaimer: These are purely for fun! After all, what would be interesting about having presenters who actually knew what they were doing!?

BBC - Hits

Thierry Henry

It's only fair to start with the positives, especially as there aren't that many - and perhaps the biggest positive of any aspect of World Cup coverage is that ridiculously French, ridiculously wonderful pundit Thierry Henry (who happened to be a ridiculously good striker, too).

For all the boring, monotonous pundits in this world, Henry seems to be fighting an uphill battle in trying to give TV analysts a good name. Even when he himself is talking in monotones, they somehow end up rhythmic and pleasing to the ear.

With that accent, sharp, insightful analysis and generally good chemistry with whoever he meets, the 36-year-old has already stolen the title for best broadcaster at this World Cup. Honourable mentions, too, must go to the likes of Clarence Seedorf and Rio Ferdinand for feeding off Henry so well and contributing with some good input themselves... Even if they do end up bullying lesser-known pundits.

BBC- Misses


Prepare for a long list here, by the way. There's no better place to start than a case of a slightly older gentleman succumbing to a fear of technology in order to misunderstand an extremely simple situation. If you don't know what we're talking about, it's this:


How is Jonathan Pearce not understanding what's happening? Never mind, he suffered the repercussions on Twitter...

Curse of the co-commentator

That brings us nicely to the BBC's next major weak-spot: co-commentators. During that clip, Martin Keown doesn't exactly fill himself with glory - nor does he for the rest of the tournament.

He can still be considered an improvement on a certain Robbie Savage, though, while Phil Neville received a severe Twitter dressing down for his performance during England - Italy.

Many have also been quick to express their extreme distaste for Mark Lawrenson, though he's no Clarke Carlisle (more on that lower down).

ITV - Hits


Struggling for material here... Okay, here's one!

As harsh as some people have been, ITV have actually produced some very good commentary. Clive Tyldesley, Sam Matterface and others have excited, informed and analysed - all without exasperatedly criticising a completely unflawed goal-line technology system.

Co-commentators, too for the most part, have played their role well. Andy Townsend receives volumes of criticism but has anyone from the BBC done a better job than him? Think about that one...

ITV - Misses

Adrian Chiles

'Who would you rather get stuck in a lift with?'


Chemistry with Adrian Chiles

As much as the legions [rightly] vent their frustrations at Adrian Chiles, you have to question the others to sitting in that ITV studio this World Cup. Fabio Cannavaro, who has proven himself with some forthright, logical views, often simply doesn't understand the question Chiles is asking him.

Lee Dixon, meanwhile, may have gotten a bit too big for his boots. Yes, he seems a reasonable pundit and, yes, Chiles can be difficult to work with. But, for the sake of the viewing public, Dixon could snap at him a bit less...

For instance.

"Quickly, Lee, who's Brazil's biggest threat?" - Chiles.

"Well, Neymar, obviously..."

Clarke Carlisle

None of the above can compare, however, with perhaps the single most bizarre gaffe of this World Cup so far. Carlisle, known already for not exactly setting the world alight in a commentary box, stunned the viewing public with a shockingly bad piece of research while commentating on Switzerland - Ecuador.

Indeed, during the Swiss' 2-1 win, Carlisle proceeded to comment on why Jackson Martinez hadn't  made Ecuador's starting line-up.

*Sigh* Why do you think, Clarke? He's only COLOMBIAN.

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