Is anyone watching the Commonwealth Games?

By skepticlawyer

It’s fair to say I like sport and follow at least some sports (cricket in particular) avidly. It’s also fair to say that while I’m not religious about watching the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics, I’ve always managed to catch at least some of the opening ceremony and the marquee events (athletics, swimming, eventing). However, this is the first time I’ve not watched any — not even a highlights package — this far into the meet. Is it just me? Have other people ‘switched off’?

Of course it’s likely that I’m some sort of statistical outlier and I’ll check in on the blog in the morning (it’s late Thursday evening here) to find at least a dozen comments not only confirming a real interest but that also include links highlighting good things I’ve missed. I’m curious because I’ve had a distinct sense of ‘meh’ this time around, perhaps because the organisation in Delhi leading up to the games seemed to be rather shambolic.

A penny for your thoughts, people.


  1. Ken Nielsen
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Nope. Waiting for EURO 2012. A bit of Premier League in the meantime.

  2. Jacques Chester
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I tried to watch. For every 5 minutes of actual sport there was 30 minutes of fluff and advertising. Uninteresting filler cooked up by uninsightful idiots conspiring to be as unfunny as possible.

    So: stuff ’em.

  3. LJS
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Briefly had them on while eating dinner last night and had to turn it off – too many talking heads with an awful screen presence.

    My brief summation of the C’wealth Games is: wealthy white dudes rock up and demonstrate their superiority by dominating all those rich westerner sports like swimming and cycling, and crow about their victories/medal haul without a hint of irony. This process is repeated for things like gymnastics etc. where all the other rich western countries/Eastern Europe/Asia usually kick our asses. White dudes then get wiped off the field by the rest of the colonies in that most egalitarian of sports…running fast.

    Sorry, for me the C’wealth Games seems a bit of a joke, can we just let it die quietly after this one?

  4. KiwiInOz
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Is anyone else in the world competing at these games? Or only Australians?

  5. MikeM
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The Commonwealth what?

  6. conrad
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I have the same problem as Jacques. Basically, I’d like to watch just one or two sports, but I can’t because they flick between things so much. This is made made immeasurably worse since channel 10 thinks we’d like to listen to and watch commentators more than the sport. Even the coverage of the sport itself was shitty. With the point-score in the cycling, they kept on putting some massive score sheet up so you couldn’t actually see what was going on properly.

    I think I’ll just download the events I’m interested in from bit-torrent.

  7. DrPaul
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    For me it’s a case of the Commonwealth Games being just not that interesting or important an event.

  8. jtfsoon
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    An employee at the gym I go to is there to compete in freestyle wrestling. I had assumed she was a naturalised Australian but interestingly it turns out she’s representing Niue, a country I’d never heard of till now

    Posted October 8, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    The poor sportsmanship both of Australians and others fnished it off.

    India is too close to raw realities of life, death and conflict in the world, and there seems an undercurent of uncertainty or “edge” running just below the surface. But it does not mean the games should not have been held there, other factors are to blame also, to do with the way the games are presented, media etc.

    Who’s to say westerners have had the right attitude to the Indian games, either.

  10. Peter Patton
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Can’t into the Commonwealth games. I don’t find darts, lawn bowls, snooker, canasta, or marbles to be particularly enjoyable spectator sports. 😉

  11. lilacsigil
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I enjoy hockey so I’m watching that on Austar. I don’t get free-to-air tv to compare, but there don’t seem to be many ads and they’re only at half-time and after the game.

  12. Posted October 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I am not watching the Commonwealth Games, but I didn’t watch the last ones (in Melbourne) or the Olympic Games or …

    Of course, that the only thing my TV is connected to is a DVD player and VCR might have something to do with it 🙂

  13. Peter Patton
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink


    I have watched about 30 minutes of television in the last two years.

  14. Posted October 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Barely watching. I sort of back the awkward referred to by LJS. Not that big a sports watcher but my main exceptions are skiing and UFC. I know it’s random…

  15. Posted October 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] You win! I have watched more than that at friends’ places. Usually Top Gear.

    Mind you, I have watched a fair bit of TV series on DVD’s. Castle, Bones, TruBlood, Dollhouse, Numbers

  16. Posted October 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    From what I understand, the British coverage is focussed on UK athletes, although at least for the Commonwealth Games there are four entities represented so you get to hear a bit about Scotland or Wales etc (something I’ve always enjoyed about rugby).

    Interesting that other people have reacted the same way, although — if my memory of them stuffing up coverage of other events is anything to go by — Channel 10 will not be helping.

