Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Too Good to Be True

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  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    My secret vice is reading the Sunday News. I have always wondered why they continue to employ Doug Golightly as sports editor because he's such a shameless shill for his ubergroppenfuhrer masters at Sky(net).

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Rodgerd,

    The concept that the current levels of child and youth obesity are linked to the absence of sport coverage on free to air TV at first glance seems illogical but it’s spot on.

    My kids and their friends used to play soccerball, but with no huge keenness. Now the Phoenix have come along they’re off to the park whenever they can pretending they’re Shane Smeltz etc.. It’s great.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    & lets not forget its cancer causing properties.

    Ditto chlorinated water.

    I just learnt the other day that certain byproducts of chlorination, formed in particular when drinking water supplies are contaminated with soil, vegetation etc., are known or strongly believed to cause cancer. Some brief info here.

    As is well known, an ally or two for banning water can probably be found in the National Party.

    The massive harm caused by legally prescribed drugs is probably worth a mention too.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    soccerball

    WHAT!!!
    Calling the Beautiful Game that is FOOTBALL "soccer" was bad enough but Soccerball?
    SHAME ON YOU!

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    On the value of televised sports, I agree with Leg Break.

    I wouldn't have taken up cricket, soccer as a kid without first seeing and following those games on TV.

    To put Sky's $80/mo in perspective, in Canada $56/mo will get you 60 channels (that's real TV channels, not radio) and more live sport than you can shake a hockey stick at.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    Personally, given my motorsport bias, I think Sky have an entirely healthy lock on TV sport. They do a decent job of covering nearly all the major series and they often screen repeats and highlights packages of top events. Recently we've even started getting good coverage of things like GP2 that are less well-known but great to watch.

    Free to air TV generally shows an event once, often very late at night. Sometimes it's weeks late (e.g. TV One usually shows MotoGP races on the weekend of the subsequent event).

    The motorsport magazine shows on 1 and 3 are several hours long once a week and have no indication externally (website, whatever) what events will be covered so you can't record one race, and you can't program a PVR or the Sky box to switch over just for that.

    Frankly, fuck that. Sky can have my $70 a month and I consider it well spent.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    sitting onever-increasing arse in front of TV, pay or otherwise, is not, in fact, the best way of combatting youth obesity

    Oh course P, BZP and most other amphetamines are also excellent ways to lose weight...

    But seriously, and I guess this is my thought on Sabin's high school education ventures is telling kids 'drugs is bad mkay' doesn't work. After DARE first came out, some big studies were conducted looking at the effect, and found there was none. So they decided to modify the program. Still no effect. Given the number of studies which all show no effect (bar one which found DARE increased smoking) there is still no evidence for it. New education programs are always apparently somehow different, and thus apparently the null findings don't apply. Yeah Right.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Until Sky stops filling its shitty sports channels with crap like ESPN (a fatwa on Tommy Smyth wid a why?) and Hip Hop Hold 'em, then I'll be spending my money elsewhere. What a joke.

    In an ideal world I'd be happy for proper pay-Per-View - no regular subscription, but $5 - $50 to watch a rugby game, same to watch some footie. I might even be feeling flush enough to watch the Worriors on occasion. I refuse to pay $49.23 for thirty-odd channels of shite.

    An e-mailer to radio sport made many of these statements on Saturday only to be told by Willie Lose that he was wrong and Sky offered a great service. Credit to Lose for reading the whole e-mail, but you don't have to wonder who Willie's other employer is.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    The only potential silver lining is that they might pay more attention in chemistry class (sigh)

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Credit to Lose for reading the whole e-mail

    That surprises me too, but for a different reason…

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    We do know that use of cannabis in early teenage years greatly increases the risk of subsequent problems thats heavy use, which I've seen defined by one Australian expert as 20-50 cones a day. In the NORML forums schizophrenia and cancer studies have been thrashed for months, as well as drug driving.

