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Anyone else a wee bit disappointed with BBC's Rio eventing coverage? (A sort of AIBU for horsey folk.)

(39 Posts)
Sequentialchoring Tue 09-Aug-16 09:17:18

I probably am being a bit unreasonable because I live abroad and can't get access to the red button or live video streaming ...

... but I don't understand why we get almost forensic and endless examination of the swimming and rowing (great though these events are) - including all the heats - and that the Beeb can't feature the definitive eventing competion as part of its prime coverage?

It's not as though the cross country isn't exciting or anything is it? There were spills and thrills galore yesterday!

It is an amazing spectacle! And the coverage on BBC1 yesterday was so cack-handed! I was just settling down with dd, the dog, a pot of tea and a plate of jam sandwiches and was enjoying the first 20 mins or so when the coverage rudely switched to boxing, then judo, then hockey, then swimming then rowing (when frankly a lot of the coverage was just chatting between commentators).

Waited and waited to hear what had happened to Pippa Funnell and Kitty King only for Clare Balding to mention them in passing about two hours later!

Really, really disappointed ... and missed most of WFP's round ... .


TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Tue 09-Aug-16 09:25:40

I must admit, I haven't watched any of the Olympics on the main channels - just the red button. But that coverage isn't great either - watching the gymnastics but most of the coverage was of the gymnasts hanging around waiting rather than showing us the actual routines being performed!

BBC just doesn't consider eventing to be mainstream enough though. It's not one of the sports that gets everyone talking. I remember how amazed everyone was that we got medals in equestrianism in 2012 - as if no-one was quite sure that it really existed!

Sequentialchoring Tue 09-Aug-16 09:29:20

Glad it's not just my imagination Theonlylivingboy!

There must be so many pony mad dc at a loose end in the holidays who would have killed to see the x-country yesterday!

Very telling (and disappointing) to hear that the red button coverage wasn't that great either ...

frostyfingers Tue 09-Aug-16 10:35:55

It's no wonder that they're trying to take eventing off the Olympics list because it doesn't have enough of an audience/appeal and the BBC are doing their best to help it along. I was listening to the radio yesterday morning and they were listing what was happening in Rio and eventing wasn't mentioned once. No way are you going to happen upon the TV coverage like you do with gymnastics, rugby, beachball etc - you have to hunt it down and stick with it otherwise it disappears in seconds.

Red button coverage was ok actually (like Badminton, it's usually pretty great when they bother), the pics are provided by a different broadcaster so didn't focus on the UK horses as we'd have liked but it wasn't too bad.

The total lack on interest from the BBC in anything equine is so depressing, never mind the millions of people who participate and would like to watch!

Sequentialchoring Tue 09-Aug-16 11:16:46

YY to your last point Frosty!

I may have misunderstood your first para (many apologies if so!) but I would argue that the Beeb are not doing the best they can to widen audience interest in equine sports. I think these events could have a much broader appeal, it's the BBC who seem to have this idea that they are 'niche'. You don't even have to actively ride to enjoy equestrian disciplines; many people just like the spectacle and watching top horses and riders at work.

And even if equine sports are regarded as niche, there has been loads of coverage of table-tennis, shooting, water-polo all of which are hardly mainstream.

And (different point I know) if they are worried about so-called elitism, (which is a load of balls anyway) what about rowing and sailing fhs?

frostyfingers Tue 09-Aug-16 16:16:44

That probably wasn't clear but what I meant was that the BBC seem to be doing their best to condemn eventing with their lack of interest. Sarcasm/irony doesn't travel on a keyboard! Enjoying the SJ though, at least we are finishing ok. Don't all the horses look amazing after having travelled all that way and then done dressage & XC - holiday deserved for them when they get home.

IsItTimeForGinYet Tue 09-Aug-16 22:10:02

To be fair to the BBC they have broadcast all the dressage, pretty much all the Xc and all of the show jumping including the medal ceremonies. I work for one of the riders and have been delighted that I have been able to watch their progress throughout the competition and watch again online. So thank you BBC for showing far more of the Olympics than what is shown of Badminton, Burghley, WEG or the Europeans. Hopefully the viewing figures will show how popular the sport is. Decent commentary would be a massive bonus but we seem to be stuck with MT.