  17. Peter Patton
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink


    I might have been fibbing a little tiny bit, as I do remember watching one season of The Wire and 20-something episodes of Carnivale during that time. 🙂

  18. kvd
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Well I am enjoying the hockey coverage – particularly the womens. Aus has been blessed with some very good players for over ten years now, and I saw them live at the Sydney Olympics, and in Canberra a couple of years ago. The highlight sports – swimming and athletics – don’t interest me; lots of high profile talking heads who spend more time on the screen than the actual competitors.

    But I’d like to record that India deserves great credit for staging such an event, with all her more pressing worldly worries. And in saying that I’m crossing fingers for them that I haven’t spoken too soon.

    On the down side, and call me a dreamer, but it would just be nice if for once we Australians could accept occasional defeat with a little grace – in any sport.

  19. Ken Nielsen
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I thought I posted this earlier – apologies if it ends up a dup.
    I was in Tokyo during one Olympics – I think 1976 – and watched a bit on an English language cable channel that was putting commentary o top of the Japanese network coverage.
    ” I think we are going to watch the judo next. It seems there are no Japanese in the 100m final”

  20. Posted October 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t watched (sportwatching on TV limited to Cats games, occasional hockey and sheep dog trials – although lawn bowls isn’t bad if I’m desperate for TV and there’s nothing else on).

    [email protected] On the “crow about their victories/medal haul without a hint of irony”.
    Perhaps it might be more interesting if there was some form of handicapping (perhaps different for different sports) using as a fudge factor the per-capita-GDP.

  21. Posted October 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] I have heard good things about The Wire. Never got into Carnivale but lots of my friends liked it.

  22. TerjeP
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    It could be brilliant. However I haven’t tuned in to find out.

  23. Mark Duffett
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Some of you might have written it off too soon. There’s genuine drama at the swimming tonight.

  24. Posted October 9, 2010 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    I think I will make a point of looking out for the hockey. That’s two recommendations here plus a few people at work/my Scots law conversion course.

  25. Posted October 9, 2010 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    I’m watching but I’m not really enjoying it hugely. As per KiwiInOz, there’s a bit too much focus on Aussie competitors for my tastes. Sure, I expect the broadcasters to be partisan and having made my home in Oz I’m going to barrack for Australia over England anyway. But when the only coverage of a discipline is the lone Aussie medal hope, for which they cut away from Aussies swimming or the netball for not a nanosecond longer than necessary before cutting straight back again, it’s hard not to feel a bit short changed. It’s great that the Aussie men won the archery gold but it would have been nice to see more of the comp than the last six arrows. It’s great that a teenage girl from rural Victoria has won a gold for 50m rifle and a couple of other Aussie girls got a pistol silver, but what about coverage of all the other shooting events? Sure, coverage in Britain is biased towards British hopes but it’s not that unusual (or at least it wasn’t six years ago) for decent coverage of an event with no British competitor, and for a fair bit of attention to be paid to talent regardless of where from. BBC Sports used to be infatuated with Carolina Kluft because although she’s not a Brit she was so bloody good (of course the BBC doesn’t have the same worries as a commercial channel, but don’t get me started on that). Be patriotic and cheer on the Aussies by all means, but it’d be nice if Ten used their various channels to provide broader coverage rather than simulcasting non-stop Aussie on both Ten and One to the exclusion of the wider competitions.

  26. Posted October 9, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    [email protected]: I understand your frustration, but the broadcasts are designed to appeal to advertisers wanting value for money, and thus editorial choices are made with a deep knowledge of the potential customer base. As with the kerfuffle over the broadcast of the election leaders’ masterdebate v masterchef, the broadcast provides a pithy analysis of australian society.

  27. Posted October 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    @ Dave Bath, yes, I understand why it happens, and in fairness to Ten they can’t be any worse than 7 was with the Olympics.

  28. Posted October 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] – sports broadcasting could be worse… if 9 had had the recent grand final and eddie everywhere had called it.

  29. Movius
    Posted October 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised I’ve paid as much attentio to the news surrounding it as I have. Been over the commonwealth games since ~98.

    I believe Foxtel has 6 dedicated channels to the commonwealth games. So no doubt the non-Australian biased coverage is there for those who are willing to pay for it.

  30. karin de groot
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    hi, total indifference from me here, I don’t know what it is, I think we’ ve all seen too much of the same over the past few years, all these opening ceremonies are becoming pretty much identical.

    Don’t know, just not watching it at all.

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