Seven promotes its Australian Open as being live.
On Saturday night Seven stopped the match to screen Seven News. At 6:30pm it followed with UK drama Heartbeat. When the match resumed at 7:30pm it was delayed by about 20 minutes.
On TV the players were in the third set but the live stream on the internet showed Federer down two sets to one and the fourth set already in progress. Radio broadcasts were also ahead of Seven’s footage. Even the BBC website was more up to date than Seven viewers.
Today radio talkback callers were furious with Seven. Internet forums also posted viewer venom. “You don’t see Channel 9 stopping the cricket broadcast for their news time slot do you?” wrote reh12968 on Yahoo7.
“Not good Channel 7 if you don’t want to show the tennis fully then let another channel have it. Shame, Shame, Shame,” wrote Jeffandchrisb.
A Seven spokesman said: “Heartbeat is part of our regular Saturday night line-up. A decision was made by the programming department to stick with that.”
Television networks have always used the term ‘live’ creatively. The TV Week Logie Awards have traditionally been about 20 mins delayed. But the ultimate prize goes to Network TEN whose “live” broadcast of the Big Brother opening episode is about 24 hours old.
Still, in sport live should mean live. Especially when viewers are left sitting up until the wee hours for match outcomes. That’s major beauty sleep, Seven…
Additional source: Sun-Herald