Monday, February 15, 2010

NBC Crash and Burn on Olympic Coverage

Yanno, maybe I should have written to someone specifically rather than just bitching about it in my blog, but NBC has once again shown a medals ceremony without showing all the people on the podium.  The only shocker is that they completely cut out an American this time. I understand that the Canadian guy got the first gold on home turf.  I get that. I do.  But you can still, for even the briefest of all possible moments, show ALL THREE MEDALISTS on the podium during the playing of the National Anthem.  It pisses me off to no end that there are three medalists on the stand and NBC consistently refuses to show all three.

During the weekend coverage, I thought things had improved from the last games:
They showed more than just the American competitors and the gold medalist doing the event.  One could watch the final 10 (or more!) competitors, each better than the last, building up the excitement and the expertise so that when the gold medal contenders gave it their all, we really knew just how very good they were.
NBC showed more than one person, and not just the Americans during at least one medal ceremony.
Coverage included several contenders from the more oddball sports.
There was respect when talking about the Nordic events that Americans typically don't medal in.  They went on about how even finishing in the top 10 would be our best finish ever and they weren't even snarky about it.

Which is to say, I had hopes, expectations.

All dashed by some lousy, lousy prime time coverage.  It's so lousy, I've watched most of a re-run of The Big Bang Theory and have given up entirely to watch a rerun of Castle. (Although I reserve the right to go back during commercials.)

The thing that gets me is that the must have generated thousands of hours of coverage that they're just choosing not to show. Or are they really so horrible that they aren't filming all the events?  Yet for prime time, they've gone back to showing just Americans, the occasional Canadian favorite, and the gold medalists, then using about 3X that airtime for commercials and fluff filler and repetition of stuff that's already been covered to death.At least with the show-cross they get forced to show other competitors.  Also, I can't believe that professional news broadcasters would be so thrown by losing the timing of the Speed Skating that they didn't have other coverage of EVENTS (not filler) to toss in. Some of this stuff was run hours and hours ago.  You can't hustle a little thumb drive over to HQ with a couple of exciting clips? 

Well, at least the people on screen now (pairs skating) appear not to be Americans, but I think they're gold medal contenders.

Seriously NBC, the competitors here have usually worked their whole lives to get there.  Show a little respect and give them some airtime.  At the very, bottom of the barrel least, even if you continue to shortchange the viewers in watching the actual events, you should be showing all three medalists for at least part of the medals ceremony - yes, you're allowed to do facial closeups, you're jus not  allowed to focus on only one person for the entirety of the song. It's just disrespectful. I imagine Bryon Wilson's folks are going to have to rely on camcorders (if they could afford to attend) or bootleg footage to get the video of their kid, an actual bronze medalist from a televised ceremony since the major network showing the ceremony he was in failed to show him.

The timing thing that really frosts me is when they don't show event footage in favor of showing "waiting for the judges scores".  Even after a commercial break.  Really?  Isn't that tape delayed?   Rack it so I can watch more athletes being athletic and less dead air time of athletes being winded and waiting for scores.  For the ice skating alone you could show three more couples with all the "waiting for scores" crapola you've broadcast.

The one thing I haven't objected to is the Dreamworks dragon spots, probably because I'm amused by both Dreamworks and Craig Fergusson and the fact that they crafted shorts just for the Olympics.  I've read at least one article where people are pissed, but frankly, no matter how amusing the show or the idea may be, I've killed more time watching spots for "the Marriage Ref" than I care to think about and those are precious moments I will never get back and don't want to reflect on.  At least the dragon stuff doesn't make me die a little inside.


farmwifetwo said...

I haven't seen coverage except for Sun afternoon when MIL was here once more.

If they're getting their feed from CTV... can't help there.

But I see the Brits are now calling us names too.

But then again... had they been in the USA... I can guarantee, NOT ONE athlete who was NOT American, would be mentioned. We know that from experience.... your news is ONLY US policy... if you want to learn about the rest of the world... you have to go out of country.

As for politeness... I gave it up for Lent. Since Lent's... going to be a LONG period in our lives this year and it doesn't get done what needs to be done. Just gets you kicked at. But I am pleased that the Aspie's have shown their true... "I don't want to be like those autistics" colours in autism land over the DSM V... It's been a pleasure saying "I told you so" this last week.

I see Obama's one upping Harper on being anti-media.... The midterms are going to be interesting.

Up My Mind said...

It's a reflection of our country as a whole. We aren't interested in anyone but the top winner, we prefer fluff to substance substance, we can't concentrate on more than one thing at a time, hence the dead time waiting on scores vs showing other skaters. We might forget what we were originally doing...

Oooh, I'm cranky today. :( I stay away from the Olympics. Actually, I don't like watching any sports at all. Lucky for me, TCM ran some great movies this weekend.

Up My Mind said...

PS - As Bryan Wilson is from this area, a coworker has friends that went with his parents to the Olympics. So they at least got to be there and see it happen!