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Archive for Television

Ten gets Big Bash

Network Ten has entered the cricket arena winning the rights to the Big Bash league.

According to Cricket Australia Channel Nine will continue to broadcast Test and one day internationals and the deal is worth $590 million.

So basically Network Ten will show the domestic Twenty20 competition whilst Nine will show the local Internationals.

The Big Bash has previously been shown on Fox Sports and its good to see that its now available on free to air.

I think the timing of the sell of the rights was good for Cricket Australia with the back to back Ashes series coming next summer.

I hope we will be able to see some good cricket over the summer.

Out of reach FA Cup

This year's FA Cup final between Manchester City and Wigan was played at 515 pm local time which meant 215 am Melbourne and out of reach for me to watch live.

Traditionally the FA Cup has been played at 3 pm local time in England but I think the demands of live television have made sure it got changed to a 515 pm slot where most people are home and can watch the match live.

However, here in Melbourne it means the kickoff is now at 215 am which is quite difficult for me to stay up for or to wake up for moreso when the next day is Mother's Day.

The best kickoff time for me I think would be 1 pm local time in England which is 10 pm local time here but I cannot see that happening.

I would have liked to watch the match live and watch the match that became Roberto Mancini's last match after he was sacked by Manchester City.

This year both ESPN and SBS were showing the match live and so it was easier for me to just record the match and watch early in the morning before knowing the result.

Eurosport beams Nations Cup matches

The Australian Eurosport channel is showing the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations matches live with repeats during the day.

Eurosport has shown all the six matches live so far and there are also highlights of the first match before the second match is broadcast.

Last year the channel also showed the matches live and this is good because before the were some highlights of only the final on SBS.

For the group matches, the first match kicks off at 2am EST with the second match kicking off three hours later.

So its quite possible to catch up the second half live action as this starts around 6am.

So far five matches have been drawn with Mali being the only winner so far.

I hope we will see more goals as the tournament progresses and as team begin to take more risk instead of just playing to avoid defeat.

Live A-League football on SBS

SBS has won the rights to show the Friday A-League match from the 2013/14 season for four years.

This will be the first time that the A-League will be shown live on free to air television.

The A-League has been shown exclusively on FoxSports but from next season there will be one match live on free to air and the SBS will also show the final series matches one hour behind.

Its also good to see that SBS will also show the weekend highlights.

I think this should have been the case from season one to have highlights on free to air television.

Also it will be good if the highlights are at least one hour long and not like the current thirty minute highlights by Foxtel which tend to focus on the goals only.

Espn Australia drops La Liga

The Spanish Primera league enters its sixth round and by now everyone who had followed the league on Espn knows that it's no longer televised on that channel.

They have also dropped coverage of the Uefa Europa League which means the only footbal coverage they have now is the Major League Soccer and also the FA Cup.

For some people it could be time for to go through the players rewards card information as the live football coverage decreases.

I was surprised to see that Setanta Sports did not pick up La Liga coverage despite losing the FA Cup to Espn. It looks like they preferred the English Championship to La Liga.

I can understand why Espn dropped their La Liga coverage because I think most people want to watch Barcelona and Real Madrid and the matches involving other teams may not be of much interest to most people especially if there is Premier League on Foxtel.

Unlike the English Premiership where almost every match is interesting to watch, I don't think the same can be said of La Liga.

I also think the league should reduce the amount of money they charge for the rights especially if the majority of the matches are played in the early hours of the morning and most people can only record if they are interested.

It benefits the league in terms of awareness and marketing if they lower the price of the rights and have some coverage in this region rather than have no coverage at all.

I wonder what will happen for the El Clasico. SBS covered both legs of the Super Copa which Real Madrid won and maybe they may try and get rights for that one big match.

SBS launches new channel

Early this week SBS launched the new digital channel called SBS Two which will feature extended coverage of sports, news, movies and drama.

I think this is a good move on the part of SBS and especially this year when the channel has to cover both the Tour de France the Ashes cricket series.

