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BBC cuts

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BBC cuts

Postby boysen » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:33 am

To-day comes (more) news of money savings. Perhaps a threat to any coverage of track, currently being accused of being a minority sport, but given the views expressed on this and othe forums,a chance to re-figure its presentation on the lines of Eurosport...just one or at most two, commentators and NO, repeat NO, talking heads.
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Re: BBC cuts

Postby Geoff » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:43 am

I can see the above approach with athletics mainly being on the red button. I've been trying to think what the BBC did in the 70's and 80's but my memory has gone! Did we have very much chat at Crystal Palace or Golden League meetings in Zurich, Oslo etc? I am not confident at all about coverage of athletics in the future and our sport must try to adapt and change to a slicker, more competitive and exciting presentation.
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Re: BBC cuts

Postby Kermit » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:19 am

Geoff it memory serves me well meet like Zurich and Oslo were shown as a highlights package after 2200 with opening and closing presentation by either Ron Pickering or David Coleman. The bulk of the show was action, action, action.

The rise of the talking head came about 20 years ago with the advent of Sky.
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Re: BBC cuts

Postby Laps » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:26 am

We probably didn't appreciate how good the coverage was back then.

More action, less chat. The BBC could cut presentation staffing of most sports by 50% and they would only be missed in the positive sense. Cheaper, better coverage, less annoying distraction from ex-sports stars who are incapable of adding insight or information, less editorial censorship of what is, and isn't, of interest to the viewing public (eg field events).
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Re: BBC cuts

Postby trickstat » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:25 pm

As I remember it, BBC athletics coverage would almost never feature anybody talking to camera. Viewers often only knew what people like Ron Pickering actually looked like from other programmes like "We are the Champions" or the occasional special feature or interview on "Grandstand" or "Sportsnight".

I can remember ITV starting to cover meetings in the mid 80s and not liking the use of the somewhat oleaginous Jim Rosenthal as an "anchor". I know I wasn't alone in this view! Since about this time, sports coverage on British TV has generally featured visible "anchormen/women" and the increased use of studio pundits. Due to the length of the half-time break, football has used studio pundits for much longer, although, until the mid 80s live football on TV was rare outside of major Championships and the FA Cup Final. Now, studio pundits are used on football highlights shows which didn't happen on "Match of the Day" or "The Big Match" in the 70s and 80s.
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Re: BBC cuts

Postby TheRealSub10 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:39 pm

Kermit wrote:Geoff it memory serves me well meet like Zurich and Oslo were shown as a highlights package after 2200 with opening and closing presentation by either Ron Pickering or David Coleman. The bulk of the show was action, action, action.

For me the key thing is that Ron actually knew something about athletics and coaching. He tried to educate the audience about the sport to make it accessible - unlike what we see today.

Interestingly the fastest growing sport in the world is mixed martial arts (just check out Eurosport to see it has it's own section unlike athletics), something that didn't even exist as a TV commodity until 1992. We've all seen and can probably appreciate boxing to some extent but the wrestling and ground fighting elements of the competition were initially inaccessible to the lay person and so the sport struggled to gain mass appeal.

Then in step a corporation with good marketing and money in their eyes - the UFC run by Vegas billionaires. What they have done amazingly well is get great commentators like Joe Rogan (who is both a huge great tv personality in his own right in the US and an expert on the subject of both stand up and ground fighting) who educate the audience about what is happening as the fights unfold. As a result people who aren't involved in fighting as a hobby can engage. In fact they are now so engaged that they pay something like $35 to watch every UFC competition on pay per view. Not only that but the UFC have multiple networks fighting over the rights to its events. In fact they just signed a multi year deal with the biggest TV channel on the planet (Fox) to ensure the sport continues to grow. Now there is a minority sport that marketed itself to the max and grown exponentially because of it.

Athletics could of course could learn from this but the key difference is that the UFC is a commercial entity which aims to make money and so the people involved have an incentive to succeed (and the ability to get very rich as a result), whereas within athletics there is no incentive to evolve and grow the sport. For the people who could make it happen all that really matters is that they get enough votes to be re-elected keep calm and and carry on.
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