Sky under investigation from Ofcom for three separate incidents of the word ‘f***’ being heard in broadcasts of their cricket coverage this summer
- Sky are under investigation after ‘f***’ was heard three times during broadcasts
- Ofcom received three separate complaints and will be investigating incidents
- David Gower was heard swearing during commentary of final the Ashes Test
Sky is being investigated by Ofcom for three separate incidents of the word ‘f***’ being audible during its cricket coverage this summer.
Veteran broadcaster David Gower was responsible for one such gaffe, when he was overheard saying ‘Haven’t got a f****** clue’ during commentary of the final Ashes Test, his final job with the broadcaster.
The 62-year-old is understood to have thought his microphone was off when he swore on September 14, as he was not commentating at the time.
David Gower was heard swearing during commentary of the final Ashes Test last month
A period of silence followed, before Shane Warne, who was on commentary duty, apologised.
Despite cricket’s traditional image as the gentlemen’s game, the trio of f-words came in the space of just three weeks, with another occurrence coming from a player during the third Ashes Test at Headingley and the third being heard during a T20 Blast game.
Ofcom announced on Monday they had received one complaint for each and would be investigating the cases separately to see if there had been a breach of their rules on offensive language.
The swearing by a player at Headingley on August 24 is likely to have been picked up by a stumps microphone, though Sky will submit evidence on what happened as part of Ofcom’s investigation.
Meanwhile, the source of the swearing at the T20 Blast match between Lancashire and Essex on 4 September has not yet been established, with the complaint only specifying that a ‘voice was heard’ using the F-word.
The word f*** was also heard during a T20 Blast game between Lancashire and Essex
It is understood Sky has compliance teams at all live sports events, and that steps to limit offensive language being audible include muffling noises from crowds.
However, Ofcom takes the word ‘f***’ particularly seriously because research found it was considered one of the strongest and most offensive words among British audiences.
The investigation is likely to take a number of weeks.
A spokeswoman for Ofcom said: ‘We’re investigating whether these programmes broke our rules on offensive language.’
Sky declined to comment.