I am ceasing to write about the Gregorys for one post to express my extreme disgust at the Channel 9 commentary team in the current Test match against South Africa. Every hour or so, they are quoting the current odds being offered by betting agencies on the outcome of the game. Now, I don't mind it if commentators sometimes mention the fact that a team is now "100-1" to win the match or similar, but struggled to understand why we needed to be updated that South Africa were now $2.55 on the win.
However, it is clearly an advertising scheme approved by the hierarchy at Channel 9. One or two mentions of betting odds could be coincidence; the continual repeating demonstrates is a predetermined strategy. I don't mind if companies wish to advertise, that is what makes the world run. But don't go in for this almost 'subliminal' advertising, with commentators throwing in regular references without acknowledging that they are being paid to do so. I was under the clearly misguided opinion that there was a limit on how much advertising was allowed on television. Channel 9 are obviously trying to bypass this limitation by having their commentators constantly promoting betting. Betfair and Channel 9 have history (http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1183337.htm) - its hardly surprising, but still disappointing, to see Channel 9 so actively promoting the company's activities.
This is so wrong on many levels. The actual promotion of gambling is bad enough; there are a lot of people in Australia who have problems with an addiction without it being forced down their throat whilst trying to watch our supposed national game. However, in light of the ongoing problems with match-fixing, it appears the height of hypocrisy for Channel 9 to be so openly promoting betting.
Surrounding the cricket grounds this summer is advertising material for Betfair. I have no drama with this. It is clear and transparent. However, the appalling actions of Channel 9 are beyond the pale.