There has been quite a lot of rumbling around the Twittersphere/Blogosphere since the conclusion of the Seven Network’s coverage of the annual Bathurst 1000 motor racing classic last weekend – in which they time-slipped their broadcast by almost 30 minutes by the end of the race.
This disgusted many following the race on social networking sites, with the final result known to many long before the “end” of the race as it was shown on television. This caused betting to be suspended on the race when the issue was discovered, and it has even come to the attention of the politicians, most notably the federal communications minister, Stephen Conroy.
Many have called the tactic a money grab by the network, though Seven themselves claimed it was done to allow viewers to see more of the action. Many were unconvinced – however I decided that it was worth looking at a little deeper, and seeing what exactly what might really be true.
The table below – (click for larger version) – contains the length in minutes and seconds, of all broadcast segments from within the broadcast of the race in each year between 1987 and 2010 – (excluding 1988, 1989, 1999, 2002, and 2003 which I have not yet been able to analyse) – that contained some portion of the race itself. This also covers the ten years the race was broadcast by the rival Network Ten between 1997 and 2006, with the rights returning to Seven in 2007.