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  • Updated: 3:01am

Hong Kong Sevens

The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is an international seven-a-side rugby tournament held every March as part of the Sevens World Series and featuring the world’s top teams.

NewsHong Kong

TVB Pearl blinks and misses climax to Rugby Sevens

TVB Pearl cuts to news broadcast just as action in the tournament's final reaches its climax

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 March, 2013, 8:58am

Just when you think that Hong Kong can finally live up to the slogan that it is "Asia World's City", something seems to happen to pull the rug out from under its feet.

The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens was the biggest show in town last night. The atmosphere was electric and in front of a raucous, capacity crowd in the cup final Fiji came from a 19-0 deficit against Wales at half-time to level the match at 19-19. With all left to play for and minutes left to go - local broadcasters pulled the plug.

TVB Pearl were showing the tournament live but with the teams level, and only minutes left, they cut their live feed to the final to go to their evening news programme.

Organisers explained that because of injuries and other time lapses, TVB's live coverage overran its limit and they had to cut off from their live feed to go to the news. At 8.05pm they got back to the final, in time to see the Fijians being presented with the winners' trophy. For those not in the stadium, it was the worst possible end to one of the most exciting finals in years, but as usual the event was still a huge success.

The question is though: When the British Lions play their historic match against the Barbarians here on June 1, will it be as big an attraction? The showdown is the first major rugby international in the city since the second Bledisloe Cup encounter between the All Blacks and Wallabies in 2010.

However, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union lost millions of dollars staging that match owing to poor ticket sales, with 26,210 fans turning up.

But if last night is anything to go by, June 1 should be a sell-out. It can only be hoped that for broadcasting reasons it doesn't go into extended injury time.


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This article is now closed to comments

In any sports event there are the unexpected and TVB has shown that they [top brass] are no sports fans, just businessmen with a stop watch. Prize presentation is not the highlight of the game. Very unprofessional!
could not believe it, so furious i almost broke my TV and laptop! Sack the people in charge and i hope all their actors go to hktv !! :(
Asia World City? I am not sure. We have the smallest stadium by all standards. Sports never a priority in Hk. We have 600,000+ millionaires but getting a ticket out of the 4,000 pool is harder to be a millionaire here. I am lucky to watch both the whole Sevens game and F1 Malaysia simultaneously via NowTV via my 80 inch screen. But seeing F1 live in HK is like an impossibly dream. Need to goto Singapore, Malaysia or Australia to watch live F1, hK names ourselves as Asia World City is a long way to go, don't just talk, do it.
Both ATV and TVB stations are run by a bunch of Muppets. This is an established fact already known to the sevens organisers.
However we should praise TVB for actually covering the sevens on ch.84 Pearl in HD. In previous years the HD coverage only had Cantonese commentary though their digital platform does allow dual language. So last year you could watch on Pearl in SD with English commentary.
Back to the issue at hand - we should realise they will opt out and run the news they are obliged to run news programs as part of their license so probably are fearful of telling off by the regulator. In my opinion the organisers of the sevens should be able to time their matches better so that the final can conclude before 19:30 hrs local time. I'm sure it's not that hard to do. After all it just a game with some blokes with odd shaped balls running around a pitch.
They broadcasted 3 days worth of rugby from the Sevens and stopped 3 minutes short of the end! (And the most exciting 3 minutes at that!)
TVB are absolutely useless because, more and more, they don't care about the English speaking community (let alone the sports community). Instead they support the inane ramblings of hosts on shows like DOLCE VITA which appeal to exactly 0 of HK's population.
Top news they had to cute the Seven's Finals for:
- Top NPC official says HK and Beijing will be at swords if antagonist is chosen as next CE
Asia's World City... NOT!
I have to admit, I also thought it was C.Y.

In my defense though: thanks to TVB, by then I was watching it off a grainy internet feed, and it could just as well have been Lee Kuan Yew or Zhang Ziyi from what I could see.
"Sorry for breaking into the game" LOL!



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