Sunday 7 August 2016

Channel 7 disappointment

Here is a series of email exchanges between myself and Channel 7.

"Hi Channel 7,
I want to watch the badminton at the Olympics, however your website is quite poorly constructed and it is difficult to find what is and isn't included in your premium content subscription. Is the badminton offered in your premium subscription - or otherwise how do we watch the badminton?
Thanks - Andre"
[Not the actual words of the email - paraphrased as I don't have a record of it]

"Hi Andre,

Due to the nature of live sport we cannot confirm an exact broadcast schedule for the Badminton. Consider our Premium Access, which means you can watch every sport, every event, everywhere you go on the “Olympics on 7” app and website. It gives you access to up to 36 live event channels and includes over 3,000 hours of live HD coverage also available in catch up, plus reminders and alerts and a 24 hour Olympic News Channel. Premium content is indicated with a padlock...."

"Thanks, so in other words the only guaranteed way to watch badminton is to buy the premium package and stream it on the channel 7 website

"Hi Andre,
That is correct, Premium Access means you can watch every sport, every event, everywhere you go on the “Olympics on 7” app and website."

So I am a bit annoyed with Channel 7's coverage of the Olympic Games. As we all know, the Australian media tends to be biased towards Australians when it comes to sport. While not ideal, that is tolerable so long as television coverage extends to other events that Australians are not necessarily expected to win medals in.

I was disappointed watching the highlights show today on Channel 7 - I spent the whole time waiting for some highlights of Vietnam winning the gold in the men's 10m air pistol; or Thailand winning the women's 48kg weightlifting -- or seeing how South Korea or Hungary won their respective golds on Day One. However I was, instead, 'treated' to a somewhat overdrawn highlights show of various Australian performances at the Games. I do not know if Channel 7 actually showed what I wanted or not, because I just became so exhausted/impatient waiting for those things to come up that I just gave up.

Of course, it is good to see Australians performing at the highest level at the Games on TV. However, it is a little disappointing that the remainder of world talent has to be 'filtered' for this to occur.

I understand that Channel 7 only has a limited number of free-to-air channels. So I suppose it forces people like me to purchase a premium subscription. However, what is "free" and what is "premium" is by no means clear on 7's website. I don't use mobile phone apps -- but the Channel 7 website is a nightmare to navigate. I just wanted to know which sports are covered on free-to-air, and which aren't. The website isn't as user friendly as it should be.

It is Channel 7's onus to ensure the Olympic Games, including event schedules, are properly advertised given that they purchased exclusive rights to them. I suppose I am happy to pay the $20-odd subscription fee but the least they can do is let me know what selection of sports I am getting.

Andre Lim

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