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London Tri & Sky News

I was watching Sky News' Sports bulletin on Sunday night, the extended one covering the day's sport.

On the positive side the London Tri got a mention.

On the negative side it only got a mention in the context of a F1 driver having a good race. So it wasn't even a Tri story, it was a F1 story.

I then looked up BBC's website to see who won the elite races. Nothing.

Likewise the official London Tri website.

I'm not well versed in the workings of the media but (a) maybe the Tri authorities and race sponsors should have been more pro-active in ensuring coverage of the event was more than just a F1 sideshow and (b) surely the sports editors at the TV stations could at least have the imagination to guess that an event that attracts so much participation might also attract some interest from the wider sports & tri community with regard to the actual result.

Very disappointing.


  • TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    There is a programme dedicated to it on channel 4. I think it's Sunday 16th August, at 8am.
  • chischis Posts: 94
    Yeh I agree it is disappointing that the level of coverage of triathlon by the tv companies is so small. Perhaps it is because the sport is more difficult and expensive to cover than one which remains in one fixed location eg. football, swimming, rugby, cricket etc. Also, the sport covers 3 areas of expertise so finding commentators who know what they are talking about may be more difficult too. To justify covering the sport I guess at present the companies look for a "wider interest" element such as Jensen Button or James Cracknell in much the same way as they tend to do in the likes of the London Marathon with the focus on celebrity runners.

    To some degree running suffers in the same way even though it too has a very large level of participation across the country - very few events are covered on the TV in comparison to other sports.

    It may be a tadge unfair to put any criticism the way of the Triathlon authorities and sponsors - they have done a stirling job in developing the popularity of the sport and raising its profile - including TV coverage - which was virtually non-existant a few years ago. At least now we are getting some coverage on Channel 4 and I am sure things will improve in the future as the TV becomes more familiar with covering the sport. A gold medal in the next olympics will no doubt help further!!
  • PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    Understood about how difficult is is to cover - and I think non-traithletes wouldn't find it too exciting anyway - but I still thought it was bad, very bad, that they would go out of their way to show a F1 driver without at least a mention of the elite results.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    I know tri is the fastest growing sport in the UK, in terms of participation. But what are the overall numbers? Other than triathletes would anyone else care?

    Even among triathletes, how many (especially those new to the sport) take much of an interest in the elite side?

    I've been doing this lunacy for 18 months now. It's only in the last maybe three or four months that I've started to take any notice of what happens in the elite tri world. Before that I knew about Chrissie Wellington and that's it.
  • TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    Elite what? Chrissie who?

    Has anyone actually gone and watched a Traithlon that they're not participating in, other than the car-crach TV that is T1/T2, it's not overly exciting. London for instance was numerous waves, so you had no idea who was in which wave, and so you didn't know of they were quick or slow. Other pool based Sprints have a phased start, so again, you have no idea who people are doing. I do it rather than watch it, I just don't think it makes for very exciting TV.
  • jules653jules653 Posts: 11
    I agree completely with the sentiments that started this discussion. Ignoring the issue of whether triathlon makes good TV or not, the fact that you could not find the elite results on the internet for a good few days (the BBC website simply did not have them, the official results did not seem to work for a few days, and even TRI220 majored on Button when they put something up on Tuesday) was very dissapointing.

    Going off on a tangent slightly, I find it depressing that this country majors on other sports to the detriment of the smaller sports. The problem is that the vast majority of this country sit on their behinds and watch football rather than actually play sport, so the media get more money about commenting on the contents of Rooney's breakfast than they do by disclosing the results of the worlds largest triathlon.

    Rant over
  • chischis Posts: 94
    Mmm bringing forth some interesting discussion this one.

    Ofcourse one of the reasons that the elite triathletes are allowed to draft and that their races often include multi lap bike rides and runs is to try to make it more interesting for spectators and to make the races more "TV friendly". Whether you agree with draft legal races is another discussion altogether but I think most would agree it is hard to make triathlon an interesting prospect for spectators given that as others have said, different waves make it almost impossible to know who is in the lead.

