Julian Schiller has responded to a “Twitter hate storm” following ABC2’s Live broadcast of a Liverpool vs Sydney FC match on Tuesday night.
The game’s pre-show with Schiller, Tegan Higginbotham and Steen Raskopoulos came under fire on social media for its poor production and comedic tone.
But Schiller, who explained that securing the rights was late in proceedings, noted that the exhibition match was not part of a league competition.
On ABC Radio Adelaide, he said, there were also big sound problems at the game, including talent being unable to hear one another, producers and a small studio audience.
“You get to the centre of a Twitter hate storm and it’s not a pleasant thing. I’ve been in it a couple of times because Twitter is like a roast without any of the funny lines. It’s just a stacks on.
“There are vile comments made about cancer and terrorism that come your way,” he said.
“When you do live TV, it is extremely hard, even in a studio, and you see newsreaders stuff up all the time when things don’t roll.
“We were doing it outside where it’s even harder. And what happened was the ABC2 team did a rehearsal which was kind of fine and when we went live to air there were speakers from the stadium which were extremely loud, which meant that any communication I was trying to get with the producer, I couldn’t really hear that well. And the panellists who were trying to talk to each other couldn’t really hear each other well.
“It’s like trying to land a plane in the dark without your instruments.
“I tried to keep it on track as much as I could with that noise pollution and it wasn’t easy but it definitely affected the quality of the broadcast.”
Schiller also argued that criticism of the the playful tone of the broadcast was unfair, given that it was an exhibition game, with little at stake.
“What happened last night was an attempt to maybe make it fun. Football is not only to be revered, it’s also to be enjoyed. It’s not a religion, it’s entertainment.
“I don’t think we got it completely right, definitely.”
But he also noted some clips were getting positive shares amongst younger viewers, as the sport seeks to grow its awareness.
“Even though there were some big problems with the broadcast, it wasn’t a vital game and it’s got attention.”
ABC’s New Year’s Eve live production for 2015 was also subject to exterior sound problems, some of which left talent on air, arguably unsupported by ABC production.
You can hear Schiller’s full explanation here.