November 22, 2005

Four sports channels and is there anything worth watching?

I often ask myself when forking out huge amounts of money to subscribe to a few sports channels, do I really watch any of it and why is there so little on that holds my interest? Most schedules seem to concentate on group sports with either an oval or a round ball, which is really of marginal interest unless they zoom in on some interesting balletic activity. Which is rare and doesn't really warrant staying up till 3am to watch a rugby game live.
No, what I want from a sports channel is: gymnastics, diving, wrestling and swimming. Six months after the 2005 champs in France took place, a three hour package finally appeared on my screen. Igor Cassina (pictured) won the horizontal bar event (and my personal olive crown), and plenty of other eye candy paraded, jumped, spun, swung, sommersaulted, pirouetted and cartwheeled for my Saturday morning delectation.

As an afterthought, I wrote to Sky Television to ask why they thought it was suitable to screen a gymnastics championship 6 months after it was actually held. I mean, I don't mind the actual screening of gymnastics championships, there are far too few of them anyway, but why the time lag? Imagine the outcry if they decided to screen an All Blacks test match 6 months later only.
This what I got back from them:
"As gymnastics is a niche sport, we only bid for delayed rights, and we prefer to retain the coverage to play later in the year when the schedule is leaner, and there are not so many Rugby or Rugby League matches to work around. If we were to play this programming closer to the actual competition, it is likely that it would air in a poor timeslot, as it would be competing with a lot of live sport that we have at that time of the year."

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