The Spectator has a piece this afternoon on the BBC's promotion of women's football and how it's gender politics rather than the sport that 'energises' the BBC.
Its author, Philip Patrick, asks:
But does the BBC know its place anymore? Its purpose is surely to report the news, which means covering sport (a form of news) on the basis of the level of interest in it, not using it as a vehicle to drive societal change.
Well, we're already well into extra time on that one, Patrick. The BBC might as well update its mission statement to “inform, educate, entertain and drive societal change”.
He also argues that the BBC's coverage of women's football harms women's football by “overhyping” it and that it's “patronising” too, in that its commentators don't do what commentators on men's football do and speak their minds and say someone played badly if they played badly. It's more a case of a continual “upbeat” patting on the head by BBC commentators on women's football matches.
Audiences will watch it, as has been shown previously. So the BBC would be better letting it speak for itself and winning what audience it wins without being so endlessly 'BBC' about it. But they won't, will they?
On which theme, it's time to quote author of The Tribe Ben Cobley again:
Nice that we're going to have some football to watch this summer: the Women's Euros kicks off on Wednesday, it's being played in England and it's all live on the BBC.A shame that BBC Sport's fixture list doesn't show the venues where the games are being played.In details like this I think you can see the decline of the Beeb: a certain slackness and lack of rigour; not doing the basics.They're trying to change the world instead.