‘Pathetic’ BBC additional coverage in Brazil prompts ‘major row’

The Rio Report

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Chris Stark and Scott Mills (Twitter)

A 'major row' has reportedly broken out at the BBC over the additional audio content that is being made available for selected World Cup matches via the red button.

The alternative commentary option, provided for matches on an ad-hoc basis in Brazil, has apparently angered fellow BBC broadcasters due to the presentation style.

A report in the Daily Mail reveals that the 'puerile' Radio 1 feed, in particular, has infuriated members of the BBC Sport team in Brazil, due to their professional standards supposedly being compromised.

Hosts Scott Mills and Chris Stark produced what has been described by a source quoted in the paper as "the most puerile, childish, pathetic stuff that you could wish to hear".

"There are 11 million watching the game and we are directing viewers to listen to utter garbage," the quotes continued.

Additionally, the paper reports that the sub-standard Radio 1 option has been placed more prominently in the drop-down menu than the official sport-based 5 Live commentary, which has further annoyed team members.

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World Cup team (BBC)

A BBC spokesman was quoted as saying: "We are offering the best service we can on all platforms and the Radio 1 audio is for a Radio 1 audience.

"The guys loved doing it and we may use them again."

There was some positive feedback for the service, however.

While the red button additional coverage has been widely criticised, many of the BBC's other features have been praised, including the morning highlights packages made available online and through many TVs.

Equally, BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Chris Waddle has come in for a lot of praise after he delivered a brilliantly insightful and stinging rant on the channel following England's defeat by Uruguay.

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The former England winger turned on the culture of the Premier League after watching the Three Lions fall to the brink of World Cup exit.

Focusing on the impact he feels the Premier League - and its foreign players - has on the side he won 62 caps for, he said: "I'm not angry, I'm just fed up of talking about the same old problems.

"I'll tell you what the biggest problem is when you think about it all - the Premier League. They have a product which they sell around the world. It's entertaining but it's doing our players no good whatsoever.

"This (England) is a Premier League side playing tonight which is meant to be the best league in the world. You're not telling me all those Uruguayan players would get in many teams around the world, apart from (Luis) Suarez who was only 75 per cent fit. (Edinson) Cavani, possibly. Apart from that, who else is there?"

He added: "The media is to blame as much as anyone else as when we drop someone or play someone out of position, we're on the case asking 'why, why, why?'. Other countries say 'I've got good players but unfortunately so and so is going to sit on the bench'.

"Until we get into that way of thinking... How do you win matches? You start from the back, get organised. Then, if you have two or three creative players, build a side around certain players. Then you get balance. It's not about wanting the best 11 players or the best 11 flair players, but we never, ever, ever learn."

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