We were not approached over Muratti livestream, says GFA

GUERNSEY football officials were shocked to learn about plans for a livestream of this year’s two senior Muratti finals only shortly before the games took place.

(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32113821)
(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32113821)

ITV Channel Television announced that it had pulled its plans for live coverage of the games only on Saturday morning, having deleted social media posts from the day before, which advertised a free stream.

The GFA said there was no intention to stream the matches and it had not received any requests for permission to do so ahead of Saturday.

‘Live coverage was never a point of discussion until Channel TV, without any engagement or discussions with the GFA, announced that they would be livestreaming the match,’ said chief executive officer Gary Roberts.

‘That announcement was entirely unprofessional and lacked any courtesy towards the GFA.

‘Naturally, the GFA would always want as many people as possible to attend the match in person to ensure the best possible atmosphere for what is the biggest annual sporting event in the Channel Islands.’

The association was concerned that live coverage could have an impact on the gate for the match, and cost the three FAs of Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney, which share proceeds of the competition, thousands of pounds in lost revenue.

ITV Channel head of news Karen Rankine said she was disappointed with the decision.

‘We would have liked to stream the final, but unfortunately we were not able to due to circumstances out of our control.’

Jersey FA president Bradley Vowden tweeted on Saturday that the lack of a livestream was disappointing for fans in Jersey.

The Jersey FA arranged privately for a livestream of last year’s fixture held in Jersey. It is understood that it broke even on the arrangement.

Channel did stream this year’s and other recent semi-finals from Alderney, and last year the Guernsey FA arranged its own stream through Facebook for the Alderney semi-final.

Fans away from Footes Lane seeking live coverage of the game who turned to BBC radio for commentary would have been disappointed that its pan-island sports show focused first on the Jersey Reds rugby side playing in a cup final, only switching to the Muratti late in the first half.

The BBC in the Channel Islands backed its decision but said full attention will be given to next year’s Vase final.

‘This was an extraordinarily busy sporting weekend, but we covered both events – with live football updates and commentary throughout the afternoon, as well as the rugby,’ said a spokesman. ‘Next year our focus will be on the Muratti as usual.’

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