With SBS Two they are going to be able to cover both events live at the same time without upsetting some viewers.

The first mention of SBS Two that I got was when SBS won the rights to show the UEFA Champions League but then the channel was not yet launched.

I hope that when they show full replays of football they will also show the time like what both ESPN and FoxSports does.

Its good to see good use of digital channels with Channel 10 also launching One HD early this year which shows for example live F1 races.

SBS wins Champion League rights

SBS has secured the UEFA Champion League rights for the next three seasons and will show the matches together with Espn.

The most significant aspect of the deal is that SBS and Espn will no longer show the same matches before the semis as they have done on so many occasions this season and the years before.

In the quarter-finals for example, both stations showed the same matches on two consecutive days for both the first and second legs.

For the first leg matches, they both decided to show Manchester United/Porto and Liverpool/Chelsea and then showed the reverse fixtures the following week.

Its good to see that the same thing will not happen next season.

What I would have liked to see though is the ability for viewers to choose whatever match they would like to watch especially in the group stages.

Also SBS will show the Europa Cup matches and also the Super Cup which is good. This year they covered the UEFA Cup matches towards the end but next season they will also beam the group stage matches which is good.

Ten to show opener live

Channel Ten will now show the opening match of the new AFL season between Richmond and Carlton live after the match was sold out.

I think this is a good move on the part of Ten because there is a lot of interest in the match because of the match up between Ben Cousins and Chris Judd.

Showing the match live means also that the match will finish earlier especially on a Thursday night.

Its always good to see television responding positively to public demand and showing the Carlton/Richmond is a good sign.

I hope that they will do the same should there be other similar circumstances rather than sticking to schedule.

Setanta with FA Cup

This year I realized that the FA Cup is no longer on SBS and Espn but its now on Setanta.

I am not sure whether SBS will actually screen the final live because their website doesn't to say anything about it.

Last season it was quite good with coverage from both Espn and SBS and I was able to watch most of the matches leading to the final.

But this year is different because the matches are now on Setanta and because I have Foxsports with Optus I still cannot get Setanta.

I am hoping that SBS will show the final live.

SBS and ESPN tread same path

SBS and ESPN have the rights to show UEFA Champions League football in Australia and for the first Group Phase games they decided to show the same matches live on both days.

On Wednesday both channels decided to show the match from Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Bordeaux and on Thursday they both showed the goalless draw between Manchester United and Villareal.

To make it worse on Wednesday they both showed the re-run of the match between Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon soon after the live match had finished.

It was better on Thursday when one channel showed the Juventus match and the other showed the Real Madrid match.

I think SBS should show whatever match they wish to show as a free to air broadcaster but ESPN must consider showing something different. Everyone who has ESPN at least has SBS and therefore they can afford to switch channels to the other one.

In this day and era ESPN must also do what FoxSports does in the Asian Champions League. When there are two matches being played at the same time involving Australian sides they give the viewers Viewer's choice and it works really well.

Here we have eight quality matches being played at the same time and yet we are forced to watch a goalless draw on two channels when they were other interesting matches like the Lyon/Fiorentina match for example.

I wonder how long it will take for these broadcasters to know that football fans need a choice especially when FoxSports does that every weekend where we have a choice of five matches most Sunday mornings in the English Premier League.

I hope that for the next round ESPN will not bore us by showing the match SBS will be showing as well.

Football the 7 way

Channel 7 began their 2008 Olympics coverage by showing a Group A football match between Australia and Serbia last night.

To start with this match was not live but that wasn't very much of a problem but it was the showing of ads during the match that irked me. The published time was 9 pm but they started showing the match nearly at quarter past nine.

What annoyed me more than anything else is showing ads during that match. I know its not a live match but they should have waited until half time to show those ads.

In the 40th minute for example, the ads took something like four minutes and it was a long wait especially knowing that the match had just five or so minutes to go before half time.

