6/12/2010

ERA TV 年代綜合台 Taiwan's Lousy World Cup Soccer Coverage

Is it just me, or you also feeling that Taiwan's ERA TV's 年代綜合台 (Channel 45) coverage of the World Cup is a bit one sided? 

I've just been watching the first half the Greece versus South Korea game and I'm speechless. Whenever South Korea attacks, the two commentators practically climb over each other in their excitement. Even a play from 30 meters out is "extremely beautiful"! The first half closed with a nifty Greek strike with the South Korean goalkeeper barely knocking it down. But now the two commentators changed their tune: it wasn't a terrific chance 好厲害, but instead 哎呦那麼糟糕! meaning "What the fuck?! My God! We're lucky to escape that."

Why on earth are our Taiwanese commentators so biased? Why are we pulling for South Korea? My wife figures we are pulling for Koreans because we're Asian, but I figure that is just plain racism. 

What gives  年代綜合台? I pay my cable bills and watch your silly ads just as much as the next guy. Give us an honest account of the game. You can do better than this. 

As I close this post, the two Taiwanese commentators on ERA TV 年代綜合台 are shrieking with joy because South Korea has "scored again - how wonderful!" In fact, they are chanting "Very beautiful! Very beautiful. What a great ball!" 
 
LOL, I'm still here and the commentator on the right (the one, if you watched, wearing the pink polo shirt) keeps on bugging me. According to him, "South Korea is ranked 49th in the world. Greece is ranked 17th. It should be the opposite! Korea 好厲害!" Then the same commentator says this: "The Japanese have great energy! The Chinese have great energy! But why is it that the Koreans have such great energy?" 

26 comments:

Kaminoge said...

My Mandarin isn't very good, but I was getting the impression watching the game the announcers were showing some sort of favoritism towards the Koreans. This strikes me as more than a little odd because the impression I get from my students is that the South Koreans are generally considered to be rivals, and not friendly ones at that, in the fields of sports and economics. The intensity of a South Korea-Taiwan (oops, "Chinese Taipei") baseball game is greater than when the national team plays Japan, for example. And Korea always seems to be the country of comparison in terms of economic performance. I guess when it comes to the World Cup, pan-Asian chauvinism transcends regional rivalries.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"My Mandarin isn't very good, but I was getting the impression watching the game the announcers were showing some sort of favoritism towards the Koreans. This strikes me as more than a little odd because the impression I get from my students is that the South Koreans are generally considered to be rivals."

I don't get it either. Most of the people I have run into here dislike the Korean refs, especially after the 2002 shenanigans.

Jennifer said...

Why would they NOT support South Korea and root for some European scrubs instead? Korea fighting!!

Patrick Cowsill said...

"Why would they NOT support South Korea..."

The fans can go for whomever they please. I agree with that. Absolutely.

I'm not the first however to point how bad the commentary can be for sports here. Usually, people complain that it's repetitive. In tennis, for example, the commentators simply say: "Good ball. Good ball." They can say that hundreds of times.

I've translated a little bit of the soccer commentary so people can a taste of how stupid and biased it seems to be.

Aimee said...

This is the first thing I thought when I tuned in to watch the world cup. The commentators are so annoying they really spoil the experience of watching the matches...

Anonymous said...

You all should be watching the NBA Finals instead. Game 4 this evening. Beat LA!!

Anonymous said...

They're no better in the NBA either.

I tend to like when announcers can have enthusiasm, but it seems like every play caller from Taiwan is a 10 year old kid repeating the same phrases over and over. My favorite is 'wow!' whenever there is a moderately impressive play.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"The commentators are so annoying they really spoil the experience of watching the matches..."

I want to hear the crowd, get the game experience, etc. But the commentators on ERA TV in Taiwan are really ruining that. I watched the US v. England game off the satellite at a pub and the difference was huge.

