Like lots of Americans, I’m a bit nervous about tonight’s Olympic gold medal women’s soccer match. Naturally I want to see Team USA come out the victor over Japan, but I’m far more worried about whether or not SVT is going to let me watch the whole match on our big flat-screen, or if they’re going to cut away mid-way through the 2nd half, forcing soccer fans to finish the match their computers.
Seriously, during the semi-final against Canada on Monday night, an epic, high-scoring battle won on a US goal in the final minute of the second extra-time period, Sweden’s state-run public television network decided to switch their broadcast coverage to track & field with 20 minutes left to play in regulation. I KID YOU NOT.
So here in Sweden, the final 20 minutes and the two extra time periods of the match that many fans have since called the single most exciting soccer game they can ever remember, had to be watched online. And of you didn’t happen to have a an internet connection and computer fast enough to handle the streaming, well you were pretty much S.O.L.
Now I realize that compared to the tape-delayed coverage that my fellow Americans have to live with, I really haven’t had much to complain about regarding SVT’s live coverage on multiple channels plus web-streaming, but cutting away from a close match with 20 minutes in regular time remaining just defies logic. Especially in a soccer-loving country like Sweden.
And what did SVT broadcast instead, you may ask?
The women’s steeplechase. And there wasn’t a single Swede competing.
Like I said, DEFIES LOGIC.