Brian Taylor called out over horror commentary gaffe as pressure mounts on divisive AFL figure

The Channel 7 commentator is once again copping backlash from AFL fans.

Pressure is mounting on Brian Taylor after the Channel 7 AFL commentator produced a shocking gaffe in the dying stages of the Brisbane Lions' win over Melbourne on Friday night. The Lions came from 24 points down in the final quarter to pip the Demons, with Hugh McCluggage kicking the match-winner for an 11.20 (86) to 11.15 (81) victory at the Gabba.

Taylor was in commentary for Channel 7 during the game, and the veteran caller once again drew the ire of TV viewers watching and listening at home. The former Richmond and Collingwood player is a divisive commentator to say the least, with fans constantly accusing him of favouring Victorian teams when he calls games.

Brian Taylor, pictured here alongside Brisbane Lions players.
Brian Taylor's call of the Brisbane and Melbourne game left much to be desired. Image: Getty/AAP

And he had a horror moment on Friday night when he claimed the Demons "had done enough" to get the win despite the Lions being down just seven points with four minutes remaining. BT's early crow backfired brutally, and AFL fans were happy to point out the gaffe.

Max Gawn and Melbourne Demons players.
Max Gawn and the Demons leave the field after their loss to Brisbane. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Taylor also said Bayley Fritsch had the chance to win the game for the Demons when they were down by six, meaning a goal would only have drawn the scores. There were also bizarre scenes when he claimed the clock hadn't restarted properly during McCluggage's winning goal.

But leading reporter Jon Ralph wrote on social media: "As Hugh McCluggage played on the clock went from 1.18 to 1.11. So it did tick down as he played on from out of bounds then stopped again after his goal. Not sure there is anything to worry about in terms of lost time for Melbourne."

The latest storm around Taylor comes after the Herald Sun reported on Friday that support for him at Channel 7 might be waning. The network's sport boss Lewis Martin left the company earlier this week, resulting in BT losing a close ally.

The Herald Sun quoted an unnamed source from Seven as saying: “Lewis was the biggest supporter of BT of anyone by so far, he was BT’s guy. The most nervous bloke in the whole place will be BT.”

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Channel 7's current TV rights deal will end after this season, and although they're secured the rights for a new deal until 2031, there could be a commentator shake-up on the cards. According to the report: "The contracts of most commentators are linked to the rights which means a number of big names would be out at the end of 2024."

Matthew Richardson and Brian Taylor during an AFL game.
Matthew Richardson and Brian Taylor in commentary for Channel 7. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Taylor is reported to be on a long-term contract, but the report claimed his role could be under a cloud moving forward. "This isn’t an issue for 62-year-old Taylor...but what his role looks like moving forward under the new regime is the million-dollar question," it states.

Brian Taylor, pictured here with Channel 7 colleagues Abbey Holmes, Annabelle Williams, Abbey Gelmi and Emma Freedman.
Brian Taylor with Channel 7 colleagues Abbey Holmes, Annabelle Williams, Abbey Gelmi and Emma Freedman at the Logies in 2023. (Photo by Sam Tabone/Getty Images)

The new development comes after a petition went viral last week calling for Channel 7 to cut ties with Taylor. Footy fan Kent Hodder started the petition, writing: “My love for watching footy has always been intertwined with the thrill of a good game and insightful commentary. Unfortunately, the latter has been consistently marred by the presence of Brian Taylor.

“His biased viewpoints, lack of understanding of the rules, and overall incompetence have tarnished the enjoyment of countless games. His inability to fully comprehend and explain the rules causes confusion and casts doubt over his credibility. The role of a commentator is vital in providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful views to enhance the experience of watching the games and unfortunately, Brian Taylor is falling grossly short of this expectation.

"It's essential to remember that a commentator not only narrates but also educates and shapes viewers' perspective on the game. Unfit commentators such as Brian can negatively affect the viewer's experience and potentially dwindle the popularity of the sport itself."