Watching The Media – Sky Sports News Transfer Deadline Day

Posted: September 10, 2015 in Football, Media
Tags: , , , ,


It has been staple viewing for any football fan over the past few years to tune in to Sky Sports News and watch the drama unfold on Transfer Deadline Day, as clubs across England battle among themselves to get last minute business done and strengthen their squads ahead of the coming season.

It was entertainment for one and all to basically see these multi-million pound businesses realising that they hadn’t done their business correctly and there was still work to be done with just hours on the clock remaining. All by fax, apparently.

Sky Sports News was the place to be at on the final day of August and January, with their raft of reporters scouring the length of England to bring you the breaking news as and when every major deal broke and every surprise transfer leapt into materialisation.

But now it appears that the bubble has burst and it feels as though Sky Sports News has jumped the shark with it’s sensationalising of the final day of transfer dealings.

The people at Sky appeared to catch on to how popular the reporting of this day had become and opted to dress it up a little bit. Suddenly this was no longer a news programme, but had drifted into the realms of entertainment. The integrity of this news show has slowly disintegrated before our very eyes.

This has been something that has appeared to be on the way since HQ was added to the title of the channel, with the sofas and fancy gadgets supposed to engage the audience more and make it seem less of a ‘news’ show – but with Transfer Deadline Day, it really reached it’s zenith.

Even just those little things that drew us in at the start have slowly lost their appeal, becoming tired and repetitive to the point that you feel like it’s holding the show back. Any entertainment show (which this has become now) knows when a joke has become stale and freshens things up appropriately and it is time for SSN to address these things.

Jim White

A popular figure at first, Jim White has gradually lost favour with football fans

Things like Jim White to start off. At first there was a lot of charm to the way he got overly excited about the exchanging of contracts between two businesses, the way his voice leapt a couple of octaves upon the breaking of a rumour surrounding a Championship-based player.

It was endearing before the higher-ups sunk their claws into him, making him their designated face of Deadline Day and seemingly giving him a nudge to exaggerate those things that initially gave him appeal, taking it beyond a fun quirk into something far more annoying, as he now attempts to make beige details a fluorescent colour with his words.

For he is now stifled by the fact that things have changed within the football world. Clubs have gotten wise to the daft idea that they should attempt to fit in much of their major business within a 24 hour last-gasp window and now at least try to do their deals earlier on in the transfer window.

They will at least get things done in the final week of allowed business, leaving a host of highly-trained journalists shunted out around the grounds on Deadline Day repeating the same small titbits over and over again in a way supposed to draw some form of interest from the viewer.


We no longer see this sight after fans took things too far last year

The poor sap stood at the Emirates merely repeating that Arsene Wenger hinted a couple of days ago that something, possibly could happen got the rawest of deals as Arsenal failed to so much as send a player out on loan on the final day of activity.

The man based at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground was faced with a similarly  soul-crushing task as he was entrusted with making young centre-back Tiago Ilori’s loan move to Aston Villa sound like a big deal, presumably cursing the fact he was even there, given the Reds had achieved their transfer business before June even came to an end.

Such was the paucity of things to actually report upon in those final two hours having drafted ‘the big guns’ on, that they even stopped to analyse the traffic numbers on the Sky Sports website, to strangely find that their transfer blog was the most widely visited page there. Quelle Surprise. The delved even further to find that Manchester United (the most widely followed British club worldwide) and their wrapping up of the Anthony Martial transfer was the most popular story from that blog. Cue millions of jaws dropping to the floor at that news.

Kate Abdo

Kate Abdo felt wasted in the prime role this year without the rest of Europe involved

Having recovered our mandibles from the carpet, we saw Kate Abdo completely wasted in her role towards the end. Abdo specialises in being multi-lingual and being able to translate news breaking from around Europe, but with the transfer window having shut a day earlier elsewhere in Europe, there was little to do. Especially as we didn’t even get a Scouser to talk to throughout the day.

Why Natalie Sawyer was demoted into an earlier seems strange, as that cheeky, knowing way she presents helps counteract the human time-bomb that is Jim White, dialling back the seriousness of the triviality that surrounds us all without breaking Sky’s sensationalism of the event at hand.

The one plus point of the day was the banning of fans from surrounding the poor reporters stuck outside following the purple dildo incident, with the sad group of delinquents having gotten worse and worse as time has gone on, each doing their best to get their faces on TV, screaming at the top of their lungs that John Walters has signed for their club.

But the reality is that Deadline Day has jumped the shark, as there just genuinely isn’t the drama necessary anymore to dedicate ones’ self to a sick-day in front of Sky Sports News in the hope that something major will occur. Do we honestly think people would give a damn about THAT Saido Berahino tweet if it had happened a day previously? Or if anything interesting had actually happened?

Bringing in ‘esteemed guests’ to provide idle guesswork about everything and anything has done little to whet the appetite, as the whole format has become a very dull affair, in which the vast majority of the participants have devolved into parodies of themselves.

Sky Sports News’ coverage of Transfer Deadline Day is no longer essential viewing, with the mild scraps of information that do occur being able to be recounted in a brief 5 minute read.

This will at least save you several hours wasted in front of a television being shouted at by a man that believes in a hype that has long since died out, with Jim White simply a running, unfunny joke these days and actual news being pushed aside to make way for devolving sideshow that is football.


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