Swansea Sound has ended its live commentary for all Swansea City games after years of covering home and away matches. Fans were left confused when they tuned in on Saturday to find the game between Swansea and Hull City wasn’t being commentated on. The station received a number of calls from listeners who wanted to know why the coverage had stopped. It said the decision was down to the lack of a sponsor for the ‘huge costs involved’ in providing live coverage, since the Swans’ relegation from the Premier League.
One fan who was unhappy with the decision was Frank Watts, 77, from Gendros, who said: “I’ve been listening to every home and away game (on Swansea Sound) for years and then suddenly it’s gone. “It was nice to sit here and listen to the games because I can’t get down to the stadium any more.” Mr Watts last went to a game at the Liberty Stadium three years ago and is a lifelong Swansea City supporter. He remembered watching Swansea Town, before they changed their name to Swansea city in 1969, beat Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter final in 1964 – Swansea were later knocked out by Preston North End in the semi-finals. Mr Watts said he had heard people complaining on the Kev Johns Breakfast Show about the commentary disappearing. “There are a lot of people who were upset because it wasn’t on,” he said.
Borja Baston of Swansea City heads the ball past Hull City goalkeeper George Long in Saturday’s game
(Image: Gareth Everett/Huw Evans Agency)
Steven Carroll, editor of Swansea City fanzine ‘Swansea oh Swansea’, thought older fans would be hardest hit by the decision.
“It’s not great but they probably don’t get the listening figures any more. “A lot of people are watching games illegally on the internet now, so they’re not going to listen to the radio essentially. “For the older generation especially they’ve always listened on the radio, for those people it’s a shame. “I’m sure there are a reasonable amount of them and if you can’t get the commentary you have to go elsewhere.” Wales Online’s report of Swansea’s 2-1 win against Hull City at the weekend
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Steve Barnes, senior programme controller at Swansea Sound, put the decision down to Swansea City’s relegation, saying: “Swansea Sound has supported Swansea City FC over many, many years and we continue to do so. “Our Breakfast Show presenter Kevin Johns has a strong connection with the club and is the ‘on pitch’ compere at the Liberty (Stadium), and is also chaplain to the players. “We’ve carried full match commentaries on home and away games for many years and it was indeed our desire to continue to do so for the 2019/20 season. “However, since relegation from the Premier League we’ve found it increasingly difficult to find a sponsor for our live commentaries to offset the huge costs involved.
Swansea City head coach Steve Cooper celebrates with Kristoffer Peterson of Swansea City at the end of Saturday’s match
(Image: Gareth Everett/Huw Evans Agency)
“Unlike the BBC or S4C we receive no licence payer’s money to help fund our programming and are totally self supporting via the commercial side of our business. “Last season, the first in the Championship, despite the absence of a sponsor, we continued with our live match commentaries on Swansea Sound even though we were making a loss by doing so. “We did this in the hope that a sponsor could be found for this season. Unfortunately, although our desire to continue to support the club and the fans this season with commentary is unchanged, the lack of a sponsor and the resulting effect on the financial side of the business makes it impossible for us to do so. “However, I would like to say that it was not really a decision for me to make, but rather one that made itself looking at things from a business perspective.” Mr Barnes added that he and his staff remained “passionate” about Swansea City and hoped they would be able to return to live commentary in the future. Mr Watts said he would now just have to wait for the football scores on the TV, but that “won’t be the same.” All Swansea City games are covered on BBC Wales radio.