Is media coverage giving Hull City fans the voice they need?

KCOM stadium, home of Hull City football club.

Hull City have been subject to lots of media coverage in recent years, most of which has been for negative reasons, such as ownership issues. However, the 2018/19 season has been an interesting one for the Tigers, both on and off the field.  Promotion may seem out of the question for the Tigers’ faithful, but the support still being shown for the players and staff cannot be faulted.

Around 1,500 fans packed out the away end when City faced Nottingham Forest at the weekend, and although the result was not ideal, the travelling faithful should be proud of the support they’ve been showing in recent months.

Hull City at Nottingham Forest.

The Tigers certainly don’t have as much television coverage as they’d probably like, however when the chance comes along for fans to voice their opinions on live TV, this can be a useful platform to utilize.

I spoke to Tigers’ fan Ryan Gilbey (@gilbeyrm) about media coverage concerning the club. Ryan said: “Television coverage in general is okay and I think the media are fairly sympathetic to our situation.

“The issue is that currently it’s not only us that have issues with our owners, there are various other clubs like Blackpool who are in a similar situation. This may cause the message to get diluted, and the protests as a result don’t get as much airtime.

“I think seeing a half empty stadium on the TV probably speaks for itself.”

Coverage surrounding the protests could unquestionably have a negative effect on fans of the club, however due to the recent form of the Tigers it seems that fans have no concerns with performances on the pitch, only the issues off it. 

Hull City fan and SkySports contributor Bobbi Hadgraft (@bobbihadg) also gave her views on the topic, saying: “It’s clear that TV coverage is becoming more and more apparent at the club, with increasing fixture amendments being made to accommodate it.

“There is a positive aspect of the coverage for fans who are unable to attend games, whether that be for work commitments – especially in the Championship, where midweek fixtures are common – or giving international fans the option to follow the team remotely.”

Alongside various games being covered by SkySports, international fans can also now view fixtures through TigersTV, the official streaming service which the club introduced at the start of the current campaign.

Speaking about Sky in particular, Bobbi went on to say: “Sky seem to be doing more and more to involve fans and allow them to voice their opinions. I am fortunate enough to have the responsibility of representing City fans at the moment, giving my post-match comments as part of their EFL highlights show.

“This seems to be successful in providing a deeper insight into clubs’ positions and aspirations for the season, rather than solely the result.”

As the ongoing boycott continues to endure at the KCOM, the recent increase in coverage has allowed various fans to still show their support, perhaps without attending games.

Supporting this idea, Bobbi stated: “It’s clear to see that the ability to watch the team without attending only gives individuals more of an incentive to boycott, especially as we are yet to see the desired changes in ticket pricing.”

[Alex Thurston – @althurstonsport]

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