I have a complaint

Welcome to America, where complaint posts seem to get the most attention. That’s not the goal here, but I want to air some things out. I even researched my archives, and it seems like I’ve noted similar issues in passing years ago, but never a dedicated post.

What am I talking about?

I know most people are not happy with NBC’s Olympic coverage. Count me among them. I’ve been around a while and seen it done better back when ABC had the contract.

ABC only had three prime-time hours available to them each night. NBC has 24 hours per day, and about seven channels at their disposal, and somehow the coverage feels less.

Way back then, it felt like ABC covered everything. We got to see sports we didn’t usually have access to. They bounced from gold medal event to gold medal event, worked in some great bios, and even dedicated a bit of air-time to a travelogue of sorts. We got to know something about the country or city hosting the games. They taught us about the obscure sports so we could understand the scoring.

NBC seems to cover every unimportant racing heat while gold medal events never even get mentioned. They show every qualifying round of some sports, and none of the others. Some of it was probably available, but I never saw a baseball game, weightlifting, fencing, kayaking, most throwing sports, wrestling, judo, karate, boxing, and none of the shooting sports.

I did see two guys throw a discus, some pentathletes throwing the shot, a couple of softball games, and two arrows hitting bullseyes. That’s not a lot of coverage. I had to google the baseball results.

I heard the national anthem one time. It seems the award ceremonies were cut and with all the hours they had at their disposal, I don’t understand it.

NBC did go out of their way to push various agendas. This might earn me some hate comments, but I’m tired of hearing about, “The first_____ to ever win______.” I’m glad they won, but I cheer for everybody and would rather see some kid win in an obscure event than worry about race, sexual orientation, or even nation. I enjoyed seeing the Kenyan win the marathon with nobody behind him for many blocks. Allyson Felix is my new hero. Mad respect for Suni Lee who had to compete under some unfavorable conditions.

I suppose, I’d like to make it about the sports, the hard road to earn a position on the team, and the thrill of victory. Oh, wait, that was an ABC line.

Where is the next Jim McKay to ramrod the broadcast? I’d even take Howard Cosell back if they could do a few things differently.

Maybe they just need a good editor. I have no idea what the answer could be, but it sounds like people avoided the broadcasts in droves. Advertisers are asking for perks or replacement advertising, because NBC did not deliver the traffic.

I love the Olympics, both summer and winter. I searched the alternate channels frequently, but had a hard time finding anything other than the mainstream stuff.

My wife just told me she’s glad they’re finally over. I’m sorry to say, I feel the same way.


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47 responses to “I have a complaint

  1. Weird. I remember catching fencing and several of the others you mentioned. I wasn’t watching myself, but my parents kept finding everything. I wonder if the multiple channels causes a bunch to get missed in the shuffle. As far as the ‘first person’ thing, that reminds me of the bizarre stats you hear during football games. Probably for all the milestone obsessed people.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. ~M

    I couldn’t see much of anything except highlights because I don’t have cable tv. I relied on Peacock through Roku to get a few glimpses of what was going on.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I heard there was some over there. I don’t have that option. The whole thing just seems to have lost its luster this year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ~M

        Yeah, I’ve always felt an overwhelming emotional feeling in the past as I watched the opening ceremonies, and this year I didn’t even get to see them. It’s such an honor to be chosen to there in the first place, and so to be part of someone’s dream by being able to watch it, has always been such an important thing for me. I think it should’ve been free for anyone to watch and yet it wasn’t. And this year more than ever, I think we all needed to see the strength of others coming through that screen. It would’ve meant so much to me to get more than just a quick glimpse. But it’s always about the money and the advertising, not about people and the things that could benefit them right now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You make some good points. The opening ceremony wasn’t all that good. It’s going to be hard for anyone to top China.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I tried to watch a few things but couldn’t figure out the schedules and channels. I ended up checking out On Demand for highlights.

