FanDuel - WFBC

February 25, 2006

The Olympics We Missed: "It's a damn shame NBC has messed up the Winter Olympics, because there has been drama a-plenty, enough to satisfy even a nation of reality TV junkies."

posted by etagloh to other at 10:01 AM - 25 comments

It's The Nation, so you already know where it's coming from -- Pierre Tristram has more on the political dimension -- but as a critique of NBC's coverage, I can't fault it. The hits? Curling and ice hockey, and those other events which sneaked into the live schedule, particularly biathlon. The misses? Too numerous to count.

posted by etagloh at 10:05 AM on February 25

The article, aside from it's left slanted jabs, is not too far off.

posted by stockman at 11:34 AM on February 25

Conceptually sound, but reads like it was written for a college paper by an angry poli sci major.

posted by dzot at 11:57 AM on February 25

What a waste we showed in the 2006 Olympics. Or was the media onslot before the games, like Bodie Miller to Much. From disgusted

posted by wmat1111 at 12:09 PM on February 25

I slingboxed the daytime/live schedule so I could sneak little peeks at it while at work... It's the only enjoyment I got from this Olympics. NBC really jacked this one up!

posted by slackerman at 12:26 PM on February 25

That Pierre Tristram piece was much better than the Nation column. NBC has the rights until 2012. I'd love to see them wriggle out of the contract, because somehow I doubt that they're going to reevaluate their approach.

posted by ursus_comiter at 12:37 PM on February 25

It will probably be different coverage with the games being in Vancover in 2010. May have to stay up later but I bet we will get more live coverage. I think anytime you have that much of a time difference (6 hours this year) it is hard. I don't really think any network would have done better cause they are looking to fill their prime-time slots and bring in the big advertising dollars. If you guys think this isn't about making money for the networks you're out of your mind. As far as picking the coverage of Bode Miller, he usually does well in his races and who knew he wasn't going to even medal in these games. Picking an athlete to highlight before the games is a crapshoot. Anything can happen and we have seen it.

posted by skydivemom at 01:04 PM on February 25

I don't really think any network would have done better cause they are looking to fill their prime-time slots and bring in the big advertising dollars. To me, that's plain stupid. So what if you don't get to charge prime-time rates when showing live events in the morning? People will watch them -- the ratings for curling and ice hockey have tripled the numbers for USA/CNBC/MSNBC -- and they will sit through the ads, because the events are live. On the other hand, I have seen precisely zero ads from the prime-time coverage, by TiVo-ing the 2am re-run and digging out the 20 minutes of decent coverage. You can re-run highlights in primetime. Is there really a premium to be had in the pretense that those who care haven't looked online for results (or seen them on another network)? A highlights show has the advantage of adding analysis, interviews, whatever. Here's the kicker: if they try this for Beijing, they're screwed. I think it's a 12-hour time difference to the east coast, so the temptation will be to tape-delay it as badly as they did Sydney. But given the rise of peer-to-peer streaming of Chinese/HK networks (anyone who follows the Premiership already knows this) there's likely to be a wholesale abandonment of NBC coverage.

posted by etagloh at 01:18 PM on February 25

I admit I'm a lifetime subscriber to The Nation (card carrying member of the ACLU too, damn leftist loony that I am), but I never thought of turning to them for sports commentary and this one was right on point right down the line. Good article and my opinion of them has gone up a point or two.

posted by commander cody at 01:19 PM on February 25

I don't really think any network would have done better I watched some NBC but mostly CBC up north here... CBC did a great job, NBC seems to focus on hype as if it the Games are a boxing match. Not covering the Games in prime-time, evenings, is a shame I think. Do people really have more interest in Raymond or whatever the hit is now than the Olympic Games? If so, maybe that's the shame and than you can't totally blame the network, but they have to drop the hype, the games provide enough entertainment without hours of that Bode Miller crap. We're fortunate up here to have less money involved, so the focus is solely on the Games. Can't NBC make a little less money for a few weeks? Give the viewers more memories, and less hype...you might find they like that. Maybe a Biathalon/Survivor hybrid would hold the viewer's attention. Shorttrack Big Brother, or Everybody Loves Curling perhaps?

posted by Pabo at 02:05 PM on February 25

I'm an Olympic junkie and have been for years. But I couldn't abide this year's coverage. It's not just the tape delay or the refusal to highlight any athlete not from the U.S. Perhaps the most galling to me was the manipulation of advertising one event to air at a certain time, then trying to force me to watch half an hour of less interesting events between every two or three competitors in the event I tuned in to watch. One of the few highlights for me was listening to Dick Button grow more and more honestly cantankerous as he grows older.

