2006-03-21

CommonWealth Games

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe Commonwealth Games are a joke. Foxtel wants to sell you special packages to watch everything on at least seven channels of coverage, Channel 9 are stuffing in as many advertisements as they can and showing only the highlights of all events except swimming, and making absolutely no use of their other digital channels which could be showing events in full - they want you to pay extra via foxtel if you want to see that.

How I hate competitive swimming. This sport has been shoved down our throats by the media moguls, beating up an incredibly boring event to where the hype-prone populace actually feel some excitement, all in order to sell some insurance, dishwashing liquid, moisturiser and so on. Then some of these over-publicised water-bound athletes have the audacity to do wonderful things like break contracts but still want the public funds because they believe they think they deserve a break. Let's just have the highlights of swimming, if people want more then let them pay for foxtel or just broadcast on the other digital channels that you own.

Please stop broadcasting medal ceremonies in the hopes that someone cries and we get a "golden memory". I'm sick of the Australian anthem and I have little interest in hearing other nations, especially when the events that I am interested in get only miniscule amount of air time while medal presentations get a whole bunch.

While we're at it, will people stop listening to Ray Warren; he's the commentator who gets overhyped, spouting useless information and cliches while he builds to a fever pitch screaming when the swimmers are about to win. He also calls Rugby League and a bunch of other events where I have to turn the volume off. His excitement is practiced and paced, to me it is as fake as the smiles on american comedy shows. What's worse, it seems that other commentators have studied this technique and are using it in other events, like the rascist imbecile who was commentating on the weight lifting.

As we have known for a while, the commercial rights to "major" athletics events are nicely sold away to corporate interests for vast amounts of money. We then have a branded event that makes them the governing bodies get all snarky when someone else might mention the words "Commonwealth Games" and thereby potentially make buckets of money that should go to the people who paid to be allowed to say these sacred words. Despite the heavy amount of public funding, throwing up images on the net or taking photos is just not on. Certain athletes (usually swimmers) get very upset when you use their image with your corporate logo. It is all about the marketing and too many viewers are buying into it.

Then there are the medal tallies which are a personal hobby horse for me (qv Olympics). We get all excited because Australia is so far ahead of everybody else in the simple medal count. Which, in the end, means very little. Some people will say that Australia "won" the Commonwealth Games. If you define the criteria for winning as the most medals collected by a country to which athletes claim to represent, then this is indeed the case. However, if you think about exactly what that count of medals means and gain some understanding of the numbers, you will see that "winning" as a group has little meaning at all. Winners are the media corporations, the contracting companies who built the infrastructure.

Most likely the athletes came out winners too and not because they got a chunk of metal around their neck, but more for participating, for visiting a new country and competing with their peers, hopefully making new friends. While that may make you feel good as a viewer, it shouldn't. You've been taken for a ride. Your government just spent heaps to host the events, athletes, the middle men in suits, government officials, diplomats, business people and so on. The politicians use the games to show what a great sport they are. The government sold your rights to view these games to corporations who sold time to advertisers who will hook some of us into buying their useless crap at inflated prices because they have to pay for the extraordinary advertising you were forced to watch.

1 comment:

Narbs said...

Two words: Tivo or MythTV. Haven't watched an ad yet :)