I’m not a great sports fan, on the whole. But, from time-to-time, I do enjoy watching some. Cricket is a particular favorite. And recent GB successes in cycling and rowing have caught my attention.
With the Olympics upon us, there’s a plethora of sports to watch, although I’m not able (easily) to access all 26 channels. The TV coverage on the BBC has been quite good, and I’d rate it higher were it not for the commentators and pundits and their incessant chatter. Alongside each professional commentator it seems that there now has to be an expert – even if they have little or no TV commentating experience.
. . . coz you wont stop talkin,
why dont you give it a rest?,
you got more rabbit than Sainsburys . . .
It seems that the current policy at the BBC is to fill every second with commentary – whether it’s needed or not. In the men’s cycle road race last Saturday, Chris Boardman (the expert – well, he did win a gold medal in Barcelona at the 1992 Olympic Games) was rabbiting on throughout, constantly repeating himself, and surmising what the riders would do. It was worse during the men’s 10m synchronized diving competition on Monday. After each dive a slow motion (and ultra slow motion) repeat was shown. And each time the ‘expert’ had to remind us that the judges didn’t see this – they made their (subjective) decisions in real time. Slo-mo showed up the discrepancies between the divers in great detail.
Frankly, today’s presenters and pundits could take a leaf out of the books of cricket and golf commentators – famous for their minimalist and witty comments. Even commentating on cricket on the radio commentators like the late Brian Johnston or John Arlott never assaulted our audio senses with incessant chatter; likewise Peter Alliss in golf.
But in this hi-tech and fast-moving age it seems that the pace of commentating has to match the speed of the action, instead of letting the magic of the images speak for themselves.