A Question Of Sport

No, not the silly, gibbering facsimile of a once great sports quiz but rather a question of sport on TV generally. I bring this up because, scattered about at different times on the outer reaches of Eurosport, we’ve been treated to some outstanding racing courtesy of the World Rallycross Championship. Currently at the head of the leader board is the delightfully loony Petter Solberg, the former WRC star being hunted down by American legend Ken Block, yet I wonder how many of you motorsport fans have actually seen it?

Moving on for now, let’s look at snooker. Snooker is a very good and very popular game (I play it myself and, if I may say so, I’m a bit handy) but like darts, it is not a sport. It is only a sport because TV executives say it is and schedule coverage accordingly. They say it is because it is played indoors and they can use static cameras. In other words they show so much of it live because it is cheaper to both buy the rights and televise. Thanks goodness they don’t do nude snooker or it would never be off our screens.

The BBC cravenly gave up fighting for the full rights to Formula One because they had been frittering away the public licence fee for decades on fat-cat salaries, pointless, politically correct (and inspired) activities and ludicrous money-pit productions with stupid names like Splash and Tumble – giving a bad name to the excellent sports of swimming and gymnastics btw.

Thank goodness for ITV4 who have been true to the British Touring Car Championship with great live coverage and who also show WRC highlights (that could do with being a bit longer, lads) and very informed Isle of Man TT commentary. There’s also Motors TV for those with the means to get some satellite coverage but, in the UK, that’s about it.

F1 may be considered the pinnacle of motorsport but it is by no means the most exciting despite the best efforts of the fragrant and can-do-no-wrong Suzi Perry and team, yet the moguls believe that we are more interested in the histrionics of prima donna drivers than some exciting race-action. Sometimes I wonder if I am in fact watching a trackside version of Hello! Magazine.

rally2As some of you will know, I’ve banged on about this subject before but I make no apology for coming back to it because, coming up mid-November, is the final round of the World Rally Championship. It will again be held in Wales and features some top British drivers like Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans. Last year’s event was very exciting indeed and was given great support by the Welsh people. Click here for more: Wales Rally GB.

The event will again be held in North Wales and the enlightened and probably very handsome leaders of Conwy Council are again pushing the boat out with some tremendous support. The event brings much needed income to the region and, if you can make it, is a super day out. Support if you can. Will it get coverage from the BBC, our national broadcaster, though? What do you think?
Geoff Maxted