On Saturday morning I got up at 9:30 AM to watch the Chongming island cycling race on the Sports Channel of STV. Marcel Ekkel is helping the Marco Polo cycling team, and he had told me the first leg would be live on TV. The program did indeed start at 9:30, but the first full hour was completely dedicated to speeches from government officials and dance performances by local school children. The cyclists had to participate as well at the beginning of the performance by riding over the stage, so they had to wait in their racing outfit for an hour before they were allowed to start (it was only around 12 degrees!).
The race finally started around 10:30. STV’s presenters were explaining the audience everything about cycling, likely most had never watched this before. They also said that when a TV station was able to cover a cycling race they are considered a top-tier TV station, because it is a difficult event to show on TV. Well, then STV is not a top-tier TV station: they only had fixed camera’s (no mobile ones on motorcycles like in the Tour de France) and missed all the interesting events. The presenters announced for example that there would be sprints at the end of the 3rd, 6th and 9th lap, but none of these were shown on TV. Let alone that the results were announced.
But the worst was still to come: at 11:40, so 2 hours and 10 min. after I started watching, the presenters suddenly announced that they would now start another program because there had not been enough time scheduled in the planning. So I missed the finish of the race… First they show an hour of boring dances and even more boring speeches, and because of that they do not have enough time to show the final part of the race. A top-tier TV station? Come on guys, do your homework before you plan to broadcast another cycling race.