Floralnomad Tue 09-Aug-16 22:17:16

It's been on the red button all day / every day ,nothing at all to complain about . Also there is loads of show jumping on Eurosport and sky had lots of coverage from the RIHS , so there are plenty of options to watch if people want to .

IsItTimeForGinYet Tue 09-Aug-16 22:29:35

And the new Event Rider Masters. That really needs good viewing figures to try and attract decent sponsors to the sport...

honeyroar Tue 09-Aug-16 22:41:04

Ive been watching on red button. I've seen it all. No complaints whatsoever. There is a great variety of choice. I love it.

Op why not watch coverage from the tv of whatever country you're in?

PoloStar Tue 09-Aug-16 22:48:52

I watched the whole lot on the BBC Sport webpage - live streaming. (my TV is not working, so everything was on my laptop)

I thought the coverage was pretty thorough, although some of the camera angles/shots in the showjumping were a bit random today.

My only complaint was the continued employment of Mike Tucker, who never ceases to talk gibberish at every opportunity. One of his "best" statements yesterday was how well Carlos Parro had represented his country, Sweden..... hard for a Brazilian, you would imagine.....

Sequentialchoring Tue 09-Aug-16 23:08:13

I must admit I return to this thread with a lot less harrumphing tonight having really enjoyed watching all of the show-jumping without interruption! smile

[Disappointed for the UK team but v happy for France!]

So I must reluctantly admit that the Beeb didn't do too badly after all!

Agree with the points about Mike Tucker though; great to hear Starkers contradict him rather frequently! grin

I did try catching the eventing over here (Belgium) and managed to catch a tiny bit of WFP and even with my appalling Flemish could understand "niet goed voor William Fox-Pitt"! Then that broadcast promptly switched to boxing too!

Tbh, I don't think the Belgian broadcast companies (being a small country) could afford to buy extra coverage. And I reckon that is what is happening in terms of the Olympic viewing ie countries are being offered a "general package" where you get basic coverage of all the events but you don't get specific coverage of national participants.

Not sure but poss the Beeb have bought extra coverage of rowing and swimming but not much else!

Great to hear that the coverage isn't too bad in the UK anyway!

Sequentialchoring Tue 09-Aug-16 23:10:32

Sorry, forgot to say, apologies for misunderstanding Frosty! smile

Agree that is is completely amazing what the horses can withstand and how they perform at such a high level.

Now that the 3 day event is over; how does everyone think the selectors did?

PoloStar Tue 09-Aug-16 23:31:11

I think the Germans lost some strength with their 4th team member who was a bit outclassed but to be honest, it didn't really matter who their 4th was!

I don't think Yogi got it right with the British - it was a very hard call as no one in particular was an obvious choice beforehand. We're in a bit of a hiatus while the longstanding team members - WFP and Pippa are still there and hungry but not quite on top form but the younger generation either don't have the form at the right time or the horse power.

We were definitely outclassed this time.

honeyroar Tue 09-Aug-16 23:31:23

They had a tough job. We only had one rider with the talent, horse and experience to really threaten the Germans and other favourites, and he was just getting over a major medical issue.. He proved all the doubters wrong, he got his mojo back just in time and, other than that few seconds on the Xc, rode pretty perfectly. So I'd say they were right about him!

Gemma, I'm not sure they picked the right horse personally. But she has been on fire this year and was absolutely a cert for the team. I'm impressed how she got her horse home Xc when the mare really wasn't enjoying herself.

Pippa, I have always loved Biz, he's shown that he will be fantastic at 4*. They did really well. If only they'd circled, but hey ho. She piloted him really well.

Kitty, I thought she started off looking nervous, but what a horse, and a great finish.

I do wonder how Izzy Taylor would have gone round that Xc. It might have suited her.

