'Hopefully you get smashed': BSA says Mark Watson's Lions banter was acceptable

Radio Sport host Mark Watson was in hot water with a listener after he slagged off the Lions, but the BSA has found he ...
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Radio Sport host Mark Watson was in hot water with a listener after he slagged off the Lions, but the BSA has found he did nothing wrong.

It's OK for broadcasters to slag off Northern Hemisphere rugby, the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has found.

In a victory for trash talking on the airwaves, the BSA ruled that Sportstalk host Mark Watson's derogatory comments on the Northern Hemisphere's skills with the oval ball did not broadcasting standards.

A listener had complained to the BSA that Watson had broken balance, good taste and decency, and discrimination and denigration during a broadcast in which he told a Lions fan: "hopefully you get smashed".

Mark Watson

Mark Watson

During an on-air conversation on June 5 with a Lions fan who called in to his Sportstalk show on Radio Sport, Watson made three statements which earned the ire of the complainant.

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He told the caller: "Good luck against the Blues, hopefully you get smashed... I hate Northern Hemisphere rugby with a passion. I can't stand it;" and "Hopefully you're c... against the Blues and the Crusaders."

The complainant said Watson's opinion went beyond what could be considered provocative in talkback radio's robust environment.

"There is surely a widely-shared community standard which is breached when someone hosting a radio programme expresses a wish for a group of people to suffer or get injured. This goes beyond [being] simply 'offensive or rude'," she wrote.

However, the BSA disagreed, finding that Watson was entitled to express his opinion and that the Lions team and its supporters did not constitute a section of the community to which the discrimination and denigration standard applied.

 

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 - Stuff

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