Wellington, Aug 9 NZPA - Armchair fans were awarding TVNZ no medals on the first day of the Beijing Olympics, judging by comments posted on the broadcaster's website today.
Critics rounded on the opening ceremony commentary from Games veterans Keith Quinn and John McBeth, and TV One's failure to show live coverage of double gold medallist Mark Todd's return to the Olympic equestrian arena after an eight-year absence.
"Why are the NZ commentators so substandard? Surely they could have done a bit of research into Chinese history and given us viewers some decent information during the opening ceremony instead of seemingly made-up nonsense they were blurting out!" wrote one viewer on TVNZ's Beijing 2008 message board about the opening ceremony.
Other postings included:
"The commentators are total garbage..."
"Is it true that the commentators are paid by the word?"
"No need to spoonfeed and no need to talk continuously..."
An Auckland woman was among those incensed to be kept waiting hours to watch Todd and other riders in the first dressage round of the three-day event this morning.
She said TVNZ needed to get its priorities right and show competitions involving New Zealanders before other competitions. She queried why women's beach volleyball was screening ahead of equestrian.
"Not going to happen of course -- couldn't possibly have the guys miss their eye candy, could we???"
Another viewer wrote that TVNZ's Olympic coverage had fallen at the first hurdle.
"Get your act together TVNZ -- you have screwed up a golden opportunity to show live coverage at 10.30am on Saturday morning, when all the pony club kids could have watched it live."
But TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards said TV One was broadcasting Olympic coverage from noon to 2am next day. With Todd first-off in the dressage at 10.30am (NZT), his performance fell outside the time TV One had organised to go live.
She said TV One was giving the same level of coverage as it had for previous Olympics, but this year for the first time 24-hour coverage was available on Freeview and there was live streaming of sports on TVNZ's website.
"In the past people have only had the option of TV One on analogue coverage and it is pretty comprehensive. We are running from 12 midday to 2 o'clock in the morning, so it's not as if you can't find all the best bits on TV One," she told NZPA.
"But if, for instance, you have a particular interest in a minority sport you can chase it through the tvnz.co.nz website, because they have a schedule of every event that is related to that sport and in many cases there will be coverage on one of the online channels.
"So you've got a much better chance of seeing live action in your preferred sport than you would in the past."
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