    You’re right about ABC. Those were the glory years.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You can add it to the list of things that are just not right. I totally understand your frustration!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The sad thing is NBC used to be the best. Now they cater to special interests and not really worth watching.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Gwen M. Plano

    I think your frustration mirrors that of most in the U.S. I caught glimpses – accidentally. I used to love the Olympics, but I’m so so tired of all things political, that I just couldn’t watch it. Sad but true.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I used to swear I wouldn’t binge watch the Olympics and then get hooked on them. Not this time. I don’t know if it was Covid or different coverage or just me this time, but it didn’t glue me to the screen like it usually does. And that’s sort of sad really.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. D.L. Finn, Author

    I was looking forward to the Olympics. I found myself shutting them off early. I only enjoyed parts of it, but like you, missed seeing a variety of events and the awards. There was too many semi finals and not enough finals. Hopefully winter will be different.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. There are a lot of things that are just not right these days, and going ahead with the Olympics while the world is still in lockdown was crazy. It must have been torture for the athletes, struggling to do their best in such a sterile, audienceless and restricted environment…

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Didn’t watch a single minute of the games and really couldn’t care less.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The few things I was interested in seeing I looked for on YouTube. I had ZERO interest in watching the coverage and listening to the politicizing of the games, which is what I feared would happen. When I was young, I was glued to the screen. Nadia Comaneci wasn’t even an American athlete, but I appreciated what she did for the sport and I watched every routine with rapt attention and cheered when she scored a 10. Who doesn’t remember the men’s gold medal team in 1984? (I loved Mitch Gaylord.) Mary Lou Retton’s bubbly attitude? The Magnificent Seven and Kerri Strug’s vault landing on her injured ankle? The one-two punch of Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson? And that’s just ONE SPORT. That’s what the games should be about. Not what they became this year. I barely watch any sports anymore. I can’t take it. It’s not about competition any longer. And that’s sad.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Hubby and I didn’t watch one night of the Olympics and I can’t really say why. Like Staci, I remember watching those glory years glued to the screen.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. We spent lots of time flipping around to find things to watch on the four channels that carried the Olympics. Very few medal ceremonies for the US – probably because the network was afraid the ‘woke’ watchers would be offended, since they despise the flag. But we did rejoice with the surprise winners from all countries and were very proud of the effort by the American athletes. Also the sportsmanship and camaraderie between athletes from the different countries. Would our country could do the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Sounds like a bummer, Craig. I don’t watch the Olympics. Ever. The news keeps me updated on the winners. All in all, it seemed like a weird Olympic season, so your complaints aren’t unwarranted.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Did you only watch over the air? We did as well. I’m sure if you subscribed to one of their streaming services, you could follow the complete games and pick your favorite sport. I did feel like I didn’t need to see all the swimming trials. But I did get a look at the archery and the kayak races and the horses. And yes, the announcers were tiresome.

    I amused my husband by trying to pick the least regarded country in every race and cheering for them. I cheered for Cuba and Poland a few times. Call me a rebel.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I did manage to watch the games, but I had to flip to all of the channels to find what I wanted. I am a huge fan of diving, and saw only two competitions. Not much of each either. I also love soccer, didn’t catch any of the men’s games, and only one of the women’s. I do like the stories, but they devote entirely too much time to them and not enough time to the actual games.

    I wanted to watch rowing, but couldn’t even find that in the coverage.

    I do like the winter games. I am a big fan of curling. I watched that in the Olympic after hours coverage. I hope they don’t cut that.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I read somewhere recently (it might’ve been on i09) that TikTok did a better job of covering the games than the ‘official broadcaster’ … and having seen a few of their videos, I’d have to agree.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. We decided to watch an hour or so most of the nights, but I was disappointed. As you mentioned, when ABC covered it, I felt I got a complete view of what went on for the sports we chose to watch. This year, it advertised for the Peacock channel but I didn’t want to subscribe. Even NBC had recordings, but got cut off too soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Thank goodness for a DVR. I’m with you on the clear-cut agendas. That’s not what I signed up for when I turned on the television and tuned to the Olympics. I must say, though, the paralympics were well worth watching.

    Liked by 1 person

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