Ulster Television chief Michael Wilson has defended the broadcaster’s coverage of Irish League football.
Linfield manager David Jeffrey took a swipe at the station following last Saturday’s fifth round of the Irish Cup.
Jeffrey described UTV’s coverage of the local game as “scandalous” when compared to some other sports – including rugby, gaelic games and ice hockey.
Ulster Television Managing Director Wilson argued that the broadcaster treats “all sports equally” and “will continue to support local football”.
He added: “We still cover local football news in UTV Live but unfortunately due to this year’s IFA agreement with BBC NI, UTV is contractually prevented from carrying any actual match footage.
“We made it very clear to the IFA on a number of occasions, that we wanted to continue showing match footage to promote football but the contract they signed with the BBC this year is exclusive and effectively locks UTV out.
“As a successful, commercial, public service broadcaster we treat all sports equally and will continue to support local football for our viewers.”
Meanwhile, Linfield goalkeeper Alan Blayney looks set to be sidelined for six weeks with a broken finger.
Blues boss Jeffrey confirmed the news last night.
“Alan was actually quite hopeful that he would be able to carry on playing, albeit with some protection over his finger,” Jeffrey said.
“However, the break has turned out to be more serious than was first thought and we have been advised that it will be at least six weeks before Alan will be able to return to playing football.”