Olympics Review : Seven screws up the coverage

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The Beijing Olympics saw many technological advances on the coverage, but also saw the end of an era – with Channel Seven no longer the rights holder for the Olympics.

It’s been almost a week after the Olympics have finished and we can now review all the news about the coverage of the Olympics here in Australia, and they did not get a good response. While some came from incorrect information, many were upset about the sports being delayed, not played or even pre-empted by the AFL.

Examples of fans uproar included:

Absolutely the worst coverage I have seen in my life. Not only do they chop and change in the middle of a sporting climax they then show Today Tonight or the AFL during the OLYMPIC GAMES???!!! Maybe someone should tell them that the Olympics is only on once every 4 years and the AFL is on every year for 6 months…stupid 7.

But to be fair, they only had one channel – or two if you count the coverage over at SBS; but wait – they do have a couple of SD channels and a HD channel as well. However, Seven told ABC’s Mediawatch that they could not multichannel since the sport was on the anti-siphoning list.

We’re not allowed to multi-cast. Government legislation prevents free-to-air commercial networks from multi-casting a sport which is on the anti-siphoning list…

The Beijing Olympics also saw the events being shown online, with NBC offering many events – but cut some to put on primetime. The BBC also showed the events online, with others being broadcast on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Radio and their interactive service. Meanwhile in Australia, we got crap – with one stream, for two hours a day.

In a response to Mediawatch, they say:

The Australian appetite for viewing live streaming has not reached the penetration of the US or Canada.

Yes, so apparently – it’s our own fault for not watching steaming videos. But that is expected since only the ABC is working on streaming video with its iView service.

But, you could always get the games via BitTorrent. Yes, the pirates managed to upload the Olympics coverage on the internet – and it is obvious they will be in a much better quality, and a way better if you compared it to the crap we got on Yahoo!7.

But again, Seven had to cover 26 sports within 2 free-to-air channels. In 2012, the Olympics will be on Nine and Foxtel, so we will now see what will be for us for free, and what we will need to pay for. That totally ruins the fun. But hey, it gives more time to find ways to watch the Olympics – from another country.

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