Infamy, infamy

The Olympics on TV

Elmer over at Living in Hong Kong has 7 Observations from Hong Kong TV Olympic Coverage, and I have to say that I agree with most of what he says.

(1) I have to admit that I haven't been paying very close attention, but I think he's right that the local Chinese channels of TVB and ATV show identical events (at least some of the time).  What's the point of that?

(2) The commentators have been a disgrace.  TVB Pearl has Andrew Sams with a few sidekicks (who are presumably meant to be the experts), but they both talk rubbish most of the time.  The two Chinese channels follow the usual Hong Kong practice of having a studio full of presenters in mistaken impression that more means better.

(3) Worse, they employ actors, actresses, comedians, singers and former Miss Hong Kong contestants as part of their large teams of presenters, who again talk rubbish most of the time. 

(4) Every country has a bias in favour of events where their own competitors might do well, and the Hong Kong coverage is no different in that respect.

(3) Scheduling seems to cause the terrestrial channels great difficulty.  I didn't watch the third set of the men's singles tennis final, but apparently TVB Pearl kept cutting away for the news.  Earlier in the same coverage they kept explaining that The Pearl Report would be shown later, though I'm not sure whether it ever was.  The previous day they were supposed to have a film at 8 pm but they had Olympic coverage instead and kept apologizing, as if anyone cared!  It's the Olympics - just cancel all the regular shows and have brief news bulletins when they can be fitted in! 

I'll leave Elmer's #6 & #7 because they are pretty much the same as 2 & 3, but I have a few more of my own.

  1. Watching the HD channel on Jade makes it very obvious that Now are cutting some corners with their so-called HD service for the English Premier League. 
  2. Why don't ATV have a HD channel?  Their normal HD channel has been given over to a screen that tells you what's on the other digital channels.  That's even worse than their normal pathetic 2 hours a night of HD programming.
  3. Of course, the information about what's on the other channels is all in Chinese.  Would it really have been so hard to have English as well?
  4. i-Cable have an online service providing live coverage and highlights.  Which would be great except that the website is entirely in Chinese!
  5. Oh, and I can't get it to work at all in IE or Firefox.
  6. I miss the on-demand service that Now TV had for Euro 2008.  I'm sure something similar must be possible with digital tv. 

All in all, it's definitely been a case of quantity rather than quality.


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No matter how Andrew Sams handled the commentary during the games, I will forever be angry at him for his stupidity for talking so much during the closing ceremony.

He and the other commentator would not shut up. They talked all over the musical performances, but not I noticed during Leona Lewis or Placido Domingo.

Actually, I thought most of the music was terrible anyway, but why did they keep talking all the time, which just made it worse.

I got tired of hearing them say how much the walls reverberated with the fireworks over and over.

I understand the technical limitations, but the stadium announcer was also talked over all the time. Why not let it go on air in French, English and Mandarin, it was all part of the atmosphere.

But no, they would talk right over it, saying the same thing.

Also, where was the background sound in most of the events? TVB couldn't turn the volume up?

If I ever meet Andrew Sams, and it could be years away, I will tell him his commentary sucked, and ask why wouldn't he shut up!

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