Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Even on NBC's tape delay, Olympics dominate ratings: Sepinwall on TV

In today's column, I lament how well NBC's Olympics coverage is doing in the ratings, given how frustrating so much of it is.

I asked a week ago what you thought of NBC's coverage, and most of you were unhappy with it. That still the case?

56 comments:

Miken said...

The Olympics are on?!

erin said...

I watched Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday night, and I thought it was terrific. I don't care about the delay, they let me know what was coming up, commercials were short, and editing was tight. My expectations are low, so this worked for me. But frankly, i can't keep turning it on because between men's figure skating, downhill women's crashes and the men's halfpipe, i was up until midnight all 3 nights! They're no good for my sleeping patterns!

Definitely fun to see the USA doing so well this time around.

Frank said...

Being on the east coast, it is easier to watch this time because there are some live events in prime time. I'm sure if I was on the west coast I'd be going crazy, and I'm sure London will be a problem even with the not so bad time difference.

I know its geared to woman, but why wasn't US/Can on NBC Sunday before the Ice Dancing, which wasn't even medal night? Why does NBC not want to cover a sport that is on their own network, and their new owner's network?

dez said...

The best coverage has been on the weekends when they can show nearly entire events (like the K95 coverage). I also appreciated that they showed the ski jumping team event all the way through before getting to ice dancing and aerials last night because after the jumping, I flipped to "24" and then to bed (had to DVR "Men of a Certain Age" because I was tired or NBC would have lost me to that, too).

I really hate that they relegated the women's short track to after-midnight coverage, and how much they focus on the X-Games-type events over more traditional Olympic winter sports. I *want* to see more of the downhill skiers because it's exciting to watch, not just the top four because they have to show every possible snowboard trick instead. And the IOC lets in ski cross, but not women's ski jumping? Feh.

And don't get me started on those Leno commercials...GAAAAH!

Andrew said...

The NBC primetime broadcasts aren't bad as a sampler of the events that are popular. But, as an alpine skiing fan, I'm very disappointed in the coverage, because it happens during the day, but NBC treats it as a marquee event which it will only show during primetime-- and it's not live and not complete.

The clips package that NBC runs in primetime is well-produced, but it's frustrating to only get the results from NBC's own website and Twitter feed. Why not run the entire event live in the afternoon and also show the clips highlight in the evening? The same people who really care are going to get the results spoiled in advance anyway, so why not show the ENTIRE EVENT?

I'm also watching anything on NBC with a BIG TiVo buffer so that I can skip through boring human interest pieces and the interminable stage setting that we get before the events start. Since I'm able to skip through the parts that would aggravate me, I can appreciate the fact that most of the sports are covered very well.

For the sports that aren't on NBC in primetime, the coverage is pretty good. The Canada-USA men's hockey game on CNBC was interrupted by commercials far less than NHL hockey on NBC. Mike Emrich (NBC's lead hockey announcer with the day job as the lead TV play-by-play for NJ's own Devils) is one of the better hockey announcers. Curling is interrupted by tons of commercials (again, DVR buffering makes a huge difference), but otherwise left to let the matches unfold.

I'm sure that if I was on the west coast, where everything is time delayed, I'd be really annoyed.

Emily said...

I haven't had any problems with the coverage, though I'm with the commenter above who said they have low expectations.

The tape delay doesn't really bother me either. I am on the east coast where there are more live events, so I do think it would be more frustrating for west coasters, but I don't watch TV during the day, so I like that they have all the events I want to watch at night at the same time. I've been watching every single night so far and if I had to figure out when my favorite events were on at different times during the day I seriously doubt I would make the effort to watch at all. If I don't want to be spoiled for a result I just stay off of twitter for a while.

I've also been DVRing the coverage and start watching about 1-2 hours in so that I can fast forward through all commercials or events I don't care about. That helps a lot because I know I would be frustrated with all the commercial breaks if I watched it live.

Andrew said...

Hmm-- actually, when I think of it, it's not that the coverage isn't as bad as it's seemed in past Olympics, but that watching most of these sports in HD for the first time is compelling, and with a DVR buffer, I'm making the coverage into more of what I'd want it to be than what it is.

Mike Mac said...

