Putting Football on the Air|on the Air

发布时间:2020-03-26 来源: 美文摘抄 点击:

     Huang Jianxiang, CCTV sports anchor and football guru      In China, Huang Jianxiang is the king of sports commentators. His popularity is such that the affable but confident doyen of television broadcasting is mobbed when he goes out in public. He is a new breed of voice maestro, adopting a more professional and relaxed style to the commentators of the past. Those veterans come from an era of radio and are used to describing every detail of the play and the audience, despite viewers now being able to see the happenings for themselves on hi-tech TV screens.
  Huang tries to be as knowledgeable about the players and tournaments as possible, but is careful never to drown out the noise of the fans that give TV viewers that “live” feel. This approach has won him great credibility. He has been chosen best sports anchorperson in countless viewer polls, an achievement that has led Huang, together with his two colleagues Liu Jianhong and Duan Xuan, to be selected to give commentary on 20 of the 64 games at this year’s World Cup, including the final on July 9.
  “The journey to Germany is my third trip to a World Cup and this time the much increased live commentary creates a new record for China Central Television (CCTV) in broadcasting this event,” Huang said. According to him, of all the 64 games, only five would be commented on from Beijing, meaning all the other 59 games would be the broadcast live from the stadiums of Germany. It’s a far cry from 1998 when Huang took his first World Cup trip to France, and had to comment in front of a small TV set in a dark room.
  Huang is so passionate about football that he got into hot water by seemingly losing control of his emotions while commenting on the game between Italy and Australia at this year’s World Cup. He departed from his usual objective reporting style to go on a rant about Italy’s 1:0 controversial last minute penalty goal against Australia, which saw them through to the quarter-finals. Huang’s screaming commentary was unashamedly biased toward the Italian team and poured scorn on the Australian team. The incident led to a huge debate on the Internet with fans both for and against Huang’s remarks. Huang eventually apologized to fans for his behavior.
  In 1990 when Huang graduated from university, the World Cup was held in Italy. It was the first time for CCTV to send its staff to broadcast from the actual event. The same pattern was used in 1994 and 1998. In World Cup Korea and Japan 2002, it was the first time for China to rent seats in the media box, so that commentators didn’t have to sit in the International Broadcasting Center. More importantly, Huang said, commentators could see the details of teams and what they were doing on the field as it happened.
  This has largely improved the quality of the broadcasting, yet Huang and his colleagues’ life on the road is anything but glamorous. Their punishing schedule is not for the faint-hearted. They’re either in a vehicle, working or resting, sleeping less than five hours every day.
  “Our life in Germany is just on the road, on the bed and on the commentators’ seats, nothing else,” sighed Liu Jianhong.
  In Germany, there are 60 reporters from CCTV, who are divided into 10 teams. With the theme of “I Love the World Cup,” they are feeding the audience with almost all-inclusive broadcasts about the World Cup.
  To prepare viewers and whet their appetites for the feast of football that was to follow, CCTV began screening a series of inserts back in February about the World Cup. The national broadcaster also included broadcasts of more than 30 warm-up games and purchased the rights to show the pre-World Cup training camps and a cartoon film about the event.
  During the World Cup, CCTV is estimated to broadcast at least 500 hours of footage, spreading throughout the day. After the event ends on July 9, CCTV will also release a series of reports, including a large set of review specials, titled A Time to Make Friends.
  
  Big interest
  
  
  WHAT A GOAL!: Football fans in Hangzhou gather in a bar to cheer on their favorite team
  
  In China, because of the time difference, most of games begin at midnight and 3 a.m., except for some games beginning at 9 p.m. Beijing time. Staying up late to watch the games is difficult, but this has not dampened the enthusiasm of Chinese fans.
  According to a survey jointly carried out by CSM Media Research, a leading TV audience measurement in China, and CTR Market Research, a leading market information company in China, when the opening ceremony of the World Cup was held, the live broadcast on CCTV’s Sports Channel pushed audience ratings to 5.67 percent, 10 times the average figure for the previous five months.
  Although the first game of the World Cup between Germany and Costa Rica started at midnight, Beijing time, it still attracted a large number of fans. The two CCTV channels that broadcast the play live occupied half of the market. “This means that of total viewership at this time, every second person was watching this game,” said Zhang Ronghui, Sports and Media Director of CSM. It was estimated that in Beijing, there were 820,000 people watching the opening game while at the same time, there were 600,000 people in Shanghai and 85,000 people in Guangzhou also watching on television. Since then games held in the peak viewing time of 9 p.m.-11 p.m. saw audience ratings surpass many popular TV soaps on at the same time.
  The broadcast rights of the World Cup is of strategic importance to all the TV broadcasting companies who are hoping to attract the biggest viewership and secure advertising. Years ago, CCTV got the exclusive broadcasting rights of the World Cup 2002 and 2006 at the price of $24.98 million.
  It had taken CCTV four years and eight months of hard dealing to negotiate the broadcasting rights to the World Cup 2002. Undoubtedly, it was all worthwhile as statistics show that during World Cup 2002, 77.4 percent of the audience, or 850 million
  people, watched the games. The average audience rating of night games was 15.3
  percent or 160 million people. Part of this huge viewership was undoubtedly due to the fact that the Chinese football team had made it to the competition for the first time. When Brazil and Germany battled it out for the World Cup championship, eight Chinese cities created a domestic record for the
  highest audience rating of a World Cup final: 31.7 percent.
  CCTV estimates that there will be an accumulative 10 billion people watching World Cup 2006 on television. In terms of advertising, according to estimations of Tian Tao, senior analyst at CTR Market Research, World Cup Germany will bring 1.6-1.7 billion yuan to the Chinese advertising market in the form of television, radio, print, Internet and other media.
  
  TV helps fans
  
  
  PUBLIC VIEWINGS: During the World Cup, Hefei in Anhui Province shows soccer games every day in a downtown square, attracting thousands of fans
  
  When World Cup Sweden 1958 became the first world football event that was broadcast live via television, most Chinese had never seen a TV set. Two decades later in 1978, Chinese television began to broadcast the World Cup. It was also the first time for China to transmit sports events via satellite, although only one game was broadcast. The commentator at that time, Song Shixiong, had little access to information, so he had to prepare his commentary for the game using information from Xinhua News Agency and the sporadic reports of foreign news agencies. “I cut out the pictures of the players and memorized each one,” he said.
  According to Huang, CCTV broadcast the complete series of World Cup games for the first time in the summer of 1982. In that year, Huang was 14.
  “Sat in front of the TV set, I saw the splendid opening ceremony of the World Cup for the first time,” Huang recalled.
  Liu Jianhong was similarly smitten with football and the World Cup the same year. In November 2003, with the program called Hello World Cup, Liu made at the World Cup 2002, he was awarded the highest prize for a television anchor. An innovative aspect of the program was the female presenter Liu invited onto the show, an idea that attracted large numbers of women to watch football who had previously had no interest in the sport. There were 6 billion people watching the program. The charm of the World Cup has gripped China as never before and television should get most of the credit, said Liu.

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