Tina,could have been very similar to Pippa. Inexperienced but good horse. Would possibly have finished better than Kitty or Gemma.

But for me, we were never going to be a big medal contender this year. If anything we were battling for bronze. Whoever we had on the team would mean inexperience on the horse or rider front. But we've put some miles on the experience clock for some newcomers, and they've got years ahead to represent us.

It was a very interesting Olympics. I thought the Germans would wn by miles, they didn't. There was a real battle, every single team had to work their butt off for what they achieved. We did OK. We didn't shine, but we weren't that bad, and fifth with a relatively novice team is a good result.

IsItTimeForGinYet Wed 10-Aug-16 07:10:05

Yes the selectors did probably get it wrong but they had the best of intentions. The last few Olympic courses have been deemed too easy and so expectations were swiftly dashed when they walked the course and didn't find the relatively simple 3 star track they were expecting but a proper 4stat one albeit slightly shorter and with plenty of alternatives to get round. The horses were chosen for their potential to do a decent dressage and then clear jumping rounds.

WFP did brilliantly. Yes he crossed his tracks but I bet he thought he would have been given a run out at the skinny. Yes he and Pippa could have both circled and avoided their 20 penalties and if they had who knows where they would have been on the leaderboard but they are both competitive and experienced riders and it is very easy for us sat in our armchairs watching, but if they had pulled it off by jumping straight and clear and got in the time we would have all been cheering and praising their amazing attacking cross country riding. No one will be more disappointed than them about not bringing back a medal.

Also about picking the wrong team. Burtos horse has done 3 three stars before coming here. He jumped a brilliant XC round but his inexperience caught up with him today. All 4 of ours came out and jumped as though on springs. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Th whole sport appears to have had a shake up with Badminton now being respected once more and it will be interesting to see what Burghley looks like next month.

Sequentialchoring Wed 10-Aug-16 08:49:18

All of that makes sense - thanks! And agree, it is all too easy to look back with hindsight! Far more difficult to actually ride the course (which I thought did a pretty good job of sorting out the wheat from the chaff). It was a great battle!

And you have to hand it to the Germans - their top two are superb!

Kitty is going to be great given more experience! I wondered about them leaving out Izzy too.

And as for WFP; just to make it to the Olympics was a fabulous achievement!

A bit more investment required in horse flesh for the Brits I think and we might be in the medals next time! Some of those French horses make me drool!

Ifitweresomeoneelse Thu 11-Aug-16 08:16:20

Every minute is on red button/iplayer streaming live. I have watched all of it so far and am loving it! I went to the eventing SJ final in London 2012 and a lot more people were aware of how we were doing in eventing as we were so close to gold. Same with Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro winning- suddenly more people had heard of dressage.

Sequentialchoring Thu 11-Aug-16 18:59:28

I fit where yes I have already conceded I am being utterly unreasonable! grin

Can't wait to see Charlotte & co ....wish I had red button! Would happily pay to subscribe; no idea why the BBC do not do this, there must be loads of expats who would be willing!

Sequentialchoring Thu 11-Aug-16 19:48:31

Oops sorry If it were!

Sequentialchoring Thu 11-Aug-16 19:52:13

Oh no - apologies - typing on tablet thing as have bad back!

Should have read I fit were (third time lucky!)

IsItTimeForGinYet Thu 11-Aug-16 21:00:46

What about if you try and watch BBC through Hola internet blocker? May work? Then you can watch everything?

GinIsIn Thu 11-Aug-16 21:04:05

You don't need to have the red button - you can watch all the livestreams on bbc Iplayer online.

IsItTimeForGinYet Thu 11-Aug-16 21:16:00

Don't think you can watch iplayer if you are not in the country hence trying to watch through Hola. Don't know if it will work but I managed to watch Rolex via USEF network when FEI TV didn't work last year.

Sequentialchoring Thu 11-Aug-16 22:31:54

Thanks for suggestions!

Sadly, no, iPlayer does not work here. Will try Hola though, thank you both!

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