Sky Sports News cleared over Ricky Hatton swearing

Sky Sports News has escaped censure from Ofcom after it broadcast offensive language during a live press conference with boxers Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather.

The BSkyB channel aired live coverage of the conference, which was held in Manchester in September as part of a world tour to promote last week’s welterweight title fight.

During the press conference, Hatton said his American rival Mayweather had “fucking no chance”. He later told his opponent to: “Stop touching my dick, you poof.”

Ofcom received one complaint about the broadcast, which aired at 11 o’clock on a Thursday morning..

Responding to the complaint, BSkyB said previous Hatton press conferences in New York, Los Angeles and London had been broadcast without any offensive language, and the boxer had conducted 20 live interviews with the channel in the past without incident.

The broadcaster said its publicity team had explained to the event organisers beforehand that the press conference would be broadcast live. It said the Sky Sports News presenter had given several on-air apologies for the language and it had acted promptly to pull coverage of the event when the swearing continued.

Ofcom said recent audience research had found that the word “fuck” is considered one of the most offensive in the English language, and should never be broadcast before the watershed. It added that the use of the word “poof” was also intended to be derogatory and offensive.

“The transmission of live sports programming brings with it particular difficulties,” the regulator said. “The broadcaster did its best to limit offence.” Ofcom said it considered the complaint resolved.

The regulator also considered three complaints made against Sky Sports 1 to be resolved. The channel had broadcast an interview with Derby County goalkeeper Stephen Bywater, during which he spelled out the C-word.

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