Should TV sports commentators show their bias during a call?
Like countless other Australians, I spent last night flicking between the Australia-West Indies one day cricket match on Nine and the Lleyton Hewitt- David Nalbandian tennis quarter-final on Seven. Both had the the right result- if you are an Aussie. (Seven finished with a national share of 48.1% from Nine with 23.5% of the audience).
But, switching in between the two games, I couldn't help but notice just how obvious the tennis commentators' barracking for Hewitt was, compared with the- in the most part- impartiality of the cricket commentry team.
There is no doubt the Australian cricket commentators see things from Australia's point of view. But they don't openly barrack for one side, and they discuss both team's prospects.
But the tennis commentators led by Bruce McAvaney were very obvious and up-front in their support for Hewitt. They wanted
Hewitt to win, they said so, and they interpreted the match from that point of view.
I would have thought that the reverse would occur,
given the team nature of cricket (it is "Australia" playing, after
all), as opposed to the individual focus that exists in tennis. But not last night.
So are sports commentators that barrack good or bad?
I don't mind either way, but I would be pissed off listening to biased comm entry if I was supporting the other player, much like if I was David Nalbandian listening to Lleytons "C'mon's" and other shenanigans. If you are supporting the same player as biased commentators, their frenzied calls can add to the excitement in your lounge room. But the balance an impartiality that usually exists in the cricket commentary is equally as enjoyable. The ex-players that call the action offer unique insights into how the games are progressing and what outcomes are likely. They also surge with excitement whenever some great action occurs, irrespective of the team.
So I can tolerate both styles, but in the main I would prefer a good un-biased call. An appropriate amount of colour and analysis matched with an accurate account of the play, is generally the way to go.
Which style of commentary do you prefer?