Media Perspective: Missed chances by both advertisers and players on Sky

Subscription sports channels have taken a kicking in recent weeks thanks to Setanta's faffing around with its England football rights packages.

But last weekend, Sky Sports 1's line-up - Ryder Cup golf backed by the live Chelsea vs Manchester United clash on Sunday afternoon - provided a glorious reminder of just how good top sports coverage can be. Sadly, most brands seemed to miss the opportunity to exploit this fully.

While Europe succumbed on Sunday night to the onslaught of the Yanks, the weekend's coverage still provided a massive share of drama and passion (not to mention terrible Only Fools & Horses impressions from Europe's captain Nick Faldo and embarrassing horse-riding impressions on the first fairway from Boo Weekley, the Southern folk hero who makes Adam Sandler's character in Happy Gilmore seem positively sophisticated).

The final outcome might have been a letdown for Europe supporters but the ride was a good one, and was watched by a peak of 1.2 million viewers as the tension built on Sunday evening. Much of the advertising on show around the Sky broadcast, and I saw a lot of it, failed to tap into the excitement on offer from the Valhalla course. The broadcast was sponsored by RBS, which provided some uninspired, dull blue corporate idents. This is maybe the safe option when financial institutions are dropping like flies, but something a little more imaginative might not have gone amiss. Ditto the dull and repetitive campaigns from the likes of IBM and Credit Suisse. Even the odd price comparison website ad, and there's no escaping them on digital channels, was welcome against this wave of corporate muck.

Guinness was there in spades with its "17:59" campaign that looks to drive drinkers into the pubs after a hard day at work. Not really an issue when you're on the sofa with your third beer on a long Saturday afternoon. Still, it was nice to see Sky, which handed back some £400,000 to the Home Office for the funding of a Sky1 show called UK Border Force, clawing back some of the revenue from a heavyweight Home Office immigration campaign.

It was left to Electronic Arts, the video games company, to provide the best and possibly only vaguely imaginative use of advertising of the weekend. Its live perimeter billboards at Stamford Bridge highlighted the first showing of its new Fifa 2009 ad during the half-term break. This has been done before by the likes of Sony but at least it created a sense of occasion and EA had the content to back it up. By Sunday night, I was feeling doubly let down - as much by the lack of imagination deployed by most of the advertisers on show as by the performance of the top European players on Sunday night.