posted by olelefthander at 02:55 PM on February 25

I misspoke when I said any network. I meant any USA network. CBC is Canadian based I believe and my Canadian friends seem to be happier with that than we are with NBC.

posted by skydivemom at 03:02 PM on February 25

I'm glad the Olympics are almost over. Hopefully they (NBC) will tweak the pragramming and make the games more enjoyable for 2010.

posted by chrisly13 at 06:07 PM on February 25

Dick Button --- CAN'T Stand him Time for a change --- PLEASE

posted by RRNoe at 06:08 PM on February 25

What ticked me off was that they wouldn't show the premeir events until very late if you are on eastern standard time. Since I was on vacation in Florida, I was often very tired at the end of the day, and did not want to stay up till almost 12:00 a.m. to see the end of figure skating or other big time events. Instead, I got to see a few of the lower ranked Olympians or another sport altogether combined with an insane amount of commercials instead of what I wanted to see. I misspoke when I said any network. I meant any USA network. CBC is Canadian based I believe and my Canadian friends seem to be happier with that than we are with NBC. I agree, and one of the best parts of living in Michigan is that we get Canadian coverage of these events.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:41 AM on February 26

Speaking of 'missing' stuff, I wish I'd discovered Dan Steinberg's WaPo blog earlier. It's a treat, devoted to all sorts of behind-the-scenes stuff. And cheese. The story of the Dutch curling team is especially worth reading.

posted by etagloh at 08:22 AM on February 26

I agree, and one of the best parts of living in Michigan is that we get Canadian coverage of these events. posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 5:41 AM CST on February 26 That is because you live on the eastern part of the state. Here in west MI we don't get the CBC.

posted by skydivemom at 08:38 AM on February 26

I didn't know that. I'm sincerly sorry for you.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:05 AM on February 26

The only trick with the CBC is that they covered stuff live all day. The whole schedule, pretty much, was given over to the Olympics every day from 8am to 11pm. They still had newscasts and stuff, but otherwise, it was all Olympics all the time. This is smart in two ways - first of all it uses resources that were already paid for - rights, crews, on-air talent. None of them would have been paid more or less for different coverage - that was most likely a fixed cost, and by not using a lot of it, you don't get as much benefit as you could. The second thing is huge though. It's not 1984. TV is much more available than it was before. The WWW can keep people up to date on schedules and such. And not everyone works in a straight office in a cubicle - people's lives are more flexible. So by airing lots during the day they had a chance to create buzz both in general and for specific events. How many people caught something during the day and came home and said to the family, 'hey you have to check out this great event tonight.'

posted by mikelbyl at 10:31 AM on February 26

Unfortunately for the American people, the fact that our networks ignore the presence of the Canadien broadcasters is frightfully and desperately dumb. Real time broadcasts like they did in Canada are made more palatable with modern day technology like video tape recorders and TiVo. One can always watch things when they have the time, and even save particularly great performances. But the B.S. networks here in the US don't realize that the citizenry is bright enough to figure it out by themselves. Myself, I contacted DirecTV two months before the Olympics and found I could add the CBC onto my satellite package for a month for an extra $20 (too expensive, but worth it regardless) to get the games in real time. The network coverage of the Olympics was, is, and always WILL be just a piss-poor example of failed conception and failed realization.

posted by mrhockey at 10:54 AM on February 26

mrhockey, you've got to be kidding me, twenty bucks for CBC? I've always wondered if I could add that on to my DirecTv, but to hell with that idea! I'll just stick to my 5" black and white with the rabbit ears for the Canadian shows. As far as Americans igoring Canadian broadcasters, maybe it's because they can't understand (or pronounce) words like "eh," "abooooot," "take off" and "mullet."

posted by wingnut4life at 11:10 AM on February 26

I think this clearly calls for the annexion of the US to Canada. It will make a great 11th province. We even have a nice new conservative Prime Minister, so you will feel at home.

posted by qbert72 at 11:23 AM on February 26

I thought Michigan was the 11th province?

posted by wingnut4life at 11:43 AM on February 26

What was most annoying about the NBC coverage was that the website they set up especially for the Olympics had spoilers for events they had not even shown yet. You'd go to the site looking for a broadcast schedule for, say, short track, "... and, oh, by the way, to save on senseless nail-biting, here's who won." Boneheads.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:09 AM on February 28

I thought Michigan was the 11th province? posted by wingnut4life at 11:43 AM CST on February 26 Only the UP. lol.

posted by commander cody at 12:16 PM on February 28

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.