Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Solar Sports' Olympic coverage SUCKED!!!

And boy, did they SUCK big time! And in more ways than one!

Yes, this Typical Guy knows that countless forums and blogs are already flooded with harsh comments and criticisms regarding Solar Sports godawful coverage of the Beijing Summer Olympics but I feel that I have to add my voice to the growing number of dissatisfied viewers so that the higher-ups in Solar would learn from their godawful mistakes in their Beijing coverage because - and God help us all - Solar holds the rights for the Philippine coverage of the Olympic Games until 2016! Again, God help us all!

Now, let me break things down on where their coverage S

First off, even before the Games started, everyone else except your mom was talking about Michael Phelps' potential to break Mark Spitz' long-standing record of 7 gold medals in a single Olympic Games, but once the swimming events kicked off in the first week, we only got to watch boxing and tae kwon do matches featuring pugilists and fighters no one outside of their country has ever heard of.

Come the second week, and it was still the same sad story. With the then-freshly-minted "Fastest Man in the World," Usain Bolt, running the 100- and 200-meters just 3 short months after he set the new world record in the 100-m, he came out of the blocks fast and sharp and convincingly smashed the world record by setting up a new one that was .03 of a second faster than his "old" one! And then just a few days later, he proceeded to break Michael Johnson's 12-year old record in the 200-m by .02 of a second! And let's not forget the 4x100-m finals where Jamaica - with Bolt on the 3rd leg - also broke the 16-year old world record by .30 of a second! And yet, during one of those races, Solar Sports thought it best to show the synchronized swimming event, an event that's just as enjoyable and exciting to watch as watching wet paint dry!

Well, at least to their credit, Solar Sports was able to broadcast some of the events worth watching as either a delayed telecast or as a replay that spliced together some of the events' heats with the semifinals and the finals which made up for some "enjoyable and exciting" TV viewing, albeit a couple of hours or even a day after the said events' results have been posted online. In such cases, I thank the high heavens for sites like SportsTrick.com and EffNBC.com as they managed to bring the events worth watching on high-definition on your PC monitor.

But the most damning and godawful proof that Solar Sports' Olympic coverage SUCKED BIG TIME is that most of the events they featured - supposedly for the exclusive "All Access" subscribers - could also be seen on Solar's CS Sports free channel! Well, at least the same "All Access" subscribers got to watch the opening and closing ceremonies commercial-free while the hapless others who couldn't fork out the cash to get the service had to make do with the ceremonies that went on commercial break every few minutes. But still, who got the better end of the deal? If you ask me, I'm watching the Games for the GAMES, and NOT for the commercial-free opening and closing ceremonies!

But enough of the sports coverage and let's talk about the godawful hosts and commentators!

Now, I know the Philippines is a basketball-crazy nation so it's not surprising if the hosts can name all of the Redeem Team's players. But if you KNOW you're going to be covering the OLYMPICS, then wouldn't it be wise to do your homework and at least know some of the people you're going to be talking about?! After all, there's already a set schedule to follow for you to read up on the events you'll be covering. Is that so hard?! There's more to your job than making pa-cute and pa-gwapo to the camera and reading off of the teleprompters!

And if you're going to present yourself as such know-it-alls, citing quotes from athletes, like how this athlete said so-and-so about this athlete, then for the love of all that is great and holy, at least KNOW the name of the person you're quoting and don't just say, "The American who took second place..." These athletes have a name and they trained hard to get to where they are so at the very least, know their names. These people are already at the track or at the gym at 6 o' clock in the working, training constantly 4 to 8 hours a day to become the perfect physical specimen. What do you guys do other than waking up late, doing a couple of hours at Gold's Gym and spending the rest of your days drinking your lattes and hanging out with your sosy friends?

So to Jude Turcuato and company, I hope you're all listening and I hope you all learned something from your not-so-exclusive, not-so-well-covered "coverage."

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