The schedules shows that 7 is going to show the Australia/Argentina match and I hope they are not going to stop the match to show ads and also hope they will show it live.

Even when Foxtel shows re-runs of overnight English Premiership matches they wait for half-time to show ads and I think that's the way it should be.

I cant wait for SBS coverage of Olympic football because at least SBS know how to show football properly.

Interesting choice from SBS

SBS began their coverage of Euro 2008 with the opening ceremony followed by the match between Switzerland and the Czech Republic which I thought was very good.

But SBS have access to the show 8 games live with Setanta showing everything in Australia and what I have found interesting is that they are going to show live the match between Spain and Russia.

With just eight matches I actually don't see the importance of that match and also its an opening match and therefore both teams can afford to lose it and still qualify for the quarter finals provided they win their last two matches and other results go their way.

I know Russia are now coached by former Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink and maybe that was a factor but I still don't see the need for showing opening matches when there are only eight matches in total to be shown.

Another thing is that this match is a 2 am AEST kick off on a Wednesday morning which makes it harder to watch especially if you have to go to work the following morning. The 4.45 am matches are far much easier to cope with as that is the time that Champions League matches also start.

But its good to see that SBS will screen live the Group C match between between the Netherlands and France. For me thats an appetizing tie and it also kicks off at 445 am on a weekend.

That is going to be the third match and so not including the final there will be four matches left. It now means that for some of the quarter-finals match or even semi-finals we would have to resort to the the daily highlights. That looks to me like a poor diet of Euro 2008.

SBS, Setanta to show Euro 2008

The Euro 2008 tournament starts next week and in Australia SBS and Setanta will be showing the matches live.

SBS are going to show just eight live matches and that includes the opening match and the final.

On the other hand Setanta Sports will show every match but to subscribe you need first to subscribe to Foxtel and then you need to subscribe to Setanta.

Whilst I have Foxtel and I would have subscribed to Setanta in order to get more all the matches games, I understand Setanta is not available to me because my Foxtel is through Optus.

For Euro 2004 FoxSports televised all the matches and did a good job out of it but this time it looks like we will have to go with what SBS selects as their six live matches outside the opening match and final. This is just a third of the matches.

If you think that they will show the semis then that will leave just four matches and I am beginning to wonder why they could not get more than 8 matches.

SBS gives a good run

On Sunday the Osaka World Athletics Championships came to an end and I thought that the SBS gave very good over the week or so when the championships were held.

I find that the World Championships that come before the Olympic year are more exciting compared to the ones that come soon after because athletes will be tuning up for the Olympics.

I thought SBS coverage was quite comprehensive and mature and they did their best to make sure that they covered every sport which was very good.

With Channel 7 covering the Olympics next year, it will unfortunately not be the same coverage because I suppose we will be reduced to watching bits and pieces and checking results online. I know that events like the Olympics are a bit difficult to cover but then again there is digital television which should allow viewers to choose which sport they would like to watch.

One year to go for Beijing

On Wednesday night I watched live pictures on television from Beijing marking one year before the Beijing Olympics are set to begin.

I can't remember seeing something similar being done for the Athens or the Sydney Olympics a year before the start of the games or maybe if that happened I could have missed it because I was living in a different time zone. But all the same it shows the confidence that the Chinese have in hosting successful games.

From what I have read it seems like the Chinese have done a very good job with their preparations for the Olympics in making sure that venues are ready on time but one wonders what they are going to do about issues like pollution.

I also don't understand what happens if some events are delayed or postponed as Jacques Rogge says because of too much pollution. I think its better to say that those long endurance races will actually be cancelled as opposed to just postponement or delaying.

This also brings to question why the smog problem was not looked at when the games were awarded to Beijing unless possibly it wasn't an issue at the time. I hope that these are some of the issues that will need to be looked at in future when it comes to choosing venues for international sport.

Four to Foxtel

At long last, it has now been announced that Foxsports will show four AFL matches live out of the eight played in each round. I have been following with interest to see what would happen because channels 7 and Ten got the rights to all the AFL matches but they couldn't show all the matches on their networks without affecting other programming schedules and so they had to sell on some of the matches to another channel.