It's not just that the commentators were pulling for South Korea, (which I don't get as we're in Taiwan) but also that they don't seem to have a clue about the game. They don't add anything to it and their not informative. Most of the commentary, yeah, consists of "My God, I can't believe it, this team is so good, etc." They don't even seem to know the names of half the players.

James said...

They are indeed rubbish. The amount of times they named dropped Manlian 曼聯 in reference to Park was staggering. He's just scored for his country and all they can do is (incorrectly) go on about him being a leading star at Man Utd.

The more they repeat the same old basic platitudes, the more obvious is becomes that they have nothing else to say, so they are going to milk this for all its worth. We're lucky Beckham didn't make it or we'd have to endure hours of inane, semi-tangential ramblings about 'the spice girls'. They seem to want to talk about anything as long as it doesn't involve what is actually taking place on the pitch.

I've taken to turning 'em down now, though - as Patrick says - you miss the atmosphere of the crowd, the hornet's nest of vuvuzelas notwithstanding.

Can I second the comment from the NBA fan about 'wow' (more akin to 'wah'). It comes a close second to ubiquitous 'Oh my gah' in the annoying stakes.

Regarding the race angle, it does appear as bit strange. As Kaminoge noted, they are definitely not fond of the Koreans and I frequently hear 'they're cheats' in relation to the 2002 WC and a couple of baseball incidents involving the two nations. Hard to say what their motivation would be (perhaps as Patrick said, it is a 'thems that's more like us'-type thing) but imo it seems like they would go apeshit over a goal kick.

As for Jennifer's comment, the point is not about fans supporting a side but commentators! In England it's bad form to be unbalanced even in an England game, though it obviously happens. Clearly favouring one team is very amateurish.

Btw, here's further proof, should you need it, that we're not in a minority on this one:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jun/13/world-cup-2010-algeria-slovenia-live

James said...

For that link, check the 57th minute of the game report.

http://thewritingbaron.com/

Kaminoge said...

Jennifer wrote:
"Why would they NOT support South Korea and root for some European scrubs instead? Korea fighting!!"

By that logic, as an American of European descent, I should have supported Mexico (fellow North Americans) against South Africa and Serbia (fellow Caucasians) vs. Ghana, instead of the African teams who I actually pulled for. On the other hand, I was hoping Greece would beat South Korea, but then again I'll be cheering Japan on when it plays Cameroon. Kind of defies easy categorization, doesn't it?

As others have noted, Jennifer, the issue isn't fan loyalty, but the professionalism of the announcers. Or as ERA so clearly demonstrates, the lack of it when it comes to their World Cup coverage.

Patrick Cowsill said...

Thanks James (thanks for the link) and James. I agree with you're saying. I want to listen to the game in full volume to get the experience of the crowd. But the commentary is pissing me off.

I'm also pulling for African teams as they continue to contribute great players and because they absolutely love this game.

BTW, I agree with Jennifer. Cheer for the team you like and do not make apologies for doing so.

I'll be back with more of my own commentary, for sure.

James said...

Just back and in the 20 minutes of Japan-Cameroon I have seen, the commentators have said 'wah' no fewer than four times.

They have screeched at every minor attack and on one flap by the Japanese keeper sounded like a spotty prepubescent shooting his load. Abject.

Oh god ... Japan have just scored and the guy squealed like a castrato on helium. Prat.

Anonymous said...

Wah,13 comments in a day, Patrick you have hit a jackpot by listing the World Cup Soccer in your Blog.
ChoSan

dennis said...

ban those god damn vuvuzelas or whatever u call them, on tv they just sound like constant bee buzz for 90mins, i wanna be able to hear the thumpping sound made when a player's foot makes contact with the ball. the noise is so damn annoying it just makes me not want to watch a game at all! seriously wtf

Patrick Cowsill said...

