Sunday, August 24, 2008

CCTV..... still sucketh mightily

I switched on the TV early this morning, and was quite pleased to discover a fairly full rundown of highlights from yesterday's events in the Olympics. Well, a bit brief and choppy, but reasonably comprehensive.

And then they got to the Women's High Jump Final (which I'd largely missed last night, owing to technical difficulties at the bar I was in). And they showed 4 women, doing one jump each. In no particular order. Without any captions as to the height being attempted! I'm not even sure that Tia Hellebaut's winning jump was one of those shown. The final jump shown was an unidentified competitor failing to make an unidentified height (possibly the Olympic record holder, Elena Slesarenko, crashing out at 2.03m). Now, of course, if I'd been able to follow the Chinese commentary, perhaps it would all have been perfectly clear (although I'm not entirely convinced of this). But this is a very visual entertainment medium, people; and the majority of viewers in China are watching in bars and restaurants, or out on the street, without any sound (or with it drowned out by background noise).

We need the basic information in captions. And we need some kind of logical order to the presentation of events. Logic? In China?? Yes, perhaps I'm asking for too much.

And then.... I foohardily switched over to CCTV5, to see if there would be a further or better roundup of yesterday's events, and some previews of today's. There was a daily magazine show called 'Good Morning, Olympics' on; lots of inane chatter, precious few bits of film. Oh well. They're bound to mention the Men's Marathon at some point, right? They'll probably be showing the whole race - since this is the main sports channel, and there aren't any other events on this morning.

WRONG. 7.30 rolls around, and the inane chatter continues unabated. I have to flick through all the other channels to find pictures of all the wiry African lads leaving Tiananmen Square.

China's domestic TV coverage of this Olympics has been just un-fucking-believably BAD.

One further gripe: I had been hoping to catch the bronze medal play-off football game between Brazil and Belgium, but...... only a bronze medal + China not involved = minimum priority for Chinese TV programmers. I'm not sure if it was even shown live (it didn't appear to be on any channel I could find), but there sure as hell haven't been any re-runs. Not even any highlights, or a mention of the result. Nothing.

Whereas this morning, one of the channels was showing last night's Men's Table Tennis Final between Ma Lin and Wang Hao from start to finish.

Further update: That Lin-Wang match was just shown again on CCTV-5, straight after the live Men's Basketball Final. OK, table tennis is a big deal for the Chinese, but really...... this must be at least the 5th or 6th time it's been shown in the space of 20 hours..... while a lot of other events have been shown only once or twice, fleetingly...... or not at all.

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