So now they have managed to sell the matches to Foxtel. With the Footy channel now closed it means that the matches will be shown alongside the other sports that get shown on Foxsports which in a way is better than the previous arrangement where there was a channel showing nothing else but AFL football which I pointed out in an earlier post.

Its interesting to see that the free-to-air channels bid for the right show the all AFL matches but they know they cannot show all of them for logistical reasons and have to sell on to pay television which is not allowed to bid on its own right because of the anti-siphoning laws. What would happen for example, if the pay television channel doesn't buy the rights to the other matches? Maybe if pay television could bid on their own merit that could result in more money for AFL clubs but that would need a change to the current anti-siphoning laws which dictate that those rights go to free-to-air television.

The end result of the latest deal now means that less matches will be available on free to air television compared to last season. Also because Foxtel will have the first rights to matches involving teams from Adelaide and Perth, its more likely that most of the matches involving Freemantle, Adelaide, Port Adelaide and West Coast Eagles will be on pay television.

I don't know what the AFL fans in Perth and Adelaide now think of those same anti-siphoning laws when most matches involving their teams are not going to be available on free-to-air.

It will be interesting to see if this will still be the case when these rights are up for grabs again in five years time. Maybe by then clubs would have realised that they could make more money by allowing everybody to bid in the first place.

AFL free for all

According to an article in The Age all eight AFL games are likely to be shown on free-to-air television after talks reportedly broke down between the rights holders and Foxtel who could have shown up to four matches per week.

This will be good for AFL fans because they will be able to watch all the AFL matches without the need for pay TV but at the same time I think that will mean just too much footy on those two channels, 7 and Ten.

I actually don't know whether over-saturation of a good thing is any good but I will waiting to see how the two channels will manage the eight match load without adversely affecting their other programs.

The winners in this case could AFL fans and ironically Channel 9 who lost the rights early this year. This is because all those not much interested in the AFL will just turn to Channel 9 to watch alternative programs.

Television decides Olympics schedule

It’s sad to see that the swimming finals have now been re-scheduled to take place in the morning at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This I understand will enable the finals to be shown live in the evening in the US and this will be good for television ratings.

This is unfair for some of us television viewers in Australia and the region who were supposed to have watched these finals live during the evening our time. Now they will be shown in the morning Melbourne time which doesn’t help us at all.

When Beijing won the right to host the Olympics we all thought that was good for the Australasian time zone because we were going to have another chance to watch the Olympics in times that suited us best just like the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

In Athens the events were shown in their ‘normal’ scheduled times and we never complained that it was early morning our time because we knew in Beijing we were going to watch the those events in the evenings until now when television is now determining schedules.

I don’t think London 2012 will change the schedule to suit prime time American viewing. In either case it won’t benefit us anyway.

The only good news to come out of this is that at least athletics finals will be shown in their ‘normal’ time slot in the evening and that’s going to suit us, at least for now.

Bye Fox Footy, welcome Fox Sports 3

Early tomorrow morning the Fox Footy channel will be axed after 5 years on air and also tomorrow sees the launch of Fox Sports 3 another general sports channel to add to Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2. I will miss the Fox Footy channel for its live coverage of Saturday and Sunday AFL matches and then the repeats during the week. Having said that I never understood why it continued to run during the AFL off-season.

The Fox Sports 3 is a welcome addition and will mean that Foxtel will be able to show many live games at the same time. This will also mean that from now the English championship matches will be shown live rather than delayed as has been the case so far save for one or two matches.

With the AFL season finishing today with the AFL Grand Final the Fox Footy channel will sorely be missed for real when the AFL pre-season tournament begins next year and suddenly there is no place where you can catch up with any missed matches at any time.

The first local sport or match to be shown live on Fox Sports 3 will be the A-League top of the table encounter between Melbourne Victory and Queensland Roar.