    On the point about results - most organisers now use chip timing and are able to get provisional results up on the web by the afternoon/evening of the race if it was an early start (e.g. 8a.m.) - a great service on their part I think. London starts were a little later for many and I beleive that also the numbers of people trying to access the website may have had something to do with the inability of many to get access to the results.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    As Angling is the largest mass participation sport in the UK.Why do they not show more fishing on the TV????
  • chischis Posts: 94
    Ha ha !! Nice one Jon! No disrespect meant to the Angling fraternity but have you ever tried to watch any angling?? Definitely good for insomniacs!!
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    The front page story of the Times yesterday (or the day before) was about a rather large carp that had just died. Lots of photos of anglers who had caught her over the years.

    News, especially TV news, is very conservative - with a small C. Only the stories that have been "proven" get a look in. Football was good to report on yesterday, so we'll do it again today. No change. No innovation. Things only alter when something disruptive happens - revolution, not evolution. We've had dismal football/cricket performances for the most part of the last 50 years. Cycling and Swimming are doing brilliantly. But there is still hardly any coverage of them. Most betting is done on Football/Cricket - but that's because they are most popular I guess.

    Team sports are easy to report on in the TV format: A football match might be 90 minutes long - but there are usually only two goals that matter, so you can go "Rovers won 2-0 show goal one, show goal two, add a funny 'I've scored ritual' for depth/colour" and that's a complete story in a 15 second package. In an individual race, the story takes a lot longer to explain. Just showing a winner cross a line doesn't explain or satisfy anyone. You would need a least 2 minutes to get across what a Tri is about in a meaningful way.

    Anyway, I like doing something that you have to explain to people.
  • PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    Jack makes a good observation.

    As an Irishman I always think England / GB bangs on about how good it is at at things it isn't actually that good at (relatively) such as footy yet the things they excel at go unmentioned. Churches, real ale, triathlon...
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    "have you ever tried to watch any angling?? Definitely good for insomniacs!!"

    I watch little TV as it is predominantly crap, but I did catch some of that program with robson Green... now that is fishing!

  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    I really dont understand this fixation of tri having to be on TV. Why?

    We have a great sport. Its becoming more popular through word of mouth and people giving it a go.
    why would "we" need it to be on 14 channels of TV 17 hours a day? What wold it really gain?

    Football and rugby and cricket etc is all over the TV generally speaking... but what real difference does it make to the people that play for Little Codswallop 4th XI, or the "Rancid Dog and Mouldy Ferret" sunday morning team, or Old Twatbaggians 3rd XV? They still get out with their mates and do what they want to do and what ever Man Utd, or wasps, or Lancashire do is irrelevant to them.

    Female sport is an even better example of this... female tea, sport in particular gets stuff all TV coverage but we as a nation (England) still have world champions in cricket and rugby (I think I am right in that anyway!)... and that's at the elite level of their game! Grass roots female sport overcomes problems that male sport doesn't thankfully have to even contemplate... if you are a woman playing rugby in England at any level above the real bottom of the ladder, it wouldn't be unusual for you to have to travel 2 to 3 hours to play a league game. In the mes game you'd be playing at semi-pro levels to get that sort of journey regularly.

    Yes, I know the arguments about how TV revenue helps the grass roots... but at the ssame time the vast majority of it still goes to the top end so that leading clubs can pay even more ridiculous wages and transfer fees for big names. My experience of helping run grass roots clubs is that what the NGB give with one hand they take back with another in some way shape or form anyway.

    Tri doesn't need TV.

    lets move on.


    PS YMMV!
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    triathlon maybe doesn't need Tv,but do triathletes still need a tri fix when they are not training,it gives them an excuse to explain to others with visual reference to what they do.

    as for the bias against female sport on TV.Easy pub quiz question,Who is the most capped International football player?and how many international caps do they have?......Supprisingly it is a female(you google if you don't believe me),the most capped male has about 181,there are 15 female football players that have more caps than he has (no pun intended),looking around at other sports it is pretty similar yet their names seem to elude the media.Is it because female sport is less exciting?Or is that the male fraternity prefer to watch other men perform homoerotic rituals on a grass field.?Discuss should female sport have equal representation in the media.
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