    Cannabis has serious impacts on mental heath & lets not forget its cancer causing properties. The serious impacts come from utter confusion as to why its illegal, ie. prohibition. The 1998 Mental Health select committee enquiry established that. Other serious mental health impacts come from reading comments such as yours. Re cancer you really need to see this http://www.counterpunch.org/gardner05032008.html The NZ study he refers to is here http://www.norml.org.nz/postx5108-0-0.html Do a quick google to find out who Donald Tashkin is, in case you don't believe it.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Until Sky stops filling its shitty sports channels with crap like ESPN (a fatwa on Tommy Smyth wid a why?) and Hip Hop Hold 'em, then I'll be spending my money elsewhere. What a joke.

    In an ideal world I'd be happy for proper pay-Per-View - no regular subscription, but $5 - $50 to watch a rugby game, same to watch some footie. I might even be feeling flush enough to watch the Worriors on occasion. I refuse to pay $49.23 for thirty-odd channels of shite.

    Yeah, on the rare occasion I watch SKY (e.g., in hotels) I'm amazed how often all I can find is US College basketball and Aussie Rules. And replays at that! Surely there is SFA demand for such programming in NZ?

    Another option is if there's a game you really want to see, go down to the local bar and watch it there for the price of two pints. It'd be a while before you spend the $600-$1000 p.a. that SKY will set you back at home.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    Yeah, on the rare occasion I watch SKY (e.g., in hotels)

    I hope that it's not while you're on a taxpayer-funded junket with a Govt dept in a flash resort! :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    Russell I'm sure the current stats are something like 10-15% of the pop have the predisposition. (sorry no proof)

    You may be talking about the COMT gene. This is in something like 20% of the general population.

    1% of the population are prone to schizophrenia. SHORE stats estimate 16% of the population use cannabis regularly, though that could be underreported. Heavy cannabis use, particularly if started young (around age 14), raises your chance of developing cannabis-induced psychosis to about 1.4%. Some say as high as 2%.

    Mike Sabin's company mantra : "Protecting People e & Profits Through Education" should be read as "Producing Profits from Propaganda"

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    crap like ESPN

    Ahem. Some of us are married to people who like ESPN.

    (I like the World Series of Poker! And Pardon the Interruption. And baseball.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Yeah, I have to confess that a lot of the time my lavish, SKY-equipped accommodation has been funded, at least in part, and slightly indirectly, by the taxpayer. Generally I'm in motels at around $100/night, but sometimes it's hotels up to $160/night.

    I also even rent "Group B" cars from Budget when on the road!!

    And when off the road at the end of the day I have been known to drink a beer or two and charge it back to my work. (Not from the mini-bar mind you, that would be ridiculous).

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    MikeE: You can do what you like with substances and your body.

    But if you have kids or other dependents, I'd expect you to think about more than just what you want. If you're single, alone and no one cares what happens to you - yeah, go for it. Do whatever you want. No one cares and no one is depending on you for anything.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    Steve: I'd agree with you completely.

    I'm not agruing "for" drug use.

    I'm arguing for sensible drug policy, rather than the current situation where more harm is caused by the law than the drug itself.

    The safest drug use is NO drug use, and that includes ALL drugs, legal and illicit.

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Steve - I think that rather goes without saying. If MikeE has people who rely on him/care for him (or even if he cares for himself), he should probably refrain from, e.g., drinking a bottle of whisky every night, while smoking three packets of unfiltered Camels, then washing down four xanax before bed.

    But the point is that it's no business of the state to insist he not to do these things to his own body (and threaten to imprison him if he disobeys) - there are appropriate social mores and expectations around these things. MikeE's friends, family and/or colleagues are likely more than capable of offering advice on responsible substance use.

    Plus, if he or anyone else ignores these mores and expectations for too long, there are probably consequences (like unemployment) that serve as a useful reminder of what it takes to function in society.

