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TDF is underway

July 6, 2008

Today’s Weekend Australian “Review” section has the managing director of SBS, Shaun Brown, talking about his “tumultuous tenure”.  It is true that SBS has changed – perhaps for the worse – in the past few years.  The Movie Show is rubbish; the actual “movie show” was, and will ever be, David and Margaret and it matters not what it is called now that it is on the ABC – it is the movie show.  I don’t watch the news any more on SBS.  I’m sure it continues to take a more global view than the other free-to-air news bulletins, but the shouldn’t-this-be-on-Foreign-Correspondent/Insight/insert-public-affairs-show-here interviews overwhelm me and the new format meant that I felt I was missing some key local news, so I opted to watch Ian Henderson exclusively instead (although, ABC, I still miss Angela Pippos and that buffoon Peter Wilkins was fine on The Fat all those years ago, but he is no Melbourne sports presenter).

Other critics of the new SBS accuse it of betraying its mulicultural charter.  Perhaps these criticisms are valid, although the broadcaster previously suffered from characterisation as a European free-soft-porn channel.  I’ve never watched Inspector Rex but I have regularly watched Mythbusters, South Park, Big Love and Top Gear, which are not at all multicultural (Grant Imahara is probably the only non-Anglo-Saxon represented in these shows).

All these criticisms aside, SBS wins my support just for the annual broadcast of the Tour de France.  Every stage of the race is covered, live.  Not just every stage, but more of each stage than most broadcasters show.  Just one thing, SBS.  The commercials.  I have, unfortunately, reached the stage where I have accepted the reality of commercials on SBS.  Just not the commercials shown repeatedly during the coverage of the Tour de France.  Women watch cycling too!  I don’t want to see “interrupted stream” and “erectile dysfunction” while I am enjoying a glass of Moet and the scenery of Brittany.  I don’t want to watch Stage One, knowing that the next three weeks will be a constant stream (sorry, Mr Interrupted) of these ads.

Show some more of those clever French car ads…  Please.

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