THE BLOG

Choosing Your World Cup Channel

23/05/2014 11:09 BST | Updated 22/07/2014 10:59 BST

It's an age- old battle that the BBC always wins, but choosing where to watch your World Cup this Summer could be a tighter contest than ever before.

ITV boast the heady opening game optimism of Brazil against Croatia, but the Beeb are retaliating with England's 11pm opener versus Italy in the usual fixtures- led war of attrition.

Of course, all of these games have been bid for in turn far in advance of a ball being kicked, and single broadcaster games simply make your decision for you, but when it comes to highlights and the final itself, it's the bums on the sofas who make the difference.

The BBC's usual suspects of Gary Lineker and the two Alans (Hansen and Shearer) face off against ITV's ever- presents Adrian Chiles and Roy Keane, and while the lure of hansen's last hurrah before retiring probably just about beats a death stare from Keano, it's the new boys who will turn your head.

Broadcasters love a little touch of World Cup glamour, so the BBC are teaming the French flair of Thierry Henry with insanely successful Dutchman Clarence Seedorf, while ITV have it covered with ultra- smooth Italian Fabio Cannavaro, slightly manic Uruguayan Gus Poyet and Henry's enviably chilled- out countryman Patrick Vieira, who has the added bonus of a history with Keane that will hopefully lead to an on- air brawl.

We're not expecting much from either side's England legends though, as ITV reunite Glenn Hoddle and Ian Wright while the BBC employ Glenn's former singing partner, Chris Waddle, to relive the good old days and give us all time to make a cup of tea.

No, what it comes down to is the current players, the part- time pundits who can really talk us inside that dressing room, and this is where ITV may have bagged a winner.

The BBC's signing of former England and Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand is an astute one, but ITV are the only ones to have secured the services of a man who would have been flying down to Rio were it not for injury- Andros Townsend.

As long as Andros can string a few sentences together in front of a camera, his recent involvement with the squad means he's surely going to be the most interesting voice when it comes to England, and, for millions, that's really all it comes to.

If that's true, then Adrian Chiles' recent assertion at ITV's World Cup launch that 'you could put anyone presenting an England game and you'd get a 20m audience' probably says it all.

Fair enough- the BBC it is then, Adrian.