Olympics on ESPN would be a fantastic improvement from NBC. The multitude of channels dedicated to covereage, the likelihood that they would (rightly) show the events LIVE and have highlights and replays throughout the day, and of course ABC would essentially show the same stuff NBC is showing on a regular basis now. Olympics for the Sports Fan AND the Casual Fan... this would be fantastic.

As intolerable as ESPN would be for, uh, the entire year leading up to the Olympics with promos and gimmicks and talking heads, this is really the best possible direction for decent, coherent coverage of the Olympics. Not to mention they would definitely have to incorporate a Fantasy Olympics aspect to espn.com (my friends and I have already been doing this on our own...). Betting on the olympics even makes figure skating tolerable.

TimmyD said...

Yeah, I'm cool with the olympic sampler plate every night. Seems like they could do a mix of live and rebroadcast for prime time though.

The only thing that's made me mad so far is that they put the USA/Canada Hockey game on MSNBC which doesn't broadcast in HD where I live. HD and Hockey go together like pb&j.

Sister T said...

I've been watching a mixture of NBC, BBC, CTV and Eurosport, and have two conclusions:

1) NBC's commentators are the best, they fuse excitement and knowledge into the action on screen, and surprisingly, they are the most respectful. (I've listened to British commentators compare a women's ice hockey team to an advancing horde, flippantly call for the Austrian ski coaches to be fired, and compare Kazakhstan to "the Scotland of Russia"). NBC has terrific commentators. If NBC broadcast more events live or in full, we would hear those commentators doing their job, not some edited version of their job. A good portion of their hard work and research never makes the air.

2) Live skiing is awesome! I've never watched live skiing until this Olympics, and I've never enjoyed watching skiing until this Olympics. It moves very fast. As soon as one racer finishes, the next goes. It only slows after a racer crashes. The best part about watching live is feeling the tension build as better skiers come down the mountain.

On the same day I've watched both a live broadcast and NBC's primetime, delayed/edited broadcast. NBC eliminates that wonderful live tension by only showing the medalists and the crashes. But the NBC commentators are better. And the editing of moments of victory and sorrow is sometimes better because NBC has the time to edit in extra camera angles, interviews, graphics and analysis.

My point is: I WATCHED TWICE. The only thing lacking from the live broadcast was the extra analysis and the heartwarming interviews. (although, I might not have wanted to see any extra analysis or interviews if the U.S. had not have medaled). So at night, I watched NBC to see the interviews, to get the extra emotional background stories, to hear details I missed the first time.

I think NBC or another future broadcaster should seriously consider showing daytime Olympic events live and then re-broadcast an extra-special edited version in primetime.

People will watch it twice. I did! People who love the sport will watch it live, and because they love the sport so much, they will watch it again, lured by the bonus footage that can be edited in later.

MM said...

No DVR, no cable. I want to watch the Olympics, so I have no choice but to watch on NBC. I have it on with the sound down and read a book until I see something I want to watch. I'm in the mountain time zone, (the forgotten time zone) and they delay the coverage an hour here. It is annoying, results are blown, and the coverage lasts way past prime time.

Anonymous said...

My problem is that when they show some of the figure skaters, they don't show their scores. This happened a few times on Sunday night. The Tivo buffer works great for me.

unless said...

The hell with tape delay, and the hell with NBC. I have a laptop with HDMI output, and I know how to spoof my IP address. Hello, Canadian television! Thanks for being awesome!

Anonymous said...

I don't have cable so I wasn't able to watch USA-Canada hockey on MSNBC. NBC was streaming it live on their website but in order to access it you had to enter your cable account information, which I obviously didn't have - not exactly the best way to make it accessible.

And I would watch skiing live but have barely watched it on delay. I really don't think their ratings would be hurt that much if they would shoe them live on MSNBC or the like and then replay them in primetime, but NBC is probably too clueless and arrogant to even try that for a trial for one race just to see how it goes.

paul said...

The delay doesn't bother me that much because I'm DVR'ing the whole thing anyway and never watch even the live events live. My favorites are the biathlon and the cross-country skiing, which are often broadcast live during the afternoon coverage. My complaint is that NBC frequently cuts to lengthy commercial breaks right when the passing occurs, meaning when it finally resumes coverage the leaders have changed, and viewers have be told after the fact what happened. If the choice is between live and complete, I'll take complete.

Anonymous said...

