NBC is Doing a Terrible Job Covering the Olympics

It all started with the Opening Ceremony.  Yes, the Opening Ceremony was weird for those of us that are not from England, but in their defense, the Ceremony should be geared towards the host countries crowd.  The host country should be able to show the world its history…regardless of how weird of a performance they turn it into.  Having Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira narrate the Ceremony was pretty ridiculous and a big waste of time.  It really detracted from watching what was going on and became distracting.  But even after that I was still willing to give them a shot, it was after all, only strike one.

Strike two: Later on during the Ceremony they cut away from the Ceremony coverage itself to show me a Ryan Seacrest interview with some of the gymnasts they are calling the “Fab Five.”  First of all, there is and forever always will be, only ONE Fab Five.  They are Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.  If you google “Fab Five,” the first two results are Wikipedia pages for them, but I digress.  The big issue is, why are you showing me already taped interviews about how cool they felt being on the Sports Illustrated cover?  Why are you showing me this during the Opening Ceremony?  Don’t the gymnasts even know that cover is a huge jinx?  Just ask Jordyn Wieber how she feels being on the cover now, after she didn’t qualify for the Gymnastics All-Around final.  Stop giving me fluff piece garbage, and just give me coverage of what is happening.

Strike three:  Hardly any live events on television.  From what I counted, they had five channels broadcasting Olympic events; NBC, NBC Sports, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo.  Why couldn’t you put all the major events live on Bravo?  Why did the Real Housewives of Orange County have to be on?  Does anyone actually care about that show?  And if they do, shouldn’t they be forced to get a cat scan and speak to a psychiatrist?  Putting all the major events (I.E. the 400 IM Final, the 4 x 100 Relay Final, etc) on Bravo live allows people to watch it.  Instead with the advancements of social media, word gets out of who won before the event has hit primetime.  This, is probably costing them viewers anyways.  Their whole goal is to get as many viewers as possible, but who wants to watch an event they already know the outcome to?  The big draw to sporting events is that each one is supposed to be unpredictable and the fact that there hasn’t been a predetermined outcome keeps everyone interested.  Why not show the event live and then again in prime time?  Would it really hurt your ratings that much to show it twice?  Why should I be confined to watching live events on my laptop when I pay money for a TV and Cable (well not me personally, I’m spoiled, but other people have to).

If you still don’t believe that their coverage has been bad, then read this post and watch the video.  Pretty cut and dry.  Why show the tape delayed event if you’re just going to spoil the outcome ten minutes before the race?  Congrats, you guys are smart.  It should also be noted that a parody account on Twitter called “NBC Delayed” is up and running, making fun of the delayed coverage, and already has 21,000 followers (it’s actually a very well done parody account).

Furthermore, each time zone gets a staggered version of what is going on.  For example, my parents saw who won the Men’s 200 M Freestyle in Michigan, two hours before I saw it in Colorado.  So people in California, get a three-hour delay of the tape delayed Olympic coverage. Needless to say this further adds to the spoilers for the people on the West Coast.  Football games on the Sunday Night Football (an NBC event), that are at 8:30 PM eastern time are shown at 5:30 PM pacific time, so why is there now a delay of the delay?  They’ve proved they can keep the coasts on the same page, so why stop now?  Why do everything for ratings instead of working to keep people happy?  Darren Rovell, of ESPN, also reported that last night the tape delayed events ratings were down 5% from the live events shown in Beijing in 2008.  Gee, I wonder if that’s because people already knew what happened and didn’t feel like wasting their time watching something they already knew the result of?

All I’m asking is for some live coverage of final events.  I don’t need the qualifier or the semis, just the finals.  Reporters have to do their jobs covering the Olympics, so I won’t blame them for putting the results on Twitter or online, they’re being paid to do it.  But NBC is treating this Olympics like its 2002.  Even at the last Summer Olympics, Twitter was in its infancy and this wasn’t a problem.  So why won’t NBC get with the times?  Why are we being force-fed certain stuff and have less of a choice?  I mean, during the Men’s 400 IM Final, instead of showing the event on NBC, Dan Patrick did a three-minute excerpt on the U.S. Swimming Team’s Call Me Maybe Parody.  Seriously?  I felt like I was being Punk’d.  If I wanted to watch that crap I would just go on YouTube, where it belongs.  Not on national television, while the Olympics are on, and you could be showing me coverage of an event.

The Olympics are about watching sports and supporting your country, not seeing the 500th (I’m low balling) Call Me Maybe Parody that just appeared on the Internet.  Sure there were 38.5 Million households watching the games on Sunday Night, but there are way more than 38.5 Million households in the United States.  And sure, NBC won’t change their coverage now, they’ve already got a plan in place.  This just makes me upset for what is bound to happen in Sochi, Russia in 2014 for the Winter Olympics.  Every single hockey game on tape delay while the results get posted on Twitter?  It will be a disaster.  The only thing that is reassuring is that the next Summer Olympic Games are in Rio in 2016, and there is only a one-hour time difference there with the east coast, so you can be sure that NBC will go to live coverage then after this debacle.

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