    I don't see MikeE making an argument for irresponsible hedonism, rather, he's make an argument for liberty.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    As a nice soft lefty it horrfies me to be saying this, but TVNZ is completely talking out its arse. As I think one of the panelists noted, TVNZ waffles on time and again about being a public service broadcaster, which is bollocks. It's a commerical broadcaster, and the charter / public service funding it receives seems to have no relationship to it showing any better nz-related programming. It also shoehorns all sorts of complete crap (Dancing with the Stars, anyone?) with no cultural value whatsoever into the "charter" bucket, just so it can use said charter funding however it likes.

    SKY spent millions and millions of dollars developing its UHF network. Then more millions buying satellite space and digital broadcast capability. This allowed it to have way more channels (and specialist channels) that the main FTA players, which meant it could afford to show more sports more frequently. Because it'd get more use out of sport rights, it can, in general afford to spend more buying them. This strategy involved them spending at least a decade in the red. It seems a little unfair to complain about the fact that they actually invested in broadcast platform.

    This isn't a function of Sky being the big icky boogyman, its a function of TVNZ not getting off its ass and investing in improving its broadcast platform. Instead it followed its usual pattern of waiting for a great honking government subsidy (which it got) before it could be bothered moving. Now that it has the capacity to broadcast more sport more often on a digital channel, I'd suspect it might be prepared to bid more for sports rights, which would mean more FTA sport. We'll see, it might just try complaining until it get what it wants.

    As for the Prime issue... well, I'd just note that the Commerce Commission, the people who think that Woolies or New World buying the Warehouse is going to Destroy The World were quite happy to let Sky buy Prime.

    Wow, that was a bit of a rant. But TVNZ pisses me off. They started with a massive incumbency advantage, they have money thrown at them by the government (especially by Steve Maharey), and yet they still feel threatened by both Sky and CanWest.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Stanley Pointen,

    Eddie, give me a break. The basic Sky package including sports is $65 a month, or $15 a week. Those who call this a 'sports tax' are right on, in my opinion. I guess people could have given themselves a $15 a week tax cut by dropping Sky and not have to wait for Cullen's cuts in October! But then again, they would not have access to live top grade sport - other than netball and some motor racing. Sky is a monopoly provider in this regard, and should be broken up or at least made to play fair. I resent having to pay these rogues even increasing amounts of money every month. Regulation is much cheaper than taxpayer subsidy or a major taxpayer captial injection. And as for the Commerce Commission, last time I looked our media ownership rules are non-existent, unlike most other civilised jurisdictions.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    [TVNZ is] a commerical broadcaster, and the charter / public service funding it receives seems to have no relationship to it showing any better nz-related programming.

    Prime-time viewing on Television New Zealand could be in for a shake-up after the Government stripped the state broadcaster of control of its $15 million pool of charter funding.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Sorry, correct link

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Ahem. Some of us are married to people who like ESPN.

    I cringed when I realised Sky got the ESPN version of the European Cup final. Fcuking appalling. It's like asking the English to give coverage & analysis of the Stanley Cup.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armitage,

    Eddie,

    I can't disagree with you in relation to TVNZ's shoehorning of complete crap - I'll add the appalling 'Stars in Their Eyes" (more like "Tears in My Eyes") to your "Dancing with the Stars"...
    Mind you, Sky does serve up some quality too - Anyone for 'Dogg the Bounty Hunter"...?

    You post makes it sound as though Sky has actually performed a public service. I may be wrong, but I reckon the residents in the households who cannot receive Sky would beg to differ; about half the population.

    Furthermore, Sky recently reported 40 per cent increase in half year net profit...I wonder if they will use this money to launch more re-run channels. They might get in some quality progamming from Canada for you.

    But I do agree with you that the Commerce Commission is ill-equipped to deal with media ownership issues. Perhaps the idea of a dedicated regulator has merit.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 7 posts Report Reply

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