Fans rage as ITV switch to Lion King seconds after Ruben Loftus-Cheek's Chelsea goal

ITV cut from the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace to a scene from 1994 animated hit Lion King, leaving football fans totally perplexed

Posted Monday, April 18, 2022 by

Fans rage as ITV switch to Lion King seconds after Ruben Loftus-Cheek's Chelsea goal
ITV cut away from the FA Cup semi-final for 16 seconds as The Lion King appeared on viewers' screens

Football fans had to do a double-take as ITV cut to a scene from Lion King midway through the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace.

ITV cameras switched from live coverage of the Wembley tie to the 1994 animated favourite seconds after Ruben Loftus-Cheek had given the Blues the lead. Supporters were transported from north London to the Pride Lands as Simba and Nala talked about eating antelope.

The bizarre interruption lasted for approximately 16 seconds before ITV sorted out the issue and returned to the FA Cup semi-final. As relieved fans shouted "Hakuna Matata," social media users were left perplexed at what had just happened.

One enraged viewer wrote: "We had to sit through an hour of garbage football and right when a goal is scored, ITV just switched to The Lion King?!?!?!??! who gave these idiots the rights to show live sport??? fire them."

Someone else joked: "Disney lawyers about to charge ITV $6 trillion for showing Lion King without permission during the football." A third person added: "ITV so sickened by Chelsea scoring they've switched it to The Lion King."

And it seems some viewers had more than one trip to see Simba and friends. Another confused Twitter user said: "What the f*** just happened to ITV? Idk if it was just me but it started playing the Lion King what is going on it just did it again???"

"Have to respect @ITV for switching to the Lion King 65mins into the FA Cup semi final. It was a risk but I think it really worked. Shoot for the stars, folks," commented someone else.

While a sixth viewer chimed in with: "ITV broadcasting incompetence for live sport strikes again. Currently showing the Lion King intermittently instead of the palace v Chelsea match."

It is not the first time ITV has cut away from a live match. During the 2010 World Cup match between England and USA, ITV cameras missed England's opening goal after cutting away to adverts.

A year earlier in 2009, ITV apologised to fans for showing adverts during the only goal in the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool. Millions of supporters missed Dan Gosling's winning goal in the 118th minute as the broadcaster cut to a scheduled advert break seconds before the midfielder's strike.

Although fans didn't miss any important moments at Wembley, supporters were still left annoyed by the error in ITV's first season back showing the FA Cup since 2014.

An ITV spokesperson said: "We apologise for the very brief transmission issue experienced by viewers watching ITV HD on Freeview in part of the country. The issue was due to technical systems outside of ITV's immediate control, other broadcasters were also affected. The issue was quickly resolved."

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