Battle Of The Highlight Shows: Match Of The Day vs Premier League Review Show


Which is the better Premier League highlight show? BBC’s Match Of The Day or TWI’s Premier League Review Show?

Millions of people around the world watch the highlight packages that feature the best bits of each Premier League match, so the shows should be quite similar, right? Wrong.

Read on to learn the major differences between the two:

Match Of The Day
Running Time: 1 hour 24 minutes (with no commercials)
Player and Manager Interviews: 20
Pros: Classic opening and closing tune, better on-screen graphics, in-depth analysis by co-hosts, more impartial to clubs outside the Big Four, no commercials, more interviews, goal of the month segment and Gary Lineker.
Cons: Highlights from Saturday matches only, Mark Lawrenson states the obvious far too often and no interviews with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Premier League Review Show
Running Time: 1 hour (with commercials)
Player and Manager Interviews: 16
Pros: Interviews with Sir Alex Ferguson and Martin Tyler’s commentary. Plus it has highlights of all the matches through Sunday.
Cons: Some highlights feature voiceovers instead of actual commentary, too focused on the Big Four and includes TV commercials.

The above statistics are from this past weekend where I watched both shows side-by-side. Of course, we were treated to everything from Liverpool against Man United to West Brom versus West Ham.

TWI’s Premier League Review Show opens with the song “My Saturday Self” composed by Peter Lawlor. The visuals paint a picture of a futuristic space-age world where some of the top Premier League players beam a football from player to player.

In last weekend’s episode, the program began outside Anfield as it showed footage of the Spirit Of Shankly supporters union protesting against American owners Hicks and Gillett. After a lot of build up and hype, the producers then began to show the highlights of Liverpool against Manchester United, undoubtedly the biggest match of the weekend.

A big difference between both programs is that the Barclays Premier League Review Show always plays the biggest matches at the beginning of the match and winds its way to the smaller teams near the end of the show. While Match Of The Day began with highlights of the Liverpool match, it tends to mix things up quite a bit and often begins with the match that has the most interesting story. For example, when Hull played Fulham on the opening day of the season, that game was the opening one showed on Match Of The Day instead of the typical clash involving a Big Four club that the Premier League Review Show would highlight.

To me, the Premier League Review Show is a glitzy package that reinforces the belief that the Big Four is what really matters in the Premiership.

Match Of The Day, an important fabric of the English game, began in 1964 and hasn’t changed much over the years. The biggest thing going for the program and the true differentiator between it and the Premier League Review Show is the analysis provided by the co-hosts.

In last week’s episode, it was Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson on the seat. Hansen’s analysis was eye-opening. For example, there was good insight by Hansen where he showed onscreen the workrate of Robbie Keane in the game who, despite not achieving much up front, was chasing the ball and pressuring Man United’s midfield quite effectively, forcing them to make mistakes.

Hansen continued by showing excellent replays of Albert Riera in action during the game with some beautiful touches and Hansen pointing out how much of an impact Riera made down the left wing by floating in dangerous crosses into the Man United penalty area.

Hansen then turned his focus to Gerrard and Giggs, and how both of them made some awful mistakes after coming on the pitch as subs. Gerrard letting Giggs through who almost scored. And Giggs letting Mascherano through to pass the ball to Kuyt and then to Babel for the winner.

The list goes on and on. While Lawrenson wasn’t as insightful as Hansen, Lawrenson later provided some good analysis of Chelsea. He discussed how Scolari lets the full backs be more adventurous coming forward than Chelsea with Mourinho, and how Ashley Cole and Bosengwa had wonderful games down the wings.

When it comes down to it, it all depends what you’re looking for in a Premier League highlight show. If you want analysis to show you things that you might not have seen, Match Of The Day is your ticket. If you want highlights of just the goals and most of the focus and priority on the Big Four, then the Premier League Review Show is your cup of tea.

What are your feelings about either show? Share your feedback by clicking the comments link below.


8 thoughts on “Battle Of The Highlight Shows: Match Of The Day vs Premier League Review Show”

  1. Match of The Day wins, hands down. The Review Show is fine, as far as it goes, but it spends way too much time on confections and not enough on substance. Some of the best football this season so far has been played outside the top four, and MotD gives those games and teams equal measure to the usual suspects. And the analysis is indeed insightful, even Lawro's woefully misguided predictions!

    The absence of Alex Ferguson isn't really a great loss, let's face it. The worst parts of MotD are the post-game interviews, which rarely offer anything substantial beyond “We didn't play well” or “We had quality today.” Thanks for that, Arsene.

    As far as “No Sunday games” being on MotD; there's also MotD2, shown on a Sunday night in the UK, that features those games plus “2 Good / 2 Bad” which is well worth seeing every week. It's also more relaxed, with Adrian Chiles presenting.

    Finally, MotD has another huge advantage: Sometimes they have guest pundits who are actually current Premier League managers. Tony Pulis was on last week, for example. (You're not going to get Phil Scolari on there, obviously, but how often do you get to hear any Premier League manager's take on the weekend's games?)

    Besides which, MotD is an institution that has evolved over time and retained its best qualities while improving its deficiencies. If you're not already watching/downloading it, start. It's what BitTorrent was invented for!

  2. I haven't seen MOTD before, but I enjoy the Premier League highlight show precisely because it lacks commentators. I just want an opportunity to see the highlights of the games without some expert telling me what happened. The highlight show affords me this opportunity.

  3. MOTD is a million times better than the PL highlights. watch it week in week out, top class commentary and top class analysis. alan shearer is the worst thing on motd…talk about stating the bleeding obvious.

  4. I think the fact there are experts is important…of course you dont have to agree with their opinions but dixon and hansen offer interesting tactical insight. England arent even the most focused on tactics and such, compared with the Italians… and the Germans apparently (from what ive heard)

  5. I don't think the Review show is intended as a pundit analysis sort of programme so works well in that it does exactly what it says on the tin and reviews games. Interestingly they have introduced some interesting threads to their programme – looking at the Sunday papers for example and virtual analysis which if I'm not mistaken was brought in before the BBC introduced it into MOTD. They do also incorporate sections of analysis albeit a lot tighter the MOTD!

    I also don't neccesarily agree that they focus on the big four and alienate the rest. I recall a recent programme where one of their longer games was
    Villa v Pompey. Another longer game was West Brom v West Ham. MOTD also have an hour and twenty odd minutes to review just Saturdays games, the review show has 52 minutes to do Saturday and Sunday AND attempt to please those who want a little more…I think with that in mind they do a pretty good job

  6. I agree Steve…the review show is shorter and with that in mind does a great job. It's pretty easy to cover 5 saturday games in an hour an 20 minutes on MOTD and feel you're not just focusing on the big teams. Ultimately the big four have the bigest following and need to be the main focus. However I do agree that when a game warrants it, the game review should be longer.

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