Friday night’s Asian Cup match between Australia and Kuwait aired at 10pm AEDT in Sydney and Melbourne, 2 hours after it had aired Live on FOX Sports. ABC’s broadcast deal includes a delayed broadcast, with the exception of Socceroos finals games.
It also aired at 8pm local time in other cities, including in Perth -3 hours after its actual Live staging. Despite having four channels, ABC neglected to air it in Perth simultaneously with Melbourne viewers, which could have shaved an hour off the time.
But viewers were incensed at the results being broadcast on ABC News, including in their opening titles, before the match had been broadcast. There were also results published on social media.
An ABC spokesperson told TV Tonight, “The match was reported on live on ABC News and also played live on ABC Radio. Obviously we would never restrict ABC News from reporting on news as it happens.
“On ABC TV it was broadcast on delay and we had a #socialmediablockout on the ABC TV social media channels. This was to encourage people not to post spoilers and this was monitored by a social media content manager.”
But ABC Radio, which was broadcasting Live was publishing live on social media.
On their Facebook page viewers vented at ABC:
Lachlan McKirdy: Coverage of the event is delayed, yet you still post the score to your Social media accounts?
Chris Sewell: Why the delayed telecast? And if you do delay the telecast why would you spoil it by posting the result before your own telecast has finished?
David Shaw: WHY ARE YOU POSTING SPOILERS! It’s still on your own free to air channel!
Paul Newton: Dear ABC. Please show all future Asian Cup games involving Australia LIVE!
Dame-Stephani Lauren: Thanks heaps ABC, flicking through FB at 1/2 time, I don’t expect to see the result. Bastards
Zoltan Szekely: This is bullshit! I thought it was live!!!
Gary Green: Good on you Aunty for the spoiler. Was happily watching the game till I saw this.
You delay the tele cast and the do this. Brainless
Angie Cook: Thanks for the spoiler alert – it’s only just started on ABC in Adelaide!!
Edie Moore: Thanks for nothing. You have just spoiled my enjoyment of this game by publishing the winning score before the delayed telecast is over. Spoilsport.
Malcolm Pitcher: Why DELAY the telecast? Disgraceful. You show the wLeague live.
Gen Galarce: Thank you ABC for nothing, you really are the party pooper, when it comes to “live telecast”???? “live broadcast on radio”???? Now more than ever, thank God for SBS.
Lauren Curry: Hopeless ABC. Totally spoiled my viewing evening.
On Twitter the fury was similar.