Five Nations' delayed start

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 January, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 January, 1997, 12:00am

After missing the chance to cover a live match on the first weekend of the Five Nations rugby championship, STAR are getting back on course with England's first game in the championship, against Scotland, live on Saturday (February 1).

Two weeks later STAR have another live game, again featuring England, away to Ireland. So from the first three rounds, offering a choice of six games, the only two to be aired live are those featuring England.

Any budding Oliver Stones or Area 51 watchers want to apply their minds to a conspiracy theory along the lines of Anglo bias in STAR's rugby coverage? If so, don't forget England were the team who, until a few weeks ago, were not even going to play in the Five Nations.Those not of a conspiratorial frame of mind can try answering a straightforward quiz question.

How is it that, having shown 14 hours a day of Australian Open tennis for the past two weeks, eight of those hours live, STAR suddenly bailed out before the big ones - the finals, none of which were on live at the weekend? Never mind that Martina Hingis made history in the women's final, or that Pete Sampras continued his march into legend in the men's.

Sports tastes differ from place to place. The French news bulletin CFI Journal (on the Cable International channel) led its whole report, broadcast here yesterday, with rugby union's European Cup final, in which Brive beat Leicester at Cardiff.

Action clips were followed by scenes of jubilation in Brive, and an interview with the club president and two players at the Arms Park.

This item came before Algerian terrorism, a bank workers' strike in France and war orphans in Zaire. Funny old world.If you watched the Super Bowl (STAR Sports) today, here are some numbers to crunch. Advertisers for the broadcast in America paid an average of US$1.2 million for 30 seconds of airtime. And the telecast was the product of more than US$1 billion invested by the Fox Network. If money is a measure of an activity's importance (and if you don't believe that what are you doing in Hong Kong?) this was a major money event, never mind a sports occasion.