Seven’s Olympic broadcast weak … again

Week one of the Olympic is over, thank goodness. Seven has done some memorable sports broadcasts, but this Games is not one of them.

I “snapped” on Saturday after sitting through the agony of watching Australia playing beach volleyball (which shouldn’t be an Olympic sport, anyway). This typified Seven’s coverage, which shows mostly Australian athletes. Oh yes, that’s right, we in Australia.

But, you know, if I could afford to go to the Olympics, I (and I think most people) like to watch other countries’ competitors. There was a wealth of riches in the main stadium and I had to watch two guys playing a sport which belongs at a BBQ on Bondi Beach.

I am sure the station’s marketing people do homework (just how well, is debatable). But I reckon they just haven’t got it right. I work in the sports industry, and was a sports journalist on daily newspapers for 17 years. I’ve competed to international level in sport. 

Most people I talk to are sick of the lop-sided, jingoistic coverage and glib, bland commentary. Personally, if I hear “new world record” again I’ll puke. There is no such thing as a “new” world record. They teach that in journalism 101.

I would like to see some of the “also-rans”, the lesser lights. Where’s the human interest? Everything is about winning. Then again, I guess the original ideals of the Olympics (of competing just for the enjoyment) were long ago lost in the sponsor’s marketing gold rush and organisers’ desire to impose their propaganda on the world. 

By London 2012, I’m hoping that on-line media will have broken the monopoly of traditional broadcasters.

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