I watched STV Sport tonight in disbelief.
That show has become an unabashed Sevco love-in. Mark Warburton gets more airtime on there than some of their presenters. Is this really a commercial TV station, or a section of their PR arm? Tonight was especially annoying; Sevco got the entire opening segment, covering a few different issues. Warburton was interviewed, as was a player.
Celtic were next, tacked on almost as an afterthought, the Champions of Scotland who have a game tomorrow night. This is the kind of lousy media coverage we’ve become accustomed to, but I found tonight particularly annoying as included in our sixty seconds of footage was Brendan Rodgers winning the manager of the month award.
Shunting that aside to go straight to Warburton taking a piss on the media for reporting a factually correct story for once … just what is that about? STV is not the BBC, so it does not have a public service responsibility, but acting like video stenographers so Sevco’s management can put the most positive spin on things is pretty outrageous even for them.
This is the organisation, let’s not forget, who in the final year of Rangers’ existence infuriated its own journalists by entering into a partnership with the club’s media arm.
Its staff worried that this would compromise their integrity as an impartial broadcaster; they needn’t have worried. The organisation had a reputation for being broadly sympathetic to the club – where were their own exposes along the lines of the ones the BBC produced? – so it made little difference to those of us who were watching.
Only one of its people – Peter Smith – has ever been terribly impressive in going that extra mile to highlight major issues in Scottish sport, including those at Ibrox.
Like a lot of other organisations that depends on advertising income, STV is in serious danger of alienating its customers with the bias of its news department. Celtic play tomorrow night, its manager just won an award, we’ve had our AGM and we play Barcelona in midweek. We’re sitting at the top of the SPL and we are the current champions.
Does that all count for nothing?
On STV apparently not.