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SBS presents Yes Or No…Or Maybe

August 23rd, 2005 at 09:39pm

I don’t know how many of you watch the SBS program, World Sport, but I do on occasion, and I was doing so tonight. They had a story about doping allegations and cyclist Lance Armstrong, apparently it has been semi-proven that he is a drug cheat. SBS then followed that story with their nightly “World Sport SMS Poll”. I don’t remember the exact question, but it was something along these lines:
“Were you surprised by the doping allegations against Lance Armstrong or have they proven your suspicions?”
After this, viewers are invited to send an SMS containing “Yes” or “No” to some phone number that I don’t remember.

But hang on a moment, can you repeat the question?
“Were you surprised by the doping allegations against Lance Armstrong or have they proven your suspicions?”
Errr, isn’t that actually two questions? Which one do you want an answer to? I could quite happily say “No” the allegations didn’t surprise me, and “Yes” they have proven my suspicions…but I can’t send “No Yes” and expect my vote to be counted.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but World Sport recently changed their wallpaper to a rather eye-exploding “semi-return to the mid 80’s tango redish orange desert pattern safari”, looks worse when they show the set from a distance too, it looks like a few cans of paint exploded.

Is it just me, or are SBS trying to dumb down their usage of the English language in an attempt to avoid alienating the mainstream commercial television audience?
For example, they have introduced a new name for an existing show, which to me at least, appears to be an oxymoron.
“World News Australia”
Excuse me? Whatever happened to “World News” & “World News Tonight”? Why has our multicultural broadcaster suddenly decided that all news in the world revolves around Australia? Perhaps it is half of a badly edited statement:
“Good evening and welcome to the world news, Australia.”
Perhaps SBS think that more people want to watch a news that has the word “Australia” in the title. (Well, check the ratings, people seem to like it if it says “Seven” or “Nine”).
Maybe SBS think the world is too big for one half hour.
Or maybe, just maybe, SBS have gone mad.

Whatever the reason is, SBS do seem to be going downhill.
I blame it all (mostly) on the fact that they are cost cutting. They cut those fantastic movie intros from their (then) movie buffs David & Margaret. SBS had themes for each night of the week, and a different presenter for that night’s movie, somebody who specialised in that particular genre of movie. It wasn’t just David & Margaret either, they had a rather talented bunch. I will always remember those Saturday night cult movies, they were often pretty bad sci-fi/fantasy combinations, but they did have a certain charm to them after an intro from the cult movie presenter. One of the many movie series’ I will remember is Gamera, the Japanese lizard dragon monster thing (possibly a copy of Godzilla) which could never seem to make up it’s mind whether it was helping or destroying the humans, but it always had a small boy as a friend and always seemed to encounter a “Toy monster Vs Model boat” scene.

I also remember a time when SBS was the central repository for the cream of international (mainly European) primetime entertainment, buying the rights to many varied and interesting TV shows. It would be common place to get strange looks for talking about that “fantastic Norwegian show that aired every week” but everybody, it seemed, had a guilty pleasure in watching at least one of those shows.

Those days are gone however, and now SBS try to style themselves on the ABC “Tonight, lots of documentaries” and the generic SBS “Let’s throw in some more soccer, inane shows with explosions (ooooh, ratings) and adult programming from sweeden”.

It is unfortunate to see SBS degenerate to such forms of entertainment, and I fear they are producing further cost cutting by buying the rights to the cricket. Seven could have continued the cricket, they did a good job (apart from Tony Squires), or the ABC, but not SBS. The shoestring budget has been stretched, and I fear SBS are going to continue to show programs filled with lunatics blowing stuff up just to prove they can’t do what you saw in that movie, more of those drastic wallpaper changes on the local shows, more documentaries that nobody is really interested in seeing, and more of those Swedish/German/somewhere late night adult programs.

I say bring back the gold old SBS that we had years ago…and scrap The Movie Show, the idiots on there now wouldn’t know a film from a canary.

Anyway, to get back to the main topic of discussion, I will be making sure that I record World Sport tomorrow night to see two things:
1. Will they reword the question and make a nonsense of the answers between now and then?
2. What will the ultimate confused outcome of this ludicrous poll be?
After recording I will take a screenshot and post it here for you all to admire!


Entry Filed under: Bizarreness,Samuel's Editorials,TV/Radio/Media

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  • 1. b2  |  August 26th, 2005 at 6:18 pm

    and dropping inspector rex! what were they thinking? the best thing they play at he moment (besides the sports) is mythbusters, always after some amusment in the name of ‘science’.

  • 2. Samuel  |  August 26th, 2005 at 9:04 pm

    Ah yes, Mythbusters, the show I was talking about when I said “lunatics blowing stuff up just to prove they can’t do what you saw in that movie” It is an entertaining show, as long as you don’t try to think about what they are doing.

    I would actually suggest that the people behind that show must be very intelligent and making lost of money with all the ways they sell and promote the show. There aren’t many other shows out there that sell personalised promos to individual stations AND have their show on multiple free-to-air networks in the same country. Channel 7’s Beyond Tommorow play a segment of mythbusters in each episode.

    As for Inspector Rex, even the repeats were gold, and it had a cult following, but SBS seem to be distancing themselves from most multicultural programming whilst they have the cricket.


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