Sunday, February 23, 2014

NBC'S (FINGER QUOTES) "OLYMPICS" or PRIMETIME HIGHLIGHTS OF BORING SPORTS! The (YAAAAAWWWNNN!) Ol-ym-pics Real- Ughck, tsk-tsk- Bwwwah. The Olympics really sucked this year.

Yeah, I couldn't take this subpar Olympic coverage from NBC anymore without ranting about it this year. Usually, I'm a little more lenient, but not this time, and frankly, NBC, they really should be ashamed of themselves for the piss-poor presentation this year. And it really was that bad. It's no secret, that NBC basically bet the house by attaining the rights to broadcast the Olympics from the IOC, back in the late nineties. They own the rights to broadcast the Olympics 'til 2020, and before then, they had the previous three Summer games beforehand. The Winter Olympics, had been on CBS previously, last time being the '98 games in Nagano, Japan. It's not new the way they've chosen to go about broadcasting the games, with what is essentially a nightly highlight reel package in Primetime and usually on tape delay and this was one of those years where you really felt the tape delay. We've had the internet long enough to know that we could've always looked up the results, even from NBC's earliest games, and while there have always been various complaints about their coverage since and before they made this 20-year deal, but to me, most of the time I didn't mind as much of some of the more vocal complainers. Olympics are traditionally taped delayed, and why not put the best moments and events of the games in the Primetime if you can, that's certainly the one idea that makes the most sense. Especially in 1992. And frankly, when hardly anybody knew the results.

But you know what else they showed in '92. The OLYMPICS! What is the Olympic coverage, on NBC this year? Barely anything during the day or afternoon most of the time, and even then, those events are tape delayed, but they're all shown live on NBCSN or one of the other ninety-nine networks NBC has. We used to get everything, not just some pre-determined specialized moments, at night, after everyone knows what's already happened. I remember watching Oscar De La Hoya, win the gold medal by knockout in '92, it was on in the afternoon when I got home from school; everyone knew then he was gonna be world champion then, he was so good. We saw weightlifting, we saw nearly every sport you can imagine, or it seemed that way, and we didn't have that stupid Triplecast thing they tried then to push all the events onto other cable channels. We also had basketball in primetime! And better yet, when CBS held the winter games in '94, we had hockey in the mornings, when we'd go to school. The Olympics were all day all night thing that consumed the network it was on for a couple weeks, and that's what it should be. I shouldn't have to wait until "Dr. Phil" is off to then see the Olympics, there's gotta be something they can air?! Maybe not live, but why have they just decided to push everything onto cable? 

I get it, I don't need to see every second of the women's biathlon, or every single luger, and yeah, primetime, can be a great spot to re-air all the highlights, but why do I have to order NBCSN, NBC Sports Network, just to get something more than a % of the Olympics? I mean, if you're gonna spend all that money to broadcast the games, money btw that they're surely gonna lose for these Sochi games by the way, I'll bet it now, well, at least broadcast them, on NBC! You're in for a dime, you might as well be in for a dollar, and just be "The Olympic Network" that they claim to be. 

I know some people like sports more than others, but I do believe in celebrating and being around for the most culturally significant of events if at all possible no matter the world with which we're in, and in regards to sports, I think for the big stuff like this, everybody should pay attention, and have the ability to do so. Something amazing is happening right now, something so rare it only happens once every four years, (or two years if you want to count that way.) and as much of it should be seen live, or more importantly, as much of it should be seen, or able to be seen by the most amount of people as possible, and not just those clips deemed memorable or important enough for the Universal Sports-light highlight show in Primetime, or those, willing and able to get the extra channels or who really wants to download online at the moment. Yes, overall this was an underwhelming Olympics, and not just from a U.S. standard, there's plenty of reasons for it, but there's plenty of reasons why it could've been better that was NBC either blew, of misfired on, or just got wrong completely.

Stop overthinking it in the future, NBC, it's the Olympics; just show the damn Olympics and people will watch. Make sure Bob Costas is healthy, try to show as much live if you can, and Rio is the next one, so it shouldn't be that hard next time, but other than that, it's an athletic competition, not another primetime reality show. Move away from the priority of structuring them into a palatable program, 'cause it just ruins it. I know figure skating is the ratings grabber, and I remember why it is, and I still remember how to pronounce Gillooly (Ga-i-lewl-ly), but you gotta get out the this mindset. It should be a bunch of stuff going on at once, and us, not knowing where to look, and bombarded with excitement and athleticism, like the way the Final Four used to be. (Oh, I'm preparing that post too, next month, don't worry.) There's nothing worse you can really say about any television program other than, "It was so much better back then...", well, NBC, that's what we're saying. 

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