Over the last few years, people constantly complain about the amount of advertising the Seven Network puts on during its motor racing telecasts. I don’t actually think it’s too bad, and have shown here and here that the amount is not really all that different than it was 25 years ago, or at any time in between.
Midst the 2010 broadcast of the Bathurst 1000, Seven did controversially “time slip” the coverage to show more of the race. While they did achieve that, it was the wrong thing to do, and some broadcasting rules were changed to stop them from doing it again.
Indeed, the 2011 race remained completely live throughout.
Many of the complainers say that Network Ten – (who held the rights between 1997 and 2006) – should get them back again, because they “never did anything like that”.
Oh really? So what did they do here in their 1997 broadcast of the then Primus Bathurst 1000 Classic?
Well, clearly before the commercial break shown in this footage, the Tomas Mezera car was already deeply bunkered in the sand trap at the bottom of The Chase. As the network threw to the break, they were on lap 27 of the race.
Cue three and a half minute commercial break. Back from the break, we have a minute and a half of race update. So it is at least five minutes since the incident, and still they haven’t shown it, and we are up to lap 30.
So how long had the car actually been in the sand trap?
After 14 years, it is difficult to say precisely, but according to the official lap chart of the race from the Dorian timing system, the last lap the 47 car completed was lap 25.
So it actually happened on lap 26 – four laps before they actually showed it.
The sole leader throughout this period was Peter Brock, with laps of 2:14.1457, 2:13.9709, 2:13.5204, 2:14.2344, and 2:13.6238 between laps 26 and 30 – a total of 11 minutes and 7 seconds – give or take one lap depending on exactly where on the lap Mezera was in comparison to Brock when the accident occurred.
One of the most iconic and most often replayed incidents in the fifty year history of the race – and they missed it by eleven minutes? And pretended that it was live?
Don’t be so sure about just how good a job Channel Ten used to do!