Saturday, August 16, 2008

CCTV - not all bad?

I was on the brink of offering a qualified apology for dissing CCTV5 yesterday for its almost complete neglect of Olympics stories involving non-Chinese athletes.

I hadn't realised earlier, but most of the CCTV channels are showing live Olympics coverage, at least during the evenings (and perhaps some of the local Chinese channels are as well; I haven't really investigated). So, CCTV5, the nation's flagship sports channel, is largely doing magazine round-up kind of shows, and carrying relatively few competitions live and in full. If you want to see all the swimming (or gymnastics or taekwondo or whatever), you have to click through the many available channels to find the one that might be dedicated to that.

However, I have been told by some friends who speak good Chinese, some who actually are Chinese, that the CCTV5 coverage mostly sucks: there's a huge amount of advertising, a huge amount of inane studio chatter, and the actual reports are so attenuated as to be sometimes unintelligible. People have complained to me that they can't even get a comprehensive and coherent account of China's medal successes from this channel.

And then..... last night I was trying to watch a bit of the men's badminton final (a big deal for China, since both of her leading players had made it through, guaranteeing another gold and silver to bump up the national medal tally even further). It was on CCTV, though I'm not sure which one of its many channels. I was standing with a bunch of local people watching a TV on the sidewalk outside a big Xinjiang restaurant near the new American Embassy.

They were showing the match without displaying the score.

Erratum: It appears that the match between Lin Dan and Chen Jin on Friday was only the semi-final. Lin steamrollered Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the final last night. This is what happens if you have to rely on snippets of secondhand and thirdhand gossip to build up your picture of the Games! Although I'm pretty sure that my belief that both Chinese players were in the final had come from a report on CCTV9.......


Anonymous said...

CCTV Olympics coverage sucks.
They have Olympics coverage rights; than why they do not show it? We see our China national games instead.
Where are sports where we have not Chinese athletes or are but without chance? Where is boxing, athletics (second day and did not show anything). Football only games with our lousy Chinese teams. Where is kayaking, handball, rowing, etc. - you guess.

Is this idea how to show and promote sports where we do not perform well or know nothing about?

It is understandable good way to build nation confidence; however ill service for the future.

Froog said...

Thanks for stopping by, Anonymous.

It's reassuring to have Chinese friends back up my opinion on this. I hate to be seen as just another whingeing foreigner.

Anonymous said...

You can change "China" to "Australia" and "CCTV" to "Channel 7" and the comments still ring true.

by Anonymous B