BBC coverage of the Olympics is crap.

(Before I start: I don’t have Digital, Freeview or Cable, and I don’t want them either. We had Digital and got rid).

First, why does the BBC focus on a few sports almost to the exclusion of others? For example: swimming, we had coverage of nearly every single race, no matter how slim (and in most cases, non-existant) the chances of a British athlete winning a medal were, whilst we had two minute segments of other sports where we had a decent chance (double trap shooting, sailing etc.) on the Olympic headlines. It wouldn’t be as bad if there was anything remotely interesting in watching swimming races. It’s not as if you can argue that swimming is a far more exciting spectator sport than any other sport.

Secondly, what is up with the camera angles on the rowing coverage? Half the time the camera is aimed in such a way that it deceives you into thinking second or even third place is in the lead. They focus the camera on one boat for ages while the commentator is screaming about how one team is going to overtake another further down the rankings.

Not that I am defending them but with the ability to choose sports on BBCi there’s less incentive for them to have much variety on the analogue signal.
I’ve found their coverage pretty good. I hear lots of Americans complaining about America’s coverage (but have never delved deep enough to find out why) so what’s the problem with the American coverage?

Can’t comment on the BBC, but every televised rowing event I’ve ever watched it’s been next to impossible to determine who’s actually leading. You have to watch as the boats go past the bouys. I’d imagine it’s very difficult to keep the on-shore camera exactly square with the race leaders - and even if they did, it’d then be impossible to tell which boat’s in 3rd and which is in 4th, etc.

That’s the same problem I have. I don’t have cable, so I get NBC and none of their other channels. All the cool unpopular sports are shown on cable, so I get swimming, more swimming, beach volleyball, gymnastics, then back to swimming, then let’s check in on the semi-hemi-quarterfinal qualifying beach volleyball match again, then basketball, then a little more swimming, then ten seconds of badminton during the late-night wrapup.

Still, it’s nice to hear someone complaining about the BBC for a change.

Well, in the Olympic context it’s certainly got a higher profile than sailing; arguably the 10,000m running isn’t all that intrinsically exciting either, but it’s part of what makes the Games what they are. Everyone knows who Phelps and Thorpe are, but I’d be very surprised if many people outside the UK have a clue who Ben Ainslie is. I guess another thing is that a 2 minute swimming race has a lot more immediate appeal than a highly technical 5-day regatta (or whatever it is) in which each race lasts hours. I also can’t imagine it’s a very telegenic sport; it’d certainly be at best difficult to film in such a way that it’s clear what’s going on.

Well, here it’s nowt to do with the beeb; they buy their TV feeds from the Greek organisers, same as everyone else. That said, Gorsnak is right; parallax is always a problem with rowing. You’ve just got to try and concentrate on the buoy lines I guess.

I think the Beeb do a pretty good job of getting as much variety on the analogue broadcasts as possible, and even more on the satellite. Plus, they’re doing about 5 simultaneous live webcasts which work really quite well. A single channel can’t show everything, and it’s inevitable that the main one is going to be showing the more mainstream sports.

Sorry, but you NEED digital. Today, I’ve been watching hockey, football, beach volleyball :wink: , rowing, sailing, athletics, swimming, cycling, …

Starting with the opening ceremonies, the commentators never shut up long enough for the viewers to hear what was going on or the music. Bjork performed and Costas and Couric never closed their gobs for a second (which if you hate Bjork I suppose is a good thing but personally I wanted to hear the song).

The coverage on NBC proper is and always has been very Ameri-centric. If an American is in the field, regardless of how remote the chances of medaling, that’s where the coverage is. To the neglect of every other athlete and nation. If there’s a pseudo-rivalry (i.e. America vs China vs Japan in men’s gymnastics) then NBC would cover the other athletes briefly but the rest of the field is still largely ignored (as I commented in another thread, almost the only times the gymnastics coverage cut away from the Americans was to show a Russian falling off something, and despite finishing 8th in the qualifiers not a single routine by a German gymnast was shown). Rather than show competition, NBC lards the airwaves with human interest stories about the various athletes which from the reaction very few people seem to care about. Coverage of less-than-mainstream events is relegated to NBC’s various cable stations and suffers from many of the same problems, along with being scheduled during off-hours so if you want to watch, say, live badminton (and who doesn’t?) you have to be up at the crack of ass.

I’m sure others will weigh in as well, or there are a couple of Pit threads on the coverage too.

I’ve looked at a huge amout of BBC coverage and yes while they do tend to concentrate on the Team GB quite a bit I still find the coverage very good indeed.

Why don’t you get freeview? It’s only something like a once of £50 payment isn’t it?

Eurosport (if you get it) has quite good coverage as well and without a central studio so no Sue Baker clones :wink:

The Olympics is the first time this has been true. And also the first time I’ve properly used Interactive features.
I’ve used it to watch the Gymna… err… Badminton. Yeah, badminton.

Same with me. Well, actually, I’ve been round my parents house watching it there :smiley: (I can’t get freeview where I live, and can’t afford satellite)

Apparently, there is something interesting about swimming. I’m not sure what it is, but when my sister was visiting last week, she was glued to the television when the swimming events were on. She seemed to find a lot to comment about, although I have to admit I sort of tuned her out because I really couldn’t have cared less myself.

My sister was a competitive swimmer for many years, that probably has something to do with it.

My fucked up national broadcaster keeps switching between sports at the most climactic moments.

The fucks showed the Men’s 1500 swim, great race, tension until the final laps, and then just two laps from the finish (after having shown the whole thing until then) the pricks switch to the Javelin throw in the Women’s Heptathlon. WTF? You idiots!

The other day they switched before Patterson’s floor routine in the Gymnastics to show some other non-event.

Who the fuck is incharge of this shit ?

Ok, thanks for letting me piggy back on your rant. I feel better already. :slight_smile:

Was she watching the men’s events, by any chance? I know I find the women’s swimming riveting…until they get in the water, that is :smiley:

I had a feeling someone would make that suggestion, GorillaMan, but that’s not it :slight_smile:

Why would that matter? We’re talking about the British Broadcasting Corporation, i.e. a corporation that is supposed to be programming for British tastes. Yes Thorpe and Phelps are good, but when we have the chance to see the British sailing team siginificantly improve our medal tally, why not switch over to them instead of showing races with no British competitors in?

Perhaps then sailing would start to get a better profile?

Sailing is not really the most televisual sport is it? Oh, and to echo what others have said, get digital. The interactive will let surely even satisfy your need for sports that no-one else wants to watch :wink:

I’ve heard the same about football :smiley:

You don’t like the standard BBC coverage and yet you don’t want interactive? :wally

What are you, some kind of masochist?

You have the Locker Room channel too? Cool!

I was a competitive swimmer for years also, and I have no interest in watching swimming. Even when Gavin Meadows (Brit swimmer who was in the last Olympics but not this one, who I grew up with and used to train with) was racing, I could barely go meh.
My gripe being an analogue viewer is that for the last 7 days all i’ve seen aside from some swimming is Gymnastics. And every event had Svetlana whatsherface from Russia in it.
Even the Mens.
More variety would be appreciated.