By Patrick Avenell

SBS has responded to criticism of its programming choices, with spokesperson David Lance contacting to explain why it broke its own rules to broadcast Porto v Manchester United, instead of Arsenal v Villarreal.

“While there can often be a reversal of games in the two legs, there is no definite 1st leg/2nd leg protocol involved in the selection of the matches,” said Lance.

“SBS Sports producers base their selections on what they feel is likely to be the more important game of the second legs. For example, for them, the Manchester United away to Porto with a 2-2 first leg score was always going to be selected ahead of Arsenal at home to Villarreal with a 1-1 first leg score.”

Lance also answered questions as to why SBS HD showed a facsimile of this match, meaning that it showed the same game twice, instead of both games once.

“With regards to showing separate programming on our SD and HD channels, this [is] not an option for SBS. Our system is not design to have separate signals on SD and HD, unlike Channel 10 for example.

“However, in June, SBS is launching an SBS 2 Channel which will have separate programming. For example, the Ashes will screen on SBS SD/HD while the Tour de France (when the events clash) will screen on SBS 2.”