"ban those god damn vuvuzelas or whatever u call them, on tv they just sound like constant bee buzz for 90mins"

LOL, Dennis. It's like a constant drone. I suppose they're part of the live experience, but I hear what you're saying. You might have something there.

Did you see how excited the ERA TV 年代綜合台 (Channel 45) commentators got in the New Zealand v. Slovakia game when they saw the Chinese billboard? They actually forgot the play for a good three minutes, even while New Zealand was attacking, to giggle about it.

Kannan said...

Great post.

dennis said...

"Did you see how excited the ERA TV 年代綜合台 (Channel 45) commentators "

Patrick: no i didnt because i live in melbourne australia and have no access to tw tv. but i did live in new zealand for 11 years prior. i am glad that australian commentators are not like the ones u mentioned on channel 45, coz they would annoy me to my stomach, i'd rather listen to the vuvuzelas than listen to some person raving about a chinese billboard, a taiwanese billboard yes! chinese? get da fuck out! I also enjoy watching the games online, i like to look for english commentators as i think they understand the game much better. if u wanna try here's one of the better websites where u can choose from a wide range of channels from many different countries.
http://myp2p.eu/competition.php?competitionid=&part=sports&discipline=worldcup2010
different channels uses different P2P programs to play, so you will need to install the program to actually watch it. i think it's pretty good if u dont want to have to put up with bad commentory.

dennis said...

oh this is another good one
http://www.firstrow.net/

Patrick Cowsill said...

"i am glad that australian commentators are not like the ones u mentioned on channel 45, coz they would annoy me to my stomach, i'd rather listen to the vuvuzelas than listen to some person raving about a chinese billboard, a taiwanese billboard yes!"

Cheers, Dennis. Go Taiwan! Sorry, but they were simplified characters. I've seen a few Chinese billboards in South Africa's World Cup, even though China is not competing. I suppose this is because a lot of people in China are watching. I guess it's just a matter of time before China has a team good enough to make it through.

Like I said, "Go Taiwan!"

Patrick Cowsill said...

I haven't heard a single player in ERA TV's 年代綜合台 World Cup coverage referred to by his skin color. I wonder if the commentators have been warned about doing this. At 65 minutes into the US / Slovenia game, the commentator almost called one of the American players a "half breed." He got the first part of the word out before stuttering to a stop. His partner didn't offer anything supportive, so he continued, after an uncomfortable moment of silence, to say "he has a South American flavor." I suppose he was talking about Torres, though I can't be sure.

andre said...

i mute the coverage sometimes to avoid the ERA TV commentators but i love hearing the chanting crowds & the vuvuzelas in the background. unfortunately with the volume on, i have to listen to the ERA TV commentators and i just can't stand them. they are so biased and borderline racists. seriously, these guys are so full of shit if you cut them open, they'd bleed shit.

Keith Perron said...

Well like most television in Taiwan it sucks. I have been watching CCTV. CCTV (Central China Television) is way more profession that TV commentators in Taiwan. Even when it comes to news, despite the censorship, CCTV has way more international coverage. Yes it's true Taiwan has more commercial channels than the PRC, but here in Taiwan they all suck. What makes a headline in Taiwan? A man gets hit by a coconut while driving his scooter.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"if u wanna try here's one of the better websites where u can choose from a wide range of channels from many different countries.
http://myp2p.eu/competition.php"

Thanks. I'm going to have to do that, as the US / Algeria game won't be on. ERA is going with the Slovenia / England one instead.

andre said...

during the England-Slovania match, the Slovanian keeper made a nice save which prompted the ERA announcers to say he made the save because he's a tall guy then made fun of the Mexican goalkeeper's height, saying if that had been the MX keeper he wouldn't have been able to save it since he's so short. the ERA announcers are just some fk'ing idiots!

Anonymous said...

You can't take them seriously. All they can say is "good ball good ball." They haven't got a clue. It's best to watch the BBC coverage, including commentary by Lineker, Adebayor, Klinsmann, and Strachan.