I agree with others. Ratings aren't good because of NBC, but in spite of them. People want to watch the Olympics, so they'll put up with NBC because there's no alternative.

I'm just glad I have a DVR this time and can fastforward all the commercials (that seem to be extremely frequent) and stuff I don't care about.

meopta said...

I stopped watching - it was just so frustrating. I'm reading results online. I'd like to see several events, but the coverage pattern was making me crazy.

Anonymous said...

The two Brian Williams finally met on CTV last night, I've been waiting for that event for a long time.

Sister T said...

Really? The Brian Williamses met!? I hope that shows up on youtube.

Robert Seidman said...

The notion that there will be an ESPN bid for the Olympics that doesn't involve ABC showing a packaged version of the events -- in a packaging very similar to NBC's -- in primetime seems far-fetched to me.

I'm still crossing my fingers for ESPN/ABC to get the games because I do think it would produce more live coverage of events.

One unknown for me and presumably NBC is what would the ratings impact in primetime (where everyone makes more ad revenue) be if NBC showed the events live when they happened, and then packaged them up for primetime?

There definitely are many more people available to watch TV at 8pm then 5pm or 1pm during the week, but would there be any significant ratings impact if they showed them live, too?

NBC doesn't want to risk it. I don't like it, but I'm not sure I really blame them. Not with all the money it will lose already. GE has upped the estimated loss on the winter games to $250 million.

rosengje said...

I think your argument has one fallacy, which is that regardless of whether or not the everyone hates NBC's coverage, it is the only place to watch the Olympics. Regardless of how much I hate the constant commercial breaks (like every other contestant! it is maddening) or the bizarre human interest stories, I want to see the events.

The countdown clock is a great idea. But I agree, NBC would think it is to tempting for viewers to only tune in when they know their favorite event will be on.

Gary7379 said...

I too must confess that I'm enjoying the Olympics more than usual this year. That said there are two main reasons for this. Since the games in Torino I now have a wide screen HD TV and a DVR. The commercials don’t bother me too much because I don’t see them. I do however; note that there are a lot of them. I’m recording everything and watch at my own pace. I may already know who won but that doesn’t bother me too much either. I watch primarily to see the technical abilities of the skiers and snow boarders and generally skip most of the competitive events (sorry hockey fans but I lost interest in hockey years ago). IMHO: The videography is just spectacular, particularly in HD. I can’t recall seeing things this clearly in the past. As an amateur skier I find my thighs are burning after watching Body Miller’s slalom in the super combined and I long to get out on the slopes myself. As an added benefit, zooming through the ice dancing at 4 times normal speed can be very amusing. As Dennis Miller used to say (back when he was funny) that’s only my opinion. I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

For me, NBC has done a subpar job. Matt Lauer almost ruined the opening ceremonies with his inappropriate and rarely germane comments. Costas was below standard that night also.

Eight commercial breaks per hour is WAY too many. I'd much rather see four breaks of four minutes per hour. The high number of breaks ruins continuity especially in the cases when NBC failed to provide skating scores.

The announcers have been mostly poor. Why can't the skating announcers be quiet at the end of performances? Don't they understand that hearing the roar of the crowd is an integral part of the drama? Tom Hammond telling us the obvious detracts from the excitement and drama and quite frankly kept me from watching the ice dancing and will probably keep me from watching the ladies.

Many of the announcers sound like they are throwing up on themselves with excitement. Hello Duncan Kennedy at luge and the guy paired with Al Trautwig at cross country skiing. These guys are distracting viewers from the action. Please shut up!

And someone needs to explain to me why the sport of luge needs three announcers. All three of them are competing as hard as the athletes to get their airtime.

Many times NBC has missed reaction shots of athletes because they are cutting to crowd shots. I for one am not watching to see people in the crowd shaking cowbells.

As a result of the coverage I've actually been turned off by NBC and I've progressively watched less and less as the Games have progressed. Very disappointed in the coverage.

Rich, Denver

evie said...

It's a disgrace. No broadcaster should get the Olympic contract unless they acknowledge the century we live in.

Tracey said...

I'm surprised that Ebersol is expecting this to be a financial loss. In the broader view, this could be the best thing possible for NBC: after the Jay Leno fiasco, they have an opportunity to raise a lot of awareness of their schedule changes (what exactly is going to air at 10 PM now that it's not Leno?) How else could they get 26 million viewers a night to watch commercials for their revised lineup?

