'BVP' being trapped in front
Sport24 chief writer Rob Houwing (File)
Cape Town - Weekly cricket talk shows on television have tended to live a little dangerously in South Africa, quite often flirting with extinction.
SuperSport’s Inside Edge, for instance, has had spells off the roster before, and at one stage was effectively bailed out by its name-coupled association with Standard Bank - when they were still key sponsors of the game in this country.
Both Inside Edge (SS2) and KykNet’s Afrikaans-language BVP programme soldier on, although it seems the former, which often commanded an hour-long spot in the past, has been slashed by 50 percent and brought into half-hour line with the Fanie de Villiers-anchored BVP.
That creates certain challenges in formula terms, because once you have factored in advertisement breaks, introductions, conclusions and the like, 30 minutes can be eaten up awfully quickly.
I watched BVP on Wednesday night and was left with the feeling that it didn’t amount to very much more than a “highlights” rehash of cricket matches and news snippets many of us would already have seen or noted.
By trying to squeeze in too much, it ended up somehow achieving too little.
The studio duo of Vinnige Fanie and Jeremy Fredericks - they are indisputably enthusiastic and motor-mouthed! - were left largely having to offer a running commentary of sorts on various, blink-and-you’d-miss-‘em excerpts of play.
Especially tough for them was the barrage of flashes from Indian Premier League matches, which required real “flinkdink” on their part to know who was playing ... De Villiers got particularly confused along the way over which match was which (a problem this minor IPL cynic experiences periodically too, I confess).
If the programme is going to continue to provide routine “what’s been happening in the world of cricket” summaries, it cries out for a bit of extra time - even 15 minutes might do? - where a single contentious topic, for instance, can be pinpointed and discussed in some detail and perhaps a personality or two from outside the studio drawn into the mix.
I just feel it is particularly necessary during the South African winter, and especially when the Proteas aren’t in action anywhere.
Wednesday’s show was all rather predictable and staid and then ... boom, finished! Rob’s Awesome Foursome
1. Sharks v Stormers, Super Rugby
Durban, Saturday 19:10, M-Net, SS1 & SHD
When I wrote my SA-geared Super Rugby preview a little earlier in the week, weather prospects looked drier and I fancied that, with maverick Freddie Michalak retained at flyhalf, the Sharks might play an up-tempo, ball-in-hand sort of game to test the stingy Stormers defence at a time when they are feeling chipper about their try-scoring prowess. But now a chance of rain has crept onto the radar, and perhaps things will turn more conservative all-round. And with Pat Lambie at fullback, the home side stays quite nicely geared for a kicking game. I tip the Sharks to edge this particularly attractive derby, but with no great conviction ... have I been foolhardy to overlook how often the Stormers have scuppered these foes in Super Rugby since the advent of the conference system? 2. SuperSport United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Nedbank Cup soccer final
Soweto, Saturday 15:00, SABC1, SS4 & SH2
The curtain comes down on major domestic club football for 2011/12 with this cup showpiece at Orlando Stadium. It’s a well-matched occasion, too, with the team ending third on the PSL table (SuperSport) up against the side who finished only two points behind them in fourth. League form also presents no obvious pointer to possible supremacy here: ‘Downs lost at home to these foes 1-0 on May 12, but won the away fixture 3-1 back on December 16. I’m not going to ask my seasoned colleague Ray Silinga for a tip because he tends to wear Sundowns tops to the office ... 3. F1 Monaco Grand Prix, motorsport
Monte Carlo, Sunday 14:00, SS2, CSN, SHD & Maximo
I’ve never been the keenest petrolhead on the planet, but don’t mind admitting that “Monte” is the one Grand Prix I watch with greater interest, given the street circuit and glamorous location on the Med. There is no runaway leader among the drivers this season, with Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso locked together on 61 points and Lewis Hamilton not far off the pace at all. Alonso is a twice prior winner at this sexy location, so the Spanish son of an explosives factory employee doubtless fancies mastery all over again ... 4. Kolkata Knight Riders v CSK or Daredevils, IPL cricket final
Chennai, Sunday 16:30, SS2, CSN & SHD
Before we reach Sunday’s showpiece – I know I will have had enough of all the six-celebrating commentary superlatives by the time it ends – there is a decider later on Friday (Albie Morkel’s Chennai Super Kings v Morne Morkel’s Delhi Daredevils!) to determine who plays Kolkata Knight Riders in the final. At least we know there will a household South African name in each team on Sunday, as Jacques Kallis has played an influential role, as usual, in the Knight Riders’ already confirmed surge to the grand climax.