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Match of the Day ratings soar following Lineker suspension

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Match of the Day received its highest ratings since November, despite going on air with no pundits or commentators.  Match of the Day was watched by 2.58M people on Saturday night, which is close to a 500,000 increase on their average rating of 2.09M.

The BBC aired a shortened 20 minute highlights package at 10:20p (GMT) on Saturday night.

After controversy sparked by Gary Lineker’s suspension over his comments regarding the UK Governments Illegal Migration Bill where he compared it to 1930s Nazi policy, the show ran with only football, no commentary and no match analysis.

Regular pundits and commentators Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Jermaine Jenas, Alex Scott, Mark Chapman and Micah Richards refused to take part in the show due to Lineker’s suspection.

No post-match interviews were conducted as the BBC opted not to ask any of the team’s managers or players to give them.

Fans were split on whether they liked the format of having pure football highlights with no analysis.

One fan wrote: “Even the Match of the day intro is protesting!”

Another questioned: “Why am I sat commentating on Match of the Day myself?”

“Match of the Day with no commentary – what a farce,” said another person.

One viewer said it was: “Surreal watching a silent match of the day.”

While another said: “Match Of The Day on BBC One with zero commentary is…different.”

Some, however, were ok with the new format.

One fan wrote: “Fantastic match of the day instead of listing to all the b******s!”

Another said: “Honestly. This match of the day without presenters and over the top commentary is f***ing miles better !!!

Conservative pundit Raheem Kassam commented that No one even missed the “personalities.”

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