An Olympic Size Rant

For my newer subscribers, this is the type of random post I warned you about. But thanks for reading anyway.

NBC’s coverage of the Olympics is way overdue for a fresh approach. In the age of instantaneous and social news, they have not adapted the way they broadcast. The most popular sports are still tape delayed for prime time. But the frustrating things is, the rest of the world gets to see it live. Results are out. There’s no excitement or suspense by the time we see it. I understand the desire to show the best stuff in prime time, but show them live too! Evening can recap the best of the day.

It’s funny how last night, the show opened with Bob Costas reminding how everything would be recorded but there would be no spoilers. Except that the NBC Nightly News led with the results of the Lochte/Phelps race. And we had no opportunity to watch it on TV.

And there is actually very little sports in the prime time broadcast, compared to daytime when we get to see full events. Rather, they fill the time with awkward interviews that bait the athletes or do fluff pieces like going through Ryan Lochte’s shoe collection. I’d be interested to see how much time of their 5 hour broadcast actually showed the events.

And then there’s the big stink of how NBC cut away from the part of the Opening Ceremony that was dedicated to the subway terrorist victim’s in the UK. Rather, they showed an interview with Ryan Seacreast asking Michael Phelps if he felt like he was the greatest Olympian of all time. (How does one answer that? Who asks that?)

Today, during swimming qualifying (live), the announcer said we could watch the final of the race tonight. So naturally, I immediately hopped online to see when it would be on live. At least we have that.

I don’t care that they re-air the big events in prime time. Heck, make it like a Sportcenter style recap show. But to not show them live is ridiculous. Then to be audacious enough to say “we have a spoiler-free show” when the whole world knows the results and got to see it live–and also they give the result in their own news broadcast–is idiotic. Their daytime coverage is vastly better, if for nothing more than actually getting to see full events,

Couple of my favorite tweets when you search #nbcfail sum it up pretty nicely. And it’s worth noting the NBC executives said they are aware of the chatter, but also said their viewership is higher than ever so their model must be working. Billions of dollars are at stake in these broadcasts, but isn’t a little some change due? Guess we can plan on more inane coverage for many more games to come.

Kudos to NBC for steadfastly refusing to allow athletic competition to get in the way of its Olympic coverage.

NBC pays billions of dollars to give us coverage of the Olympics instead of actually showing, you know, the Olympics.

I can easily imagine people watching the Phelps defeat live tweeting their heads off telling friends to watch it in primetime. I can imagine people thanking NBC for curating the best of the day at night and giving folks a chance to watch the highlights.

An Olympic Size Rant

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