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.