Bix said...

There's also the problem with the NBC crew doing new commentary in post-production at times. When Rulon Garder upset Alexander Karelin (ending his undefeated streak) in Greco-Roman wrestling to win the gold medal in their weight class in the 2000 Summer games, NBC ruined it. For starters, the video package aired before the match had what sounded like some guy doing a fake "evil Russian" accent while reading an English translation of Karelin's pre-match comments. Then, during the match itself, the commentary was clearly canned. Not only was it obvious from the sound quality, but they were playing up the idea of the upset from the beginning and hitting the viewer over the head with the obscure rule that helped Gardner win the match. It was so clearly manufactured that it took away from what was one of the most memorable Olympic moments that year.

Amanda P. said...

I found that I can read blogs, play on the computer, watch other DVRd shows in split screen, etc. and still get to watch all of the NBC coverage, since there are SO MANY COMMERCIALS AND HUMAN INTEREST CRA...stuff.

The only decent human interest piece I saw was the one NBC stole from CTV about the Canadian moguls skiier.

I watched an entire episode of Jeopardy between sporting events one night - between 3 commercial breaks, Mary Carrillo (sp?) and 2 interviews, there were 17 minutes without sports on Olympic coverage. What a waste of time!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure ESPN would do any better. I was totally frustrated by their coverage of the Australian Open, and watched most of it live streaming on the internet. Plus they did plenty of fluff pieces. And they refuse to fire that idiot Dick Enberg - the worst announcer since Bud Collins.

I'm watching the Olympics because I love world class sports. I put up with NBC dumbing it down for people who just want human interest stories because I have no choice. If you have to know about an athlete's addiction/family saga/tragic death/injury in order to root for them, maybe you just don't like sports.

I wish they'd put all the "stories" on one channel for the non-sports enthusiasts and let them check it out on their own time. Then they'd know how much it actually affects ratings.

Zach said...

I agree with Andrew above that as an Alpine skiing fan it's very frustrating that they don't show the whole event, especially on Sunday when CNBC had a Brazilian Butt Lift Infomercial on instead of the Men's Super Combined.

I fail to see the reason why they couldn't show the entire event live on CNBC for interested parties and then do the chopped up tape delay thing on NBC later for people who just want the highlights.

This is ESPECIALLY the case because Bode Miller won Gold and I would have loved to see that unfold live.

Other than the fact that they aren't using their networks to their full advantage I haven't really had a complaint about the coverage (I can understand why they didn't put US/Can on the flagship even if I don't like it)

Brandy said...

NBC's coverage is frustrating but it's the only game in town. I don't love it and 3 days of ice dancing (3 days?!?) has given me lots of free time to zoom through tivoed olympics.

But I'd be tivoing lots of events anyway and avoiding all things email and twitter. Because I can't watch tv 24 hours a day. I'd prefer them to be whole and not cut up, though. I'd prefer that a lot!

As for hockey being banished so women can watch ice dancing? I think it's better. I've watched a lot of curling and hockey this year because you can watch one event at a time. I like that. It doesn't get the NBC treatment and I get to watch one sport and one team playing a sport from start to finish.

I seriously doubt ESPN would be able to outbid ABC in the future and it's clear you can make money on the Olympics if you don't crazily overbid. But I'd imagine the ratings on an ESPN Olympics would be down. But I'm sure the coverage would be better and I'm an olympics junkie so I would totally search it out there.

I think there is a place for the NBC model even in a post NBC world, though, I know people who have complained about not being able to watch curling in prime time. I watch it on DVR whenever I have a minute or two so no biggie... but clearly the everything in primetime market still exists.

Ideally an ESPN type market could do both... full events on some channels and appetite whetting samples on others?

PY said...

I haven't read all of the comments/discussion on this, but my two cents are that I think this is fine. Most people are working during the day and, if interested in watching, would TiVo it and try to do the whole "not look at results until I get home to watch thing" anyways. NBC recognizes this, and recognizes that the majority of the country is not hyper-plugged-in to each event as it occurs in real time (ie. a Twitter user) and can wait to get home to watch an even in its fully produced, fully edited glory. I don't see what's so wrong with that. If they did the whole "these events have already happened, but here is the encore presentation," I think it would take away from my enjoyment in watching at night.

They're trying to make money in prime time any way they can, and from this article, it looks like it's working.

Henry said...

The tape delays are an epic fail. I’m a regular viewer of ESPN and Sportscenter and often times, I was spoiled by their listing of results of certain events (Lindsey Vonn’s events from the first week mostly). But recently, I was very upset at how NBC mismanaged the US-Canada men’s hockey match. I flipped to the Sunday afternoon bloc on NBC and found that they showed Russia-Czech Republic hockey, which told me that they were probably saving US-Canada for primetime. I avoided ESPN for three hours and when it came time for the hockey match to broadcast around 4pm or so (I live on the West Coast), I flipped to NBC… only to see… ski cross. I mean, WTF?! I gave up and spoiled the result later that evening. On ESPN. Then I found out yesterday that it was broadcast on MSNBC! Yo, Ebersol, I want that Sunday back, man! Failure on every level.

I'm not a huge hockey fan, but everyone at NBC had been hyping the match and I wanted to watch it. I imagine that was the case with a lot of viewers. I mean, who decided it was better to show ski cross qualifications (QUALIFICATIONS!) over US-Canada hockey?! I give up on the Winter Olympics... They may be doing well in the ratings, but they won't be getting me grouped in with those results.

Robin said...

Something I find curious is the lack of coverage on Universal Sports. UnivSports is wholly owned by NBC, and has fantastic coverage of winter sports like alpine skiing during the year. I know who half of these athletes are from watching the world cup events. UnivSports is also free over-the-air on digital channels, and have full time sports announcers who know their sports. So why doesn't NBC show any Olympic coverage on the channel?

Also, do the affiliates have any say on whether NBC could show daytime events live during the afternoon? Ski jumping starts at like 9 am Pacific. NBC could start their coverage at noon EST and just run it all day (like the weekend coverage). More commercial breaks = more ad revenue and more live events = more happy viewers. Or are soaps really still that popular in the afternoon?

Dan said...

Just because their ratings are relatively high, that doesn't mean that the coverage is acceptable.

The consistent refusal by NBC Universal to show multiple events on multiple channels at the same time is a breathtakingly strange decision. They have used at least six different networks that I've seen to broadcast various events, yet there is never more than two showing events at the same time... and even on those rare occasions, it always involves hockey and/or curling. Is it really so important for Universal HD to re-air a five-day old broadcast of WWE Monday Night Raw rather than a live Olympic event?

Absolutely ridiculous. I've gotten used to the primetime fluff pieces where Mary Carillo (sp?) hangs out with the Mounties for 8 minutes, and I understand that NBC is reaching out to an audience that consists of more than just sports fans... but can't NBC do SOMETHING to reward sports fans?

dez said...

The countdown clock is a great idea. But I agree, NBC would think it is to tempting for viewers to only tune in when they know their favorite event will be on.

It worked for me when they said ice dancing was coming up in 11 minutes one night. I knew how long I had until I could change the channel :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey, i'm just putting this out there for anyone, including Alan.

CTV is streaming their coverage live on ctvolympics.ca

So, if any of you guys want to watch an event live, you may find it there. Hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

I still hate it w/ a passion for most of the reasons already given.

Also - I really feel the announcers are jinxing the athletes....no, seriously. Do I need to know that so and so are in counseling...are badly in debt...and so forth?

*sigh*

Xero said...

Hi Alan, are you planning to review Spartacus: Blood and Sand? The series seems have turned around with the 5th episode.

Nicole Marie said...

Apparently, I'm one of the rare few people who doesn't have any interest in watching the olympics, and I've noticed that all the other channels (I don't have cable) have been airing repeats the whole time they've been on. It's no wonder NBC is doing so well, if you're one of those people who likes to watch TV every night, then you're most likely going to choose NBC over repeats.

But even I know the coverage is terrible. I've turned on a few times and it seems like it's always figure skating! My dad told me that US vs. Canada was an amazing game, and when I turned on NBC to check it out, they were showing ice dancing (or something, I didn't stick around long enough to figure out)!

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying the coverage, and don't mind that things are tape delayed (I'm in the MTN time zone). I work during the day and record the primetime coverage on TiVo, so even if it were shown live, I wouldn't be watching it live. I like to sit down a couple hours after it starts and watch the things I'm interested in, FF past commercials and fluff, and I can usually see the entire four-hour block in about one hour.

Since I'm not a Twitter/Facebook-aholic, I'm not constantly getting results updates to my phone or e-mail. The only results I've had spoiled were a couple of NYTimes alerts e-mails, and those didn't really bother me, because they usually were telling me that a US athlete did well, which made me want to watch even more.

Rick said...

Wherever, whenever the Olympics are on, people will watch. I have no idea why NBC- and every NBC owned station- are showing anything other that wall-to-wall Olympics, 24 hours a day. This should be some 'in for a pound' coverage!
SyFy: Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton, and Curling.
MSNBC: All snow events- Biathlon, Combined Downhill, Cross Country, Downhill, Freestyle Aerials, Freestyle Moguls, Giant Slalom, Nordic Combined, Slalom, Snowboarding, Ski Jumping, Super-G.
USA: Hockey. All of it.
Bravo: All other ice events- Figure Skating, Ice Dancing, Speed Skating, Short Track.
NBC: Highlights from all events, available for non-cable buyers.

Tell me those five stations wouldn't be an unstoppable ratings juggernaut for two weeks solid. At the very least, they would perform better than Monk reruns and Stargate marathons. Enough better that it would be worth the extra cost of coverage? Yes. Absolutely.

Keith Olbermann could even keep his timeslot, as long as he reverted back to sports personality.

Ask me how I think London 2012 should be aired.

filmcricket said...

"The two Brian Williams finally met on CTV last night,"

And the universe didn't implode? I'm sorry I missed that. NBC's Brian Williams plays best with Jon Stewart, but CTV's (CBC's!) Brian Williams is unintentional comedy personified. Wish the "Brian Williams Drinking Game" were still available on the intertubes.

I've only really been watching CTV's coverage, and the only thing I've had difficulty with was finding the men's figure skating final on Thursday. I'm glad NBC's doing well out of it, though. Were Schwartz & Fedak right, is "Chuck" getting no promotion?

Kenrick said...

At first I thought it was outrageous that the Olympics would be tape-delayed, considering I live in the same timezone as Vancouver. However, on the weekdays I find myself watching a lot of Olympics in primetime, because really, I can't watch the Olympics live while I'm at school/work.

What did bug me was that I missed out on the US/Canada hockey game. It was a Sunday! That's when people watch sports (or football rather). You would think they could've aired that live at least.

I agree with Sister T, they should air the events live during the day (on ALL their stations), and in primetime do what they've been doing now -- a more targeted, best hits program.

the Stanfield Org. said...

I have only seen about 4 minutes of Olympics coverage, every time I flip to it, I see another sport that I have no interest in watching. However, the lack of live coverage is an ongoing problem for NBC sports, both for overseas events and even some hosted in the U.S. Know they have frequently broadcast Wimbledon matches after-the-fact (with little to no disclaimers advising the viewer that it is not a live event), and can recall at least 3 instances in which golf tournaments I was (casually) following, taking place on U.S. soil, were being broadcast with at least a 45 min. delay, w/ no on-screen disclaimer. It's pretty annoying to start watching a sporting event on TV, think you're watching it live, then have the ending spoiled for you online when you log on to espn.com during a commercial break to check the scores from an unrelated event.

Sarah said...

As a huge hockey fan, I too was annoyed that the US v Canada game wasn't shown on NBC, let alone on an HD channel.

And then I realized that one of the things that annoys me about the Olympics is the incessent commercials. And on MSNBC, we had commercials only at the end of each period. Which was FANTASTIC. I'll take my hockey on non-HD if it means I don't miss out on parts of the game because they have to go to commercial so much. So I have to say, good decision NBC. Give the hockey fans what they want - the game, with almost no commercial interruptions!

And count me as a sports fan who enjoys the human interest pieces. As someone who doesn't follow the majority of these sports year round (okay, only during the Olympics actually), learning about the athletes is half the fun of the Games. No other time do you hear what people, their families and entire communities often sacrifice to send an athlete to the games.

That's the joy of the Olympics - we care about sports we normally don't care about because of the stories of the people competing.

cadfile said...

