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Channel 7’s Olympic coverage

by Di Pearson on 3 Sep 2004
Now the Games are over and those of you who are sailors must be wondering if sailing is an Olympic sport?

You would not know it from Channel 7’s coverage. Actually, there are a few sports that got 10 seconds or no airtime at all.

In fact, had it not been for Colin Beashel carrying the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony and for Bob Ross on the spot in Athens we would have seen and heard next to nothing out of Athens in regards our sailors.

SBS showed a few seconds here and there, Seven, to my knowledge, showed sailing for a blinding 5 seconds twice and actually talked quickly about one or two sailors but showed the wrong boats!

Channel 7 bid and won the right to the Olympic coverage in Australia.

What we actually got amounted to a handful of sports – swimming featured even after it finished and I am still confused about how many medals some of the swimmers won, because even three days after winning a particular medal, they were still showing those same finishes and award ceremonies, to the detriment of other sports.

From what I saw and from what others told me, Equestrian, Gymnastics, Cycling, Diving, Rowing, Kayaking, Athletics and Shooting got a good run, some of those only because they got to medal stage.

OF COURSE THE WOMENS BEACH VOLLEYBALL got a huge run, mostly because of the lack of clothing the women wear. The Mens certainly did not get the same air time.

We know now that Channel 7 did not have any close up coverage AT ALL of the sailing.

On the Roy and HG show (also Channel 7) for instance, Lars Kleppich rated a mention just about every night and even made the top five (in the No. 4 spot) of the most mentioned people during the Olympic Games. Sarah Blanck too, came up for mention in the tribute to those who finished fourth overall in the respective sports at the Games.

In every case barring the sailors, footage of those athletes mentioned was screened as they were talked about.

Even Lars Kleppich’s mum asked Roy and HG to provide a picture if they were going to talk about him so much. The best they could come up with was a tiny pic that looked like it had come from a newspaper article – it was so small, it was hard to tell where it came from and you could not see it was him at all.

There are only two solutions to this problem, the way I see it;

1. As many of you as possible need to complain loudly to Channel 7

2. Both women and male sailors need to look at their sailing attire and take as much of it off as possible – all of it, if that is what it takes to get us some airplay

For the huge presenting cast Channel 7 took to Athens and for the amount of money it must have cost them, they should be ashamed of the job they did.

Get on the phone, email or fax now to Channel 7 AND COMPLAIN LOUDLY.
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