Monday, June 14, 2010

I can't believe how SHITE CCTV is!!

I have berated the shortcomings of the national television station - and especially of its sports channel, CCTV-5 - many times before (notably during the Olympics two years ago, here and here and here; and in this very early post, when I was still being coy about the fact I was in China).

Chinese sports fans have told me that its scheduling is so stupidly perverse that they commonly joke that the acronym stands for China CRAP Television rather than China Central.

Things seem set to be particularly wretched during this World Cup. They've paid a lot of money for the coverage, I guess; so they don't see why they should expend any resources on anything else for the next month. Usually you can watch all the F1 motor races here, but yesterday's Canadian GP was bumped by the welter of World Cup programming (despite the fact that the race fitted neatly in the football-free slot between the day's second and third games). I rather fear that there's going to be no way for me to see any Wimbledon this year either (other than going to crowded and expensive sports bars to watch an overseas satellite channel - which I hate).

Well, at least this single-minded focus on the footie should mean that we get decent coverage of that, right?

Well, er, no - this is China CRAP TV-5 we're talking about here. There's a plethora of naff game shows and talk shows with a tenuous football theme, but remarkably little in the way of news or highlights from the tournament itself.

I was too tired to stay up for Germany's opener against the plucky boys from Oz last night, so had hoped to catch a full 'as live' re-run at some point today. During the last World Cup and the two European Championships I've seen here, the major games were all repeated in full at least once (although there was no kind of consistency as to what time these re-runs would be shown!).

Today, I thought I'd got lucky when they started showing the Germany v. Australia match as I took a break from my keyboard labours at lunchtime.

Hm. They showed the first half only. Then a LONG ad break. Then about 30 seconds of highlights of the rest of the game - blink and you've missed it.

Staggering! Mind-boggling!!

And the likelihood is, I fear, that this wasn't just a one-off aberration, because one of the channel controllers judged that this was an unimportant or unexciting game. No, these people are so incredibly obtuse that they are quite likely to do the same kind of thing - or worse - with the climactic games of the tournament.

I am already becoming tempted to flee the country for a few weeks, so that I can enjoy the tournament properly.

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