Liberty Stadium's expanded media section helps Arsenal clash travel the globe
WHETHER it was Ben Davies’ goal-scoring glide into the Arsenal box, Michel Vorm’s smart save from £42million man Mesut Ozil, or that shot of the purple twilight glowing above Landore, Swansea City’s clash against the Gunners was beamed to some exotic places.
Among the visiting media on Saturday evening was Qatar-based Al Jazeera, US network NBC, India’s Star Sports and France’s Canal+.
And you can throw in Danish television, a host of radio stations, national newspapers and - of course - the South Wales Evening Post.
For Saturday's match alone, the Liberty welcomed 100 members of the press, plus 30 photographers and additional camera crews.
The Swans had to expand their media facilities for this season to comply with Premier League guidelines.
The league’s domestic rights income alone soared when Sky bid £2.2billion for 116 games per season for the three years up to 2016, with BT also joining the party with its £730millon deal for 38 games per season.
Matches not broadcast by these two media giants are granted to Premier League TV, which produces the live coverage of matches around the world.
Overseas broadcasters, meanwhile, now have greater access. All Premier League clubs are required to set aside 15 commentary positions for them.
The Swans have this month been granted planning permission for a major expansion of press facilities in the West Stand, in tandem with an extra 505 spectator seats and a redesign of the stand’s entrance.
But a spokesman for the club said the press expansion has been completed without the other aspects outlined being required.
The press section now has two new media gantries for broadcasters, a bigger conference room, additional television and radio interview rooms, and a new television studio.
The Liberty can seat up to 200 members of the press - and in all this no spectator seating has been lost.
Former Evening Post photographer Phil Davies recalled rather less plush press facilities at the club’s former Vetch ground.
“There was a little steamy room with a woman making tea for the boardroom,” he said.