As another post noted the other networks pretty much gave up by airing repeats for the past 2 weeks and in February.

I would love to know how others have viewed the CTV coverage because when I tried I got a "Not Canadian, eh!" message and no video.

I do like some of the travelog stuff but it is Canada so it isn't unknown to me.

Nicole said...

I was at the Ice Dance Original program and called my dad in between breaks to find out the score on the US/Canada hockey game. They have no cable and are forced to watch NBC. When he told me that they weren't airing, but had skiing instead, I realized why NBC doesn't plan on making money on this. That game was the event of the day, and they missed a prime time hockey game that was filled with NHL players.

I recall watching ABC for the Calgary and Los Angeles games and I used to like their coverage. Even CBS with its Lillehammer coverage was better. NBC is missing a great opportunity to catch those who can watch during the day, and then watch at night the highlights that they have missed. I am not that enthused with CTV, but they do get it. NBC should be scoring excellent ratings with the major events set in prime time for the East Coast and the US leading the medal totals. If they don't, the fault is solely due to their tape delay nonsense. While the older crowd may not yet be plugged into the 'net, (probably the same people who watch Leno), that number is slowly and inevitably shrinking. Even my dad will check out certain events online.

Thanks for the heads up on the Brian Williams squared. It has been a great moment in the making

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

Point of clarification--Universal Sports is NOT wholly owned by NBC Universal. The latter is an investor in the former. As such, Universal Sports has LIMITED rights to the "Olympic" portfolio, and is actually very restricted in what they can cover, etc. This said, their 3 1/2 hours of original, live coverage each day from the Olympics has been sensational--especially and notably their "Meet the Olympic Press" show. It's one of the reasons that Monday's USA Today proclaimed that Universal Sports "golds for attitude".

Krystle said...

We have the best of both worlds here (Australia).

We Have one major network doing the exact same thing as NBC and then we have a pay TV company offering a pay-per-view package where they have one channel for practically every sport (when the run out of live coverage, the just repeat the days events again).

I guess nobody can complain, if you want to watch thingd live on TV you have to pay, the only thing I do not like is the price (I believe it is $50 for the complete package).

Andrew said...

Not only is NBC missing the boat on live coverage, but they're also missing the boat on the fluff pieces that all of the sports fans loathe but Dick Ebersol and other casual Olympics fans appreciate.

I'm surprised that NBC isn't leveraging the human interest pieces more. Sure, debut them in prime time or the Today show, but then wouldn't they fit well all combined together into anthologies on Bravo, without being inerrupted by sports programming?

Anonymous said...

Plain and simple.........NBC blew it big time by not airing the USA-Canada hockey game on the network. For everyone who says other sports are more mass market, hockey is a niche sport, etc.....please! That hockey game was not only one of the most exciting hockey games ever, it was one of the most exciting sporting events ever! How did Ebersol or someone at NBC not get it? Once you saw the type of game it was (non-stop end to end action), someone at NBC should have made the decision to move the game on the fly from MSNBC to NBC. If we still talk with awe about the USA team in Lake Placid, and if NBC can devote an entire segment to that, then they should be bright enough to get the USA/Canada game where the most people can see it. Let's see.......ice dancing, or the Americans winning the biggest hockey game in 30 years, over the nation who considers hockey it's national pastime, in their own country?? Hmmm....tough choice there huh? Let's just hope if the USA moves to the finals, NBC has an epiphany and let's the entire country root our tream on!

B-Man said...

I'm watching for one simple reason: it's something my whole family can watch together and get caught up in the drama of the events. My kids are in grade school, I'm a big sports fan, my wife isn't. But there's something for all of us, regardless of whether or not the events are tape delayed. I can't imagine a world where the Super Bowl or World Series would be tape-delayed, but I don't seem to mind with the Olympics.

Elreyalto said...

Probably NBC's biggest travesty of all tonight pushing the medal round of women's figure skating into the 11pm hour pretty much ensuring no little girls got to see it. All because US had no shot medaling. Disgusting.

sueb said...

They didn't just push the women's figure skating final - for each of the four figure skating events, the final group wasn't shown competing until 11pm. And the US had real contenders in mens, dance, and pairs.
The coverage has been disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

Unwatchable on NBC--thank goodness for VPN which allows watching the BBC, CTV and Eurovision broadcast on the internet