Join 3,368 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"The Olympics isn't so much a sporting event as it is an unfolding drama."
June 28, 2001 5:56 PM   Subscribe

"The Olympics isn't so much a sporting event as it is an unfolding drama." Not content with denying American viewers the chance to watch the Sydney games in real time during the infomercial hours, NBC now plans to show events from Salt Lake City on a tape delay to viewers on the west coast, in order to reach a prime-time audience. A sign that they're more interested in the ad revenue (or in shaping the Games to their own melodramatic style guide) than in being a broadcaster of record?
posted by holgate (14 comments total)

 
um. This is old, pathetic news. F*** NBC.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:23 PM on June 28, 2001


Paris, I've been saying that ever sinced they canned "Freaks and Geeks". The only thing I even watch on that network anymore is Conan and (sometimes) SCTV reruns.
posted by lannie628 at 8:34 PM on June 28, 2001


The did the same thing at Atlanta also. It's pretty much just catering to American audiences who want their sports served up WWF-ized with drama and artificial competition.
posted by gyc at 8:54 PM on June 28, 2001


But it was the affiliates that asked for it, as the article says. NBC wanted to run the coverage live, but a majority of west coast stations insisted otherwise.

It reminds me of why automobile commercials are so bad: the dealers have a lot of say, and so they become dumbed down.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:15 PM on June 28, 2001


Holgate: SCTV on NBC? Is it still 1985?
posted by ParisParamus at 9:33 PM on June 28, 2001


I don't know about American audiences wanting this, gyc. Some people may simply acquiesce, but I think if you presented a representative sample with the choice between live coverage and the tape delayed, high production value version the vast majority would go for live. I recall the Sydney coverage garnering what seemed to be nearly universal frustration and disappointment.

NBC consistently responds to criticism of their decisions with the "it's what our viewers want" line, but that's just spin for "it's what will get us the most live viewers." All the same people who would tune in for live coverage will grudgingly do so for tape delay, on top of which they'll get all the incidental viewers who surf prime time anyway.

I think what's really pathetic is that NBC buys the rights to everything, tapes most of the events and then sits on the vast majority of it. Great matches and performances, never to be seen in the US. Farm out the rights for the niche markets. Broadcast it through the night, let people tape it. Anything.
posted by brantstrand at 9:48 PM on June 28, 2001


What I'm still waiting for is streaming internet coverage of all events at all venues at all times live, straight to my computer. That would be awesome.
posted by gyc at 10:09 PM on June 28, 2001


Frankly who wants to see the events live from Olympics at 3 or 4 am? I sure don't. Most of the America public are not in college and are sleeping at the time events would have been live. So it would stand to reason that with such a time difference the Sydney Olympics would have been on tape.

Agreeing to a request by affiliates, the network will broadcast Salt Lake City Games next year on tape delay on the West Coast.

Now that makes no sense at all. I guess Friends is more important, oh man that does suck.

sports served up WWF-ized
No, more like Sports Center style.
posted by Bag Man at 11:08 PM on June 28, 2001


All of the left-coasters will most likely be in the ocean by then so who gives a damn?
posted by ttrendel at 11:35 PM on June 28, 2001


Frankly who wants to see the events live from Olympics at 3 or 4 am?

Why couldn't they show the events live for the hardcore fans and then again later in the day when more people are watching? There's just something you miss when you watch an event tape-delayed as opposed to live even if you haven't peeked at the results yet. Plus, this could give them a chance to show some events for more than 2 minutes (table tennis for example).
posted by gyc at 12:10 AM on June 29, 2001


What I'm still waiting for is streaming internet coverage of all events at all venues at all times live, straight to my computer. That would be awesome.

Yeah, baby, I'm all about that. C'mon, someone should be able to fix that up by now. Please? Otherwise I'll be stuck watching non-stop table tennis again when Athens rolls round....it's the only sport Singapore cares about. While the rest of the world got to see the high-jump and various middle-distance track and field events, we were stuck with watching a replay of a ping pong match. Which, for the record, the Singaporean player lost .
posted by netsirk at 12:11 AM on June 29, 2001


I'll be stuck watching non-stop table tennis again when Athens rolls round

Ha! I'd be happy to trade places with you.
posted by gyc at 1:23 AM on June 29, 2001


What I'm still waiting for is streaming internet coverage of all events at all venues at all times live, straight to my computer. That would be awesome.

Don't hold your breath, gyc and netsirk. The IOC is stonewalling on Internet coverage largely because it makes so damn much money from selling the TV rights.

Here's an IOC press release discussing their "embracing of the Internet". If you can stomach the propaganda all the way to the last three paragraphs, you'll see what they are really saying -- no Internet coverage anytime soon.
posted by briank at 6:14 AM on June 29, 2001


With no Internet coverage, anyone know how to grab a CBC feed (in nyc, with no satellite dish)? Hockey and skiing are too important to leave to NBC! not that they'd show them anyway... "and now, another piece about 'America's sweetheart skating star...'" bleh...
posted by andrewraff at 7:59 AM on June 29, 2001


« Older Jim Ellis, co-creator of usenet died today. He was...  |  'Download Beta 10.3 now' was t... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments