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My Wish List for NBC's Olympics Coverage

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 06:19 am
I considered titling this thread "Dos and Don'ts for Olympics Coverage." Then it occurred to me that all I have is "don'ts." Watching the Olympics on NBC has me gritting my teeth long before the opening ceremonies.

Here's my list of don'ts. Feel free to jump in with your own. I may collect comments and send them to the network.

*Don't start an event and then interrupt it for three hours only to return.

*Don't bore me silly with all those personal interest stories. Believe it or not, I'm more interested in the competition than in the athletes. I'm sure behind every great, semi-great, near-great, and not-so-great athlete is a story that will bring a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat. If I want teary eyes and a lumpy throat, I'll watch the soaps.

*Don't show only events in which Americans are contenders. I'd love to see sports I'm not especially familiar with. I don't expect Americans to contend in every event.

*Don't show those horrible extreeeeeeeme closeups of gold medal winning American athletes during the national anthem. I know you're hoping that one of them will manage to work up a tear or two. So what.

*In fact, don't show me the full medal ceremony for every American gold medal winner. I'm as patriotic as the next person, but how many times does anyone want to hear the whole national anthem in one day?

*Think of the time that could be spent on showing events if the personal interest stories and national anthems were eliminated. Aren't the events the Olympics?

I will probably think of more.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 7,149 • Replies: 32
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 06:59 am
IMO, the IOC needs to get away from awarding big contracts to a single network for coverage. The coverage has been horrible for the last 4 or 5 games. With todays technology there isn't any reason why every single event can't be shown from start to finish. The only events I'm really interested in are archery and shooting and I'd wager that neither will get ANY coverage. Sad
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 07:03 am
fishin', I wouldn't take that bet. It depends on whether Americans are likely winners. If this should happen, then we'd get so see the one event in which the American is to appear.
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NeoGuin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 09:35 am
You forgot, show some more "Guy Sports"; Boxing, Judo, etc.
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abryant
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 12:23 am
Judo never gets much attention, but I love watching it.

What bothered me most of the times was how much they interrupted events...a problem mentioned by Roberta.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 10:39 am
fishin' wrote:
IMO, the IOC needs to get away from awarding big contracts to a single network for coverage. The coverage has been horrible for the last 4 or 5 games. With todays technology there isn't any reason why every single event can't be shown from start to finish. The only events I'm really interested in are archery and shooting and I'd wager that neither will get ANY coverage. Sad


We must distinguish between the IOC contract and the NBC edition for the US audience.

NBC covers all events (from '92: before that, it didn't cover the road part of the 20Km and 50Km. walks), from start to finish. All other networks use, edit and transmit whatever they want.

The US edition of the Olympic games is known, worlwide, to be one of the worst. Extremely nationalistic, profile-focused, full of commercial breaks and very incomplete.

In many other countries, we also have choices. Several networks transmit the games. Maybe one is on track and field; the other is on boxing.

Europeans also have, besides their different national networks, Eurosport Channel (a little on the UK side, but generally good).

Fishin', I bet the archery events will be throughly televised in South Korea... but I guess it's easier to go to Athens.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 11:12 am
fbaezer wrote:
NBC covers all events (from '92: before that, it didn't cover the road part of the 20Km and 50Km. walks), from start to finish. All other networks use, edit and transmit whatever they want.

The US edition of the Olympic games is known, worlwide, to be one of the worst. Extremely nationalistic, profile-focused, full of commercial breaks and very incomplete.


All good points. I have 999 TV channels available to me but the Olympics will only be shown on one (some events MIGHT slide over to another channel to make 2). IMO, there isn't any reason every event can't be broadcast completely. I'd rather watch events I like even if thw US doesn't have someone competing than watch events just because the US is expected to do well.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 06:15 pm
Phooey. We're essentially prisoners of NBC, Olympically speaking. I'd love to see more events, events I'm not familiar with, like fencing or judo. I'd also like to see archery. And many more.

I can accept the multitudinous commercial breaks. I can't accept the lousy coverage.
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NeoGuin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 07:50 pm
OK--I need to spill some beans.

The reason I'd want to see the Judo is that I do Aikido.

Also, during the '02 Winter Games I foundf myself watching a lot of the "Little" sports; Curling(Bocce on ice), and the Biathalon(Run a 10K race where you need to stop at certian intravels and sink a few putts)
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Nadimak
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2004 12:31 am
Hello all.
I think that it's understandable that national TV gives more attention to participants from its country, but I can also understand how real sport fans would like to see much more of Olympics.
I think main problem in USA is that you don't have choice. In Europe difference is not huge (although every country has good cover of track&field, swimming and gymnastics, even if they are bad in those sports), because you also can't see a lots of sports on your national TV station, but most of us can see a lot of TV stations from other countries.

I said - main sports you can see everywhere. Then, I can watch plenty of basketball, volleyball and waterpolo on our TV, lot of handball, tennis and table tennis on Croatian TV, rowing on Slovenian TV, wrestling and boxing on Macedonian TV, weight lifting on Bulgarian TV, and so on.....and finally there's Eurosport that has 24 hours a day coverage of small sports
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2004 01:42 pm
Hi Nadimak, welcome to A2K.

What Nadimak says is basically true. Every nation focuses on their athletes best competitions (I bet nowhere but in Mexico you see the whole Olympic walking events). But I guess s/he hasn't seen the US coverage.

Nadimak, US coverage SUCKS big time.


Say, US is supposed to win the women's platform dive.

If the favorite was from Serbia/Montenegro, Mexico, Cuba or Italy, we'd watch in those countries the whole final (perhaps with a few commercial breaks everywhere, but in Cuba).

In the US, instead, they'd show the first dives by the American and the other strong contender, then a commercial break, then a long story about the American diver's home, family and dog (the tearier, the better), more commercials, then they'd move to the anchor, who shows some good American results in a non-spectacular sport (say shooting), the medal ceremony, a close-up of the shooter with the anthem, and the American flag behind, then more commercials, then the last round of dives... then they'd move to another sport, since the American girl got "only" silver.

If the competition had 72 dives (12 finalists X 6 dives), most nations watched more than 60. US viewers could watch 15, at the most.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2004 05:27 pm
Nadimak, Welcome to a2k. I'm envious of your choices.

Fbaezer, Your description is dead-on. Makes me want to scream, except for the part about the diver's dog. I'm a sucker for dogs.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2004 04:23 pm
Perhaps some of you would like to participate in the A2K Fantasy Olympics Prediction Game:

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=29980&highlight=

Hope to see ya there.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2004 04:26 pm
I'm hoping for some HD content.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2004 04:54 pm
Ok, I agree with all about the US coverage, sucky, always has been; simple put, sometimes it is worse than others.

1) I don't mind hearing a little bit about the athletes, but I'd like the info much shortened, even greatly truncated - a little info about a much wider range of people, with very few home town and training episodes. Or... all of that put onto some other channel.
2) I have cringed for decades, decades, decades I tell you - over the jingoism from the US narrators. Sob!
3) Sometimes I do want the person from the US to win (trying to remember) but many times I am rooting for people from around the world. I am gathering from responders here, people who like sports and athletes in general, that I am not alone in this.
4) I have some problems with timing of events, as events are held back for prime time watching. Grrrrr.
5) It's 2004, this has been going on for years, is there no way that we who like to watch the olympics can avoid seeing most of the commercials 70 times each? Shoot more of them with the advertising dollars. I know very well how expensive they are. Be more inventive with less money, keeping of course the very best.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2004 09:45 am
NBC is broadcasting in hi-def but perhaps their BRAVO HD channel will repeat the events in more complete coverage.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2004 10:41 am
I'm really looking forward to this. My satellite carrier has put aside 4 channels for all-Olympic, all the time, coverage. Whooooooooo hooooooo!
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2004 06:35 am
I've been watching since the opening ceremonies (not nonstop). The network coverage is same old-same old. Part of an event. Interruptions for parts of other events. Then back. And forth. Etc.

I nearly fainted when NBC showed medals ceremonies for people not from the US. It's about time.

The coverage on the cable stations is less intrusive. And it contains lots of sports I don't normally get to see like badminton, field hockey (my first reaction--where's the ice?), sailing, rowing, and table tennis, which had me gasping. This coverage actually shows competition between teams and/or individuals who are not Americans! High time.

All in all, it could be better, and it has been worse.

BTW, the women's softball game yesterday was spectacular. Seven innings--both pitchers were superb. The Japanese pitcher had a no hitter into extra innings. The US pitcher had a one hitter into extra innings. Whew.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2004 09:13 am
I've been complaining to NBC because the HD feed is delayed at least 24 hours behind the already delayed standard broadcast. What they've said: "HD is hard to do". What I've heard: They are afraid of losing Nielsen points to their fuzz-o-vision broadcast, because HD viewers don't count.

Notice all those empty seats in the Olympic arenas? They really show up clearly in HD.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2004 09:24 am
Roberta wrote:

BTW, the women's softball game yesterday was spectacular. Seven innings--both pitchers were superb. The Japanese pitcher had a no hitter into extra innings. The US pitcher had a one hitter into extra innings. Whew.


IMO, that's the best kind of fun of Olympic TV watching. You get to watch, with players at their best, a sport that is usually not transmitted much by TV, at least not on that level.

Even if our networks are too soccer-prone (I can't wait for our national male team to be eliminated... perhaps today Wink ), I have been able to enjoy, besides all the swimming finals, the whole women's synchronized diving competition, a nerve-wracking archery match, a great basketball game between Argentina and Serbia-Montenegro, most of Puerto Rico beating the US "Nightmare Team" Smile, a couple of good women's volleyball games, among what I remember best.

With the cable options, most Americans now have an edge. Let's see if NBC does a good analysis of the ratings.

I'm hoping that for 2008 most Tv viewers around the world are given what Olympic journalists on the venues are given, at least since Barcelona '92: a chance to see everything that happens in all the Olympic venues in dozens of channels. True freedom of choice.
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