Sky Sport has responded to the fans’ concerns and called in a team of Kiwi commentators for tonight’s Fifa Women’s World Cup match between New Zealand and the Philippines.
It comes after the broadcaster received feedback that the international commentary it used for the opening match didn’t do the Football Ferns or the match justice.
Herald football writer Michael Burgess wrote that Sky TV dropped the ball and the opening night commentary lacked local flavour.
“The decision to use Fifa’s global feed for the Ferns’ tournament opener was perplexing – and unfortunate. If any game deserved a local context it was that one, while the future replays of Hannah Wilkinson’s golden goal will always be accompanied by an anonymous British voice.
“It’s such a shame. And this is not a Fifa decision. According to Fifa, Sky are free to use their own commentary team. So why not?”
Probably the only disappointing thing about last night was the lack of a local flavour in the commentary.— Michael Burgess (@mikeburgess99) July 20, 2023
Imagine @pineynz describing that golden goal...and all of that other drama!#BringbackPiney@NZ_Football #FootballFerns #FIFAWomensWorldCup2023
As a response, Sky Sport has brought in former Football Fern Rosie White and seasoned football commentator Jason Pine to call all Football Ferns’ matches for the remainder of the Fifa Women’s World Cup.
Sky’s chief corporate affairs officer Chris Major said in a statement: “We’ve listened to customer feedback on the commentary for New Zealand matches, and look forward to hearing Rosie and Jason from today’s match against the Philippines.
“Fans can also continue to get a New Zealand perspective across the tournament in our pre- and post-match shows, along with our daily highlights show produced by the Sky Sport team.”
She said customers can still access the international Fifa commentary for New Zealand’s matches via the “alternative commentary” on their Sky remote.
The coverage of New Zealand v Philippines kicks off on Sky Sport at 5pm, tonight.