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NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

Old Aug 23rd 2004, 3:22 am
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Default NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

Prior to today my main problem with NBC's coverage of the Olympics was their determination to impose some kind of melodramatic sob story onto almost every athlete, especially the American ones, but what they did today really seriously pissed me off.

The Mrs and I turned on the telly just before 4pm ET today expecting to see live coverage of the men's 100m final. It is, after all, the most high profile event of the games, and there were three Americans in it. But instead we saw boxing and rowing, with not even a hint that said event was even happening today. No, we had to wait until 11pm to see it, by which time any sense of drama or occasion had been lost and the result was well known.

My first thought when I saw that the final was scheduled for 10pm Athens time was that it was to enable US TV to show it at a decent time, but my Mrs says that NBC does this sort of thing regularly, in order to try and hold the audience and get them to watch a million adverts, but really, isn't it taking the piss to wait until 11pm????

I was even moved to write off a stroppy complaint email to NBC earlier, which made me feel marginally better but I'm sure will be roundly ignored. It's only the second time I've written to a TV network to complain about something - in about 1990 I wrote to the BBC about an episode of Casualty that wound me up. I really really really miss the BBC now.
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 5:53 am
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

I'd like to see a medal ceremony from time to time also. NBC seems to just like to talk about winning medals instead of us actually seeing the atheletes receive them. Considering this was a weekend and considering the money NBC has pumped into the Olympics coffers for the right to show the games, you'd think that at least they could show the blue ribbon event in track and field live considering the American interest. During the week, I could understand, but on a weekend of no other extra special sporting events, NBC should have pushed the boat out and gone live. Its the first time I've really missed the Beebs coverage of a sporting event.
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 11:24 am
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

Originally Posted by elfman
Prior to today my main problem with NBC's coverage of the Olympics was their determination to impose some kind of melodramatic sob story onto almost every athlete, especially the American ones, but what they did today really seriously pissed me off.
I have to agree with you regarding NBC's coverage. It is driving me crazy. Even what they do show in 'Primetime' is a mess.

I know the BBC and ITV can lean towards coverage of British atheletes and are not entirely impartial, but they will also show sports with no British interest such as gymnsatics or diving, and I'm sure the 100m final (with no Brits) was live.

However, of course, over here, if there is no American interest in a sport, forgetabout it. Oh, except for the Iraqi football team (!)

So we get plenty of coverage of Basketball (isn't there enough on normal sports TV), Volleyball, Beach Volleyball (!!!!), Boxing, and Softball (!)

I miss the overall feel of the many nations taking part in the Olympics, and being able to share the highs of Pinsent stepping out of Redgrave's shadow and winning his fourth successive Olympic gold, Chris Hoy repeating Jason's Queally's cycling gold, and the drama of Paula Radcliffe's retirement from the marathon. Having said that, NBC did at least acknowledge Paula Radcliffe as one of the greatest distant runners of all time and showed her withdrawal in their primetime show. Oh, then again, an American came third as a result...

Don't get me wrong. There have been some fantastic American performances - Paul Hamm and Carly Patterson in the gymnastics, Michael Phelps in the pool, and obviously the 100m athletics gold.

One of the great things about the Olymics, for me at least, is getting to see sports that you normally don't get a chance to see, such as diving, rowing, cycling that isn't the Tour de France, canoeing etc. They often have their own drama which make for great viewing. Although, I really don't care if I never see beach volleyball again...

Oh well. Oh, and I agree with you also about the dramatic 'sob story' edge given to the American athlete's performances.

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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 11:56 am
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

They are C-R-A-P you just can't figure out if and when an event will be on. For example, they showed bits of the heptathlon and that was it. Well, why did they show the heptathlon long jump, but not show other events from the heptathlon (like the final 800M)? Maybe I blinked and missed it.

Local paper is just as bad - no Olympic results page! They "report" (tell stories about) one or two selected events, but there's no page with times, scores, positions, etc. I can find about 10 times more detailed info on the little league baseball games this weekend than the biggest sporting event in the world! Bizarre!

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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

This is the first Olympics since 1968 that I can remember not wanting to watch on tv. The US coverage has been worse than useless. Personally I have been devoting my time to listening to England thrash a poor West Indies 4-0 via BBC 5 Sports Extra on the net. This after a great 3-0 win over the Kiwis.

Who needs steroid enhanced athletes, 'women' who look thinner than lollipop sticks and dodgy judging when you have England winning 7 tests on the bounce !

