Revealed: Brazil World Cup commentators based in front of TV in Doha

BeIN Sport commentators Matthew Spiro and David Pleat watching feed on screens in Qatari capital.
Tweet: Image uploaded by BeIn Sport commentator Matt Spiro at 3:33pm on June 18, which appears to have been taken from the pool deck of the Courtyard by Marriott in Doha City Centre.

Tweet: Image uploaded by BeIn Sport commentator Matt Spiro at 3:33pm on June 18, which appears to have been taken from the pool deck of the Courtyard by Marriott in Doha City Centre.

Key matches for the Brazil World Cup are being watched by commentators in a studio in Doha, more than 7,000 miles from where the actual games are being played, Arabian Business can reveal.

BeIN Sport – formerly known as Al Jazeera Sports – has been broadcasting all the matches from Brazil live, with a studio-based panel featuring Richard Keys and Andy Gray in Doha. However, Arabian Business has learned that much of the live English commentary is also taking place from studios in Doha, with the channel’s lead commentary team of Matthew Spiro and David Pleat not attending actual matches in South America.

Spiro has commentated on a number of key games, including England v Uruguay and USA v Germany. On a number of occasions during the commentary, both Spiro and Pleat have given the impression of being in Brazil – regularly making reference to the crowd, the weather, the city – and in the case of USA v Germany, even the traffic problems outside the stadium.

On 18 June at 3.33pm, Spiro sent a tweet saying “preparing for commentary of tomorrow’s big game #ENG #URU” – a reference to the match between England and Uruguay on June 19.

Spiro also included a picture on a swimming pool in the tweet. However, closer analysis by Arabian Business has revealed the picture was taken from the pool deck of the Courtyard by Marriott in Doha City Centre. The two buildings in the background of the picture are the Woqod Tower and Ashghal Tower 3. The match between England and Uruguay tool place in Sao Paulo, 7,341 miles from Doha.

Qatar Airways does fly direct from Doha to Sao Paulo, however the flying time is over fourteen hours, and the daily flight would not arrive in Brazil until 4.40pm on June 19, just twenty minutes before the match kicked off.

On June 14 he tweeted “feel privileged to having commentated on last night’s Dutch masterclass,” a reference to the match between Holland and Spain in Salvador, before adding “England next up for David Pleat and myself.”

The match between Holland and Spain took place in Salvador, nearly 2,000 miles from England’s match against Italy in Manaus. However, again it is understood both matches were watched by Spiro and Pleat in front of a television in Doha. Manaus is a further 7,662 miles from Doha.

Unlike the English broadcasts, it is understood that all BeIN Sport’s Arabic commentary team are at the actual matches in Brazil.

The brand beIN Sport was initially unveiled by Qatari Sports Investment, the parent company of Al Jazeera Sport, in 2012 following the acquisition of live broadcasting rights to France’s Ligue 1 football league. The network currently operates in markets including France, the US and Indonesia, with online streaming services in Canada. It also holds the rights to broadcast live sports including rugby league and the Superbike World Championship.

BeIN Sport did not respond to queries from Arabian Business.

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Posted by: Omar Abu Omar

Okay, and? Why is this such a big issue? I do not recall Bein sports claiming that they are broadcasting or commentating live from the stadium, and as opposed to the Arabic commentators, they are more informative and provide more interesting information about the game and what is happening, a good example would be when a player gets off the bench to warm-up and is about to come on, the Arabic commentators would almost never mention it unless it's on the screen (despite them being there), while the English commentators would mention it. That is in addition to many relevant comments about moments in the game itself whether it was captured by the TV screens or not, to me that provides better value than Arabic commentators who seem to be adamant at making every game turn into a history and geography lesson :)

Posted by: procan

Canadian broadcasters are live on site , all games are free . One would think if a future World Cup country state broadcaster would make a commitment to the Beautiful Game? More proof Qatar will be stripped of the world cup eh! How the heck can you grow the game when you charge your own market

Posted by: hd_dxb

I'm very confused by the article and by some of the comments; ie. refund?! .....Why?!

This is not something strange and is completely normal in the sports broadcasting world.

Get a life people.

Posted by: geg

Funneeeee? and very well spotted by AB. Love it! But one wonders quite what the issue is. (Half the advertorials or documentaries I personally produce are abstract as such).

Of course, other than the fact that all the TV providers in the Gulf are privileged greed merchants who suck up monopolistic like fees, producing nothing themselves, thus putting absolute 'zero' back to the local art. An anagram of 'son' comes to mind. Local creativity is a zero already and desperately needs injection to build the industry but that is not going to happen any century soon when the entire official psyche is 'cash in'.
AJ does at least produce documentaries and attempts to act like a real network. Just saying'.

Posted by: Mohammed Alwosh

the real question is if anyone noticed before you analysed the picture in the tweet. if no one noticed, then who cares!

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