Viewers into overdrive as Seven delays Bathurst

Angry motor racing fans hit out at the Seven Network’s coverage of Bathurst 1000 on Twitter yesterday, after advertising commitments saw the “Live” telecast pushed out by up to 20 minutes.

As Craig Lowndes was crossing the line in his Holden with co-driver Mark Skaife, viewers on Seven were still 10 laps behind the action.  The network’s coverage of Bathurst started out live, but the broadcaster paused and restarted the action to suit its ad breaks. Despite the race finishing at 4.53pm, they were still “racing” on television until 5.20pm.

“This 20 min delay in Bathurst telecast is a major fail for ch 7, this is why I don’t watch commercial TV any more,” race fan DDsD tweeted.

“Channel 7 are absolutely atrocious!!! Disgusted, V8Supercars please give the rights to someone who will broadcast Bathurst live, please,” said Riotness–99.

Seven defended the network’s decision.

“The closeness of the race, the reduced number of safety cars in today’s race, advertising commitments and our desire that viewers not miss a single moment of the race led us to time-shift our coverage,” Seven spokesman Simon Francis said.

“Our objective was viewers not miss a moment of action.”

He also addressed criticism that the event was not in HD.l

“(The) decision on HD was made by Seven and V8 Supercars Television based on available equipment and in-car cameras, cameras buried in the track and barriers and the like: a total of 168 cameras (not all cameras were HD),” Mr Francis said.

“Any chance you can sell the TV rights to someone else? Ch7 is pathetic,” BigAlRoss tweeted on the V8 Supercars page.

Source: Daily Telegraph, The Australian


  1. Secret Squïrrel

    @Donald – that’s exactly what I do if I am unhappy with a program. If the sponsors of such a travesty get hit in the hip pocket, hopefully they’ll either force a change or withdraw their support.

    @Marcus G – ABC News 24 is also HD (720) so that makes still 5 HD channels, just not 5 HD channels broadcasting what you want to watch. Where did you get 2020 from? The main channels can revert to HD after the analog switch-off which is scheduled for 2013.

  2. Marcus G – SBS1 is HD (not full HD, but HD nonetheless). It’s the last primary still in HD.

    David – exactly! They showed past Bathurst highlights the previous weekend on 73 (in 4:3 of course), then when it comes to this year’s “live” event it is only shown on 7!

    With no attempt to use HD cams, and then delaying the broadcast on top of that, I think I’ll take it out on the sponsors for the next year (go to Repco instead of Super Cheap, etc.), see if 7 get the message that way (preferably One get the rights next time they’re up).

  3. Networks have given up their HD channels to free up bandwidth to give us 7mate, Go etc. As a result, only 2 channels now broadcast in HD. One HD and Gem, which in January becomes Nines sports channel. We get 4:3 crap from the 80’s on all these channels that nobody is watching. All prime channels used for ratings are now all SD. The entire world is going HD and we are reverting back to SD, shame. No more HD until 2020 so I have heard. TV networks and the communcations minister have a lot to answer for.

  4. “the delay was necessary to avoid missing any race action.”

    what rubbish. i hope they realize when they bid for other sports rights. those sports won’t allow them to delay the live coverage

  5. I’m not a big racing fan but I know I’d be upset too if I saw one of the biggest sporting events in standard definition quality, while at the same time, 7mate which has high definition quality was broadcasting some old show from the 80s/70s in 4:3 ratio.

  6. billy ray valentine

    ive always maintained that one network should ignore the anti-siphoning list on one occasion (and put it on a multi-channel ahead of the main channel) and see what action happens… will the fed govt prosecute? and tie up the courts for a period? what is the penalty for breaking the law? close down a channel?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.