Will the S Koreans be allowed to have an appeal for the way the judges 'erred' and gave the Yank the gold medal in male gymnastics ?

Last edited by doctor scrumpy; Aug 23rd 2004 at 1:59 pm.
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

I'm glad to see I'm not the only person less than happy with NBC's Olympic coverage. Watching their coverage sometimes gives the impression that the only country competing is the USA. I don't mind networks in different countries being biased towards their own country, but I think NBC are taking it a little too far. It's not just the Brits who are unhappy, I was speaking with someone at work who says they're watching the Olympics one of the Canadian television channels, because they wanted to see how other countries were doing as well.
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

Originally Posted by dgsyd1
I'm glad to see I'm not the only person less than happy with NBC's Olympic coverage....It's not just the Brits who are unhappy, I was speaking with someone at work who says they're watching the Olympics one of the Canadian television channels, because they wanted to see how other countries were doing as well.
Americans like me are also disgruntled with the bias toward our own athletes, and the 'sob story' back ground on almost all of them, additionally with the timing of coverage. It just plain sucks.
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 2:13 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

I've gotta say I totally agree, NBC coverage is CRAP with ALL the emphasis on American sportsmen and women. The saga over Paul Hamm winning the gold in gymnastics is a mess, he still says he deserves it ..but then so does the competitor who was wrongly judged ! Overall the gymnastics this year has been the poorest I've seen in years, it seems too much emphasis is put on 'power' and not enough on style resulting in so many 'hops and steps' its a wonder anyone got over 9.5.
I even tried to see what the BBC was showing on their website but as NBC has bought up ALL rights within the US the BBC can only show 2.5 seconds of video
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

Well no disrespect to anyone here, but I think you're all smoking crack.

So far I have witnessed.

A Ben Ainslie interview and him winning the Finn class.

Brad Wiggins winning the 4km pursuit.

Matt Pinsent winning Gold.

That cute swede who won the Heptathlon and her medal ceremony.

For some reason NBC showed South Korea v Taiwan in the Archery final.

some Russian bint winning the trampolining.

So it's not all one way traffic folks.
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

http://davejustus.blogspot.com/2004/...-olympics.html


This is a very interesting perspective on press coverage of the olympics by an American......
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

NBC=American Network.

sorry folks but that is the plain truth. You are in America, and watching American TV, you are going to see the American team and the stories of their lives.

It makes laugh to think that somewhere in Thailand there is some person whining "I can't believe all I'm seeing is the Thai teams and their stupid sob stories..."

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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 2:49 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

Originally Posted by MisBish
NBC=American Network.

sorry folks but that is the plain truth. You are in America, and watching American TV, you are going to see the American team and the stories of their lives.

It makes laugh to think that somewhere in Thailand there is some person whining "I can't believe all I'm seeing is the Thai teams and their stupid sob stories..."

Funny that, the BBC coverage always featured other nations. Guess that is the difference between quality tv & yanks.
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

Originally Posted by doctor scrumpy
Funny that, the BBC coverage always featured other nations. Guess that is the difference between quality tv & yanks.
see my earlier post though Scrumpster.

They do, and that was from my viewing this weekend.
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

Originally Posted by MisBish
NBC=American Network.

sorry folks but that is the plain truth. You are in America, and watching American TV, you are going to see the American team and the stories of their lives.

It makes laugh to think that somewhere in Thailand there is some person whining "I can't believe all I'm seeing is the Thai teams and their stupid sob stories..."

I do appreciate American networks focusing on American competitors but not all the time. It is an international sporting competition and should reflect this in the broadcasts. Otherwise, it would be better for the Americans to pull out of the Olympics and compete against themselves in a separate competition in the Olympic sports. Then, neither the US TV networks nor the public are fooling themselves about what is being broadcast.

Of course, there are probably reasons way beyond the Olympic ideals why there is unrelenting focus on American competitors. i.e. the sponsors of the American competitors, teams and sports.

Personally, I think the broadcasts would get even more viewers (regardless of content at this point) if they were made before 11.00pm.
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Old Aug 23rd 2004, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: NBC's Olympic coverage sucks a big one

NBC invested a lot of money in the Olympics and has to pull high ratings for the national telecasts, so they feature the events and stories that Americans care most about.

NBC's cable partners feature many other non-American competitors in other events (badminton, handball, table tennis, field hockey). Check out MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, and Telemundo.
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