Sports commentaries should add value

THE SEA Games is over, and Singapore performed beyond expectations. Swimming was definitely a star sport. However, the commentary given on free-to-air television for the swimming events was of poor quality.

A sports commentator ought to know something about the sport and be able to give his listeners insights and perspectives that they may not be aware of.

This commentator seemed to know nothing about the sport or the relevance of the events. He couldn't even pronounce the names of the Singapore swimmers properly.

He did not give any context or explain the relevance of important details. For example, he did not say that some of the winning swimmers were not just trying for the gold but also for critical qualifying times that would take them towards the next Olympics or World Championships.

This commentator added no value for the audience. In fact, all he did was describe what the audience was already seeing on TV.

The in-depth discussions after the broadcasts, which featured former swimmers

Mark Chay and Desmond Koh, show that we do not lack knowledgeable Singaporeans.

There should be much better quality commentaries for a sport that Singapore is so strong in.

Tan Boon Khai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2015, with the headline 'Sports commentaries should add value'. Print Edition | Subscribe