Gold Coast Comm Games Closing Ceremony panned by Seven commentators Joh Griggs and Basil Zempilas
Even the chairman of GOLDOC Peter Beattie agreed this morning on Sunrise that the Closing Ceremony wasn't great.
Last night thousands took to social media to express their anger, upset and dismay that when the Closing Ceremony started on Seven the athletes had already been ushered into the Carrara Stadium long before the ceremony itself was due to commence. Viewers missed out on the tradition and fun of seeing the athletes enter in for the "party" to end the event, and missed seeing Kurt Fearnley carry the flag for the Australian contingent in his last Commonwealth Games.
Suspiciously missing through the broadcast were commentators Joh Griggs & Basil Zempilas. No special comments highlighting moments from the close (and certainly no identifying athletes as they entered and talking of their achievements).
Griggs took to Twitter during the ceremony to explain Seven were the "Australian rights holder, not the host broadcaster, so we just have to put to air what they give us". She appeared increasingly agitated across the night, and it culminated in this spray when she and Zempilas took to the microphones at the end of the disaster.
It's a completely reasonable response from Griggs, herself a former Comm Games athlete. Not only were fans from across the competing nations denied the chance to see the athletes celebrate, the athletes themselves weren't then given the chance to get their mugs on camera at all. Not once.
It's no wonder most of them had left the stadium by the time the speeches had finished.
In addition to this stuff up, the calibre of some performances left viewers scratching their heads. Usain Bolt pretending to scratch decks while Anthony Callea sang a disco theme? A 30 minute performance from some of Australia's best female singers murdering a range of songs, including Kate Ceberano having to hear her 80's hit Bedroom Eyes tortuously delivered immediately before she sang a Divinyls cover. It all made no sense, and even fans in the stadium chose to stream out long before the event was over.
The differentiation between "host broadcaster" and "Australian rights holder" didn't sit well with many. Seven had been trumpeting their broadcast of the Comm Games as a part of their "Games of Seven" package since the start of the year, and many expected the network to be the host broadcaster, shaping and delivering the images we all saw on-screen.
Certainly many commentators and hosts took credit for Seven at just how amazing it all looked, and how great it was to be broadcast exclusively on the network.
The wheels fell off last night however as angry fans directed their venom at the network with a lone Griggs stepping in to clarify. While Seven may have only been able to show the pictures delivered them as Australian rights holder it didn't ring true to many as with an Australian event and Seven as the Australian broadcaster they appeared to be one and the same.
Seven could have exerted their hefty influence on the Closing Ceremony organisers to make sure the athletes were seen entering the stadium as was expected... though that would have clashed with the return of Seven's big reality show My Kitchen Rules. This led many to suggest it was a little too convenient for Seven that they couldn't show the athlete entry because it wasn't a part of the broadcast yet were conveniently able to drop in an underwhelming return episode of their mainstay reality show ahead of the Ceremony kicking off. There is no question Seven knew what was to be included and not included in the broadcast long before Sunday night.
It's all a little hollow from Seven.