I’d been out taking advantage of the sunshine last night to take some photos and when I returned I turned on the tv to watch the England women’s hockey semi-final when a strange thing happened. There were adverts.
The set was tuned to one of the Sky channels and having watched nothing but the Olympics on the BBC for the past fortnight I’d also had a break from commercials.
It was quite a shock to the system to have rampant commercialism blaring from the screen after spending so long in the unsullied airwaves of public service broadcasting. It wasn’t very pleasant.
Okay, so the whole event relies on sponsorship from companies whose products you wouldn’t necessarily associate with the Olympic idea, but for the most part that has been something you could avoid as long as you don’t actually visit any of the venues.
But the worst thing was that the tv ad that happened to be on last night was promoting ‘London 2012 – the Official Video Game’. With all the rhetoric about legacy, I wouldn’t have thought that encouraging kids to play more computer games is the ideal way to draw them into sport.
Perhaps I’m wrong and some smartarse marketing man will tell me that running the 100m on a computer screen will have them wanting to act it out in real life, even though they tell us the opposite if someone takes a gun and plays Grand Theft Auto for real.
But speaking of legacy, the media has begun to turn on the politicians demanding to know how Team GB maintains its success and where the next lot of gold medallists will come from.
But perhaps the media should look to itself first. Here’s a thought BBC and ITV – why not put handball, triathlon, volleyball, hockey, rowing etc on the telly and radio on a regular basis so that they do become mainstream sports that kids might want to play?
Anyway, that’s my grump over with. No doubt I’ll get used to having my viewing interrupted by commercials again once the Olympics are over.
My main question though is who is that bearded, bald-headed athlete in the Team GB vest supposed to be?