7th Aug 2012
Osblog 21 Olympics
The Olympics are in full swing and the reach is astounding. One fact which beats all is the 250,000 applicants to volunteer to help in any capacity. Apparently 70,000 were chosen and they are deployed everywhere along the visitor routes and at every juncture to try to ensure that the games are safe, smooth and enjoyable for all. The welcome has been mentioned by those who have been lucky to visit. Customer care and service have been brought to another level.
The TV coverage of the Olympics was the subject of Hugh McIlvaney’s piece in the Sunday Times and it makes interesting reading from our perspective. Here we have a festival of all sports from synchronised gymnastics to archery, from sailing to dressage and the TV audience is educated to near expert level in a few minutes viewing. The complexities of the various endeavours are communicated to the airwaves without condescension or apology and the result is an engaged and entertained viewer. It must be possible for our sport to emulate this. The changing of the contract for TV racing coverage is a threat to the incumbents but may also present a new opportunity to widen the net and tell the full story.
Indeed, we at the INS have explored the possibility of creating TV output for broad consumption. The internet has changed the landscape in many ways and web-based video is eating into conventional broadcasting by making content available at minimal or no cost to the viewer, though the challenge for the producer is for the content to be deserving of precious “eyeball time”. Many people now access their sports and entertainment by podcast at a time convenient to them, rather than the old-fashioned rigid broadcast schedule where the viewer needed to be in the front room at the specific time. Obviously Bolt’s 100m was something to witness live, but shows like the Morning Line do not need to be tied to a specific slot as far as the viewer is concerned.
Our Southern Hemisphere initiative to cover a selection of maiden and barren mares with Invincible Spirit has been well received and we expect he will have an interesting Autumn. Another Group 1 at Deauville for Moonlight Cloud adds further glitter to a brilliant year for him. He is very much a global sire having had Group 1 wins in California, Australia, France and England. Not far off an Irish Group 1 either – roll on Leopardstown and the Redmills Irish Champion Stakes!