EXCLUSIVE by ROD GILMOUR (Squash Mad Correspondent)
The BBC has assured squash fans of coverage of their sport after an outpouring of dissatisfaction at no live broadcasting from the opening days of the Commonwealth men’s and women’s singles events.
Despite the BBC proclaiming online that ‘every moment’ of the action would be broadcast live on TV, iPlayer or on the BBC Sport website, squash coverage has been scant, with social media awash with rage from angry fans.
A BBC spokesperson told Squash Mad: “Over the first two days of the Commonwealth Games, the BBC One and BBC Two coverage has focused on the sports where the medals have been won so far.
“During this period, squash has been at the last 64 and last 32 of the Men’s and Women’s Singles, so we have to prioritise editorially. We have shown some of the squash on the Red Button over the last few days and have further coverage to come during the rest of the Games for viewers to enjoy.”
The claim that the corporation would screen live squash even left the MC at the University of Birmingham, Michael Absalom, to gee up the crowd to make as much noise as possible with the iPlayer set to showcase the sport.
Despite a Home Nations player scheduled on the show court in every match on Sunday, squash fans were still being denied a glimpse of the action as well as the well-appointed set-up here.
A dearth of coverage and general grievances from ‘general sport’ followers is nothing new for the BBC.
Lucky then that squash is not an Olympic sport just yet.
Last summer, the BBC trimmed down on blanket coverage of the Games to around 350 hours, with the BBC only allowed to show two sports at the same time due to TV rights deals.
It is understood that WSF officials have discussed the TV coverage with the Commonwealth Games hierarchy, who have been made aware of the “feedback from fans” on social media.