Women’s FA Cup Final coverage cut short by Sky
Football fans were disappointed on Saturday when live coverage of the Women’s FA Cup Final between Birmingham City and Chelsea was cut short by Sky.
The score stood at 2-2 after the full 90 minutes, stoppage and extra time; however, as the game went to a tense penalty shoot-out, SkySports 2 switched coverage to the red button channel to make room for the warm up to the men’s League One play-off final between Sheffield United and Huddersfield.
While Sky viewers could watch the shoot out via the red-button, many watching the game via Virgin Media were left on the edge of their seats as the coverage failed to appear.
The winners of the game, Birmingham City Ladies FC, have criticised the TV channel’s decision. Club Secretary, Mike Maybury said:
“It was disappointing that Sky stopped broadcasting the game before it was finished. Sky had taken the contract to air it, they should have fulfilled their obligation.
“The match on Sky was a good advertisement for women’s football, which is another reason it’s so disappointing that it was not aired to the end of the game.”
Karen Carney, who scored the equalising goal at the end of extra time expressed her disappointment, but added: “… that is how it is. We will leave that to Sky and the politics of it.”
Other female footballers were slightly less forgiving. Liverpool Ladies Captain Vicky Jones tweeted:
“Absolutely shocking — would this have happened with the men’s FA Cup final? An embarrassment to women’s football.”
A spokesperson for Sky Sports responded on Monday, saying: “Sky Sports covered the Women’s FA Cup Final live in full but due to exceptional scheduling issues we had to cover the climax through the red button service rather than on Sky Sports 2.
“It was a difficult scheduling decision, caused by the wealth of live sport shown at the same time across five Sky Sports channels.”
Despite Sky’s decision, the Birmingham team was clearly elated about their historic win — the first major trophy the team has won since it was founded in 1968.
Karen Carney shared her delight: ”It’s unbelievable. “We’ve worked so many years for this.
“I’m ecstatic on a personal level but it’s not about me, it’s about the squad and the staff and the whole of the Birmingham City family.”