Posts Tagged ‘olympics’

NBC Olympic coverage: Why it sucked

February 28th, 2010

At the start of the games, I complained about the coverage… and as the games end (and the USA is behind Canada in the game for ice hockey gold), it is time to complain again.  This is a crosspost based on a comment I made to another blog.

The coverage was awful. It could have been better had NBC used CNBC, MSNBC and USA more effectively to cover events. (But even those often had tape delays, or showed the second half of a two part event. Where was the ski jumping?)

It was made worse by the Pixar commercials in the middle of coverage. I get it. Pixar has a movie coming out about vikings and dragons… but after the third or forth time a commentator cut to the Pixar vision of generic Olympic event in viking times? I had enough of that. The second week had less of that, and instead involved promotion of another movie that the anchors didn’t plug as much.

They decided before the games who the athletes that we would care about were. They had video packages made. We got to see them again and again when ever they could think of a relevant reason to show those pre-packaged clips instead of actual sports. When unknown sports heroes arose, no one seemed to know how to cover those.

There were few options to watch events live on their website, except for the few that were being run live on their sister networks.

There were large moments of advertising Whistler and British Columbia… which would have been awesome, had they not felt like everything being aired by others trying to capitalize on the Olympic feeling.

Then we had moments of sexism, where commentators insisted on calling female athletes girls. We had moments of putting down and insulting Olympians because the commentators didn’t see their sport as a real sport. We had moments of homophobic behavior where commentators mocked Johnny Weir for what they considered his effeminate behavior. We had moments where blatant racism wasn’t called out with the Russians and their Aboriginal dance but still happily highlighting their lovely and interesting costumes.

It was a failure for the US and pretty embarrassing. It almost explains why the USOC screwed Chicago out of hosting 2016 in order to try to get their own network to cover the events.

USA (NBC)’s Olympics curling coverage

February 16th, 2010

Yesterday, we got Olympics at one CST on NBC.  Today, we got USA at 11 with curling.  (It continued on with hockey.)  NBC kicks in at 3pm with speed skating.

Curling coverage is about what I wanted: The game, the game and the game.  They didn’t cut away to give me Pixar commercials (no how curling would have been during the Viking age), no player profiles that last five minutes and rerun repeatedly.  NBC/USA could have given us a bit more with what was going on in the other three lanes but that’s okay.  I’d still prefer the US obsession while covering the damned sport mostly uninterrupted to what we’ve had so far.

Now I have to make the choice of hockey (love) or speed skating and other Olympic sports that I feel NBC will botch in covering.

NBC’s Olympic coverage is ruining my Olympic spirit

February 15th, 2010

I love sports and I love the Olympics.  I sack out in front of the television and watch them.  The summer games were at times fantastic because there were sometimes up to four channels with coverage.  Yes, tape delayed to bring the best stuff in prime time was annoying… but at least I had options to watch events that NBC wasn’t as concerned about ratings wise.

Cut to the Winter Games.  I want to watch something that I know is on live.  No dice.  There isn’t wall to wall Olympic sporting events.  Suck.  It is Presidents Day and CNBC isn’t covering business news because the markets in the US are closed.  Did we get anything there?  Nope.  We got a few hours from noon to about three pm on NBC.  Nothing on any of NBC’s other channels.  Zippo.  On a day when markets are closed.  It is depressing.  What we get in primetime is tape delayed events that NBC is happy to spoil for me with poor timing with Tom Brokaw.  (He didn’t say you could turn your head back to the screen.  Instead, he started talking about the Chinese pair’s figure skating while NBC left medal info on the screen.)

The major events that we get involve Americans where we think that they will perform better than any other Americans have before or where we think that they have medal chances.  We don’t get profiles of athletes outside of Americans.  …  Unless they are figure skaters.  I’ve yet to see curling on screen.  I didn’t get to watch an American women hockey game.

Just fail fail fail.  NBC is ruining my experience as a fan who wants to watch games on television or through streaming media. If you didn’t want to broadcast the games NBC, you should have figured out how to get out of your deal.  How you handled it (and the Leno situation) sucks.

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