Australians Short Changed on Olympic Coverage.
Watching the Rio Olympics from Australia is proving to be a tough experience, in 2016. There is an 11 hour time difference between Rio and where I am and 13 hours between Rio and the East Coast of Australia. So most of the events take place in the middle of the night here, or very early in the morning.
As if that did not make it difficult enough, the sole rights for coverage have been given to the terrestrial Channel 7. While this is a good thing, in as much as everyone can view the competition for free, this is counter balanced by the huge holes in Seven’s programming.
Parochial, Too Many Ads and No Schedule
The problem with Australian coverage of sporting events on terrestrial television has always been the degree of extreme parochiality. If Usain Bolt is running in the 100 metre final and that clashes with an Aussie in the heats of the tiddlywinks, you can bet your life that they will be showing the Australian. This means that anyone, who’s interest in sport extends beyond these shores, is frequently short changed.
To make matters worse, there is no published schedule of televised events, that I have been able to track down. This means frequent switching of channels, to see what is on at any given time and missing part, if not all of some events, that you would have wanted to see.
Add to this the incessant advertisements. Particularly annoying are the coming attractions of shows that will be on after the Olympics. We get the same clips over and over again, during every break.
Put all of that together and this is proving to be my least enjoyable Olympic experience.
Bring Back Fox Sports
The London 2012 Olympics was shared between terrestrial Channel 9 and pay TV station Fox Sports, in Australia. While Channel 9 suffered many of the issues of Channel 7, Fox Sports dedicated 5 channels to the Olympics, with an on screen schedule permanently available. You get what you pay for, but Australians have been denied the coverage that the Olympics deserves by restricting access to only one broadcaster and the public lose out again.
Oh well, bring on Super Saturday and the late nights that go with it.
By Max Power