Friday, November 02, 2012

Mercury Prize 2012: Alt-J quickly given their prize

There's a lumbering headline from the Daily Mail which, though gauche, pretty much sums it up:

Electronic quartet Alt-J are handed the prestigious 2012 Mercury Music Prize after being named the favourites to scoop the title
Okay, to be accurate nobody went "they're the favourites, so we better hand them the prize", but you can see what the Mail is getting at. It wasn't much of a surprise, and we're probably a good year or two away from a well-meaning presentation of the cheque to an outsider from whom we shall never hear again.

Let's just take a quick look at the coverage, shall we? This year the prize moved from BBC2 to Channel 4, who gamely made space in the schedule for the announcement.

Not very much space, though: just a five minute slot.

Ah, but Channel 4 is a family of channels, right. So was there a bigger programme on More4?

Erm, no.



Ah! Here we are, 4Music had a longer live programme.

Yes you do, 4Music, over on Sky Channel 330.

Now, it might make sense for the awarding of music's most literary prize to be on a music channel. Except 4Music isn't really a music channel - the awards were sandwiched between three hours of Kim Kardashian and an old 8 Out Of Ten Cats. It's a bit like bunging the Turner Prize out on CITV because the channel once showed Art Attack.

Oh. But still, on a sort-of dedicated channel, there's room for a decent chunk of programming, right?

Nope. Just a thirty programme, like there used to be on BBC2.

So, no extra coverage, just hidden away on a less-appropriate channel.

I'm not sure if I was the sponsors I'd be that thrilled at this exciting new profile.

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