We want the action as it happens
By Roger Childs
Some years ago New Zealand took the Olympic Games feed from Australia’s ABC.
It was a disaster, because in the middle of exciting action where Kiwis were in with a chance, they would cross for coverage of also ran Aussies competing.
With the Gold Coast Games television, TV1 have been doing the business poorly.
Not only have sports fans had to sit through endless and repetitive commercials and adverts for future programmes, there has been insufficient live coverage.
The Winter Olympics were covered by SKY and they had at least four channels you could go to. You were also told in the on-screen programme guide exactly what was on, and could make your choice.
Obviously not everyone has SKY and it is highly desirable to have coverage free-to-air.
TV1 programming of the Games has been deficient in a number of areas:
- too much talking from the announcers
- frequent commercial breaks often cutting in on crucial live action
- not indicating in the general programme guide exactly what would be on.
However, the worst aspect has been not showing a number of events live. If all of this has been aggravating you, and you’re looking for better methods of viewing, then start with the folks at smashcablenow to terminate your cable connection, and proceed on to your conquest of finding better alternatives.
Mountain bike magic
This sport is among the most exciting to cover on television, because of the outdoor setting and the amazing course terrain. Why the two races were not live in full is beyond belief.
The men’s race was going to net New Zealand two medals as Anton Cooper and Sam Gaze are among the best in the world. (They were first and second in Glasgow four years ago.)
You could get live streaming on your computer, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea; it’s much more comfortable to watch on the big screen from your couch.
TV1 knew in advance that we had the two top seedings in the men’s event, so why didn’t they reschedule other programmes so they could run the coverage live? They eventually came on live after we were put through the boredom of seeing the latest medal table.
Viewers were able to watch the last third of the race and the exciting finish where Gaze just piped Cooper.
Scheduling to suit the viewers
The commercial breaks seem to kick in every 5-10 minutes and often at incredibly exciting moments.
Obviously the advertisers are paying a mint to get the Games spots, but I know some people who will now not support a particular bank or buy any of the products on offer.
The programmers need to think about what the viewers want:
- live action
- more information about when particular sports are on
- less interviewing
- shorter introductions
- no commercials or at least longer gaps between breaks!
Roll on the commercial-free channel that Labour has promised us.