TV or not TV – that is the question! - 1989

This article was from the first issue of 'Dial M for Merthyr', written by Wolvesy.

This article is based on the BBC Wales’s attitude to football now that the ITV regions have the rights to Barclays League football action. The BBC Wales Sports Desk might as well be called the BBC Wales Rugby Sports Desk from now as football coverage is down to a minimum, which is not surprising since HTV have the rights to the Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham League action. BUT the point is that the BBC have not realised that there is a lot of great football action in Wales outside the Big Three. For instance Bangor City, Caernarfon and Rhyl’s efforts in the HFS Loans League could be mentioned every week or so with possibly some goals shown with the report. Alternatively and closer to home, Merthyr must be given more coverage this year. The League run-in last season brought the BBC cameras to the Park and it must be said that the coverage was excellent with great goal action and superb interviews with Lyn Jones and John Reddy.
Barry Town and Newport County will this year both be in a different league (well Barry might be if the Welsh FA change their minds and allow them into the Hellenic League) and both these teams will have great local support which the BBC could tap into.
A weekly Welsh League slot would be the most encouraging as that would improve the presentation of the Abacus Welsh League.
The plain fact is however that a large amount of football supporters in Wales watch non-league football and they have been ignored long enough by the media. The BBC in particular now has the chance to provide a weekly insight that would, I believe, be immensely popular in Wales. One last thing, a message to HTV Wales. The coverage of the Wrexham play-off run was appalling. The people of North Wales deserve better coverage of their only League representative.
Postscript: About a week after the fanzine came out I was awoken from my mid morning doley slumber by a call from Gareth Davies, the then Head of BBC Wales Sport, who assured me that the BBC were to cover Merthyr’s matches and that they were committed to the non-league game in Wales.


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