Tonight saw a News bulletin for the ages, as TVNZ’s intimate relationship with the Americas Cup took an interesting turn.
This has been a good week for TVNZ in terms of viewing numbers. The Americas Cup races have been dramatic, they have screened at viewer friendly times, and results have been positive.
But tonight’s bulletin was just extraordinary. It was close to an hour-long advertisement for tomorrow’s action, with not a lot of perspective, and healthy doses of making a lot out of nothing.
It was almost like they were all geared up for an ETNZ victory, complete with soundbite, and had a complete absence of a Plan B.
The first five minutes was a good summary of today’s events, but then it just drifted off course. There was an interivew from the reporter out on the harbour who talked up how amazing everyone was today (details were a bit vague on that) before giving a summary of the weather forecast for tomorrow.
It then cut to the weather guy on a wharf pretty much repeating what had just been said with a request to tune in later in the bulletin.
The reporter on the top of an almost deserted North Head got two live crosses within 15 minutes of each other. Note; not a lot had changed during that quarter of an hour.
We got to feel the atmosphere in some pre-recorded footage from North Head, a retirement home in Albany, and the Fanzone itself. At least they had a little bit of self-awareness to go to some yacht clubs around the country. There was Burling’s old club, a couple of families in Lyttleton and a small group of camera shy punters at Port Nich in Wellington.
18 minutes: The boat gets towed in.
34 minutes. Footage of the boat being lifted out of the water. Some actual live action; oof.
Following that there was a rehash of last night’s political poll, something on the Lion King and brief footage of a sandstorm in Beijing.
Sadly the last item didn’t feature the obvious soundtrack.
Then the sports news. Actually, that was misleading. More interviews and features coming out of the Viaduct. No other sport covered.
Peter Lester: “I’m staggered by New Zealand’s engagement in this Americas Cup”. You can tell what Peter watches in his spare time.
Then the weather section linked heavy rain in Nelson with the weather system off the Waitemata Harbour today. To be fair, that was pretty creative.
It finished with Simon Dallow saying “the atmosphere has been electric”, against a slightly bleak backdrop.
There was also far too much use of the word “we”, which is a real no-no in sports coverage.