Update: I wrote this post during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Fast Forward 2 years, and nothing has changed really! NBC is still screwing up the broadcast of the Olympics, which makes a lot of fans are super frustrated.
The interwebs is calling for Google to fix Google Buzz, while I couldn’t care less. Let’s fix one thing at the time, let’s fix the live broadcasting of the Olympic games at the west coast here. For god sake, here in California we live in the same time zone as Vancouver, so why do I have to wait for “prime time” TV to see any of the medal events?
I seriously would like to call for any attention to the state of the Olympic games broadcasting. For the coming months there must be a whole lot of west coast sport junkies that must agree with me that the delay of medal events to prime time by NBC is just ridiculously in the age of real time updates and Twitter news breaking events.
Just imagine the horror I had to go through last Saturday. I got up at 5.30 am to go to the Mavericks surfing contest at Half Moon Bay. Thank god I made the right choice to watch the surf from the cliff, not from the beach. Leaving for south San Jose at a reasonable time to catch the 5K speed skating event in Vancouver, where my fellow Dutchman Sven Kramer had high chances of winning a gold medal.
Ready to watch the race, I went looking on my digital guide to see where the Olympic games were broadcasted. No where could I find any of the live events. In horror I tweeted what I found broadcasted, while others were watching the 5k speed skating.
Apparently NBC had decided broadcasting the Olympic events on prime time would make them more money, than showing the events to any of the people who are interested in the live broadcast.
Henry Blodget also blogged about this, his angle was the Men’s downhill which was shifted to broadcast at primetime during a public holiday. I take it a notch up. I’m even talking about any Olympic event that would even begin at a normal working day, but starts at non-prime time TV hours. Just start the F****** broadcast, Seriously, NBC, you will make more money broadcasting the event live, and a replay during prime time, than you stupid attempt to keep the rabbit into the hat.
For the Olympic Games broadcast rights, NBC paid $2 billion:
General Electric got itself in its Olympic-size financial fix in 2003 when it bid $2 billion for the television rights for Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. GE’s bid was $900 million more than the next closest bidder, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network.
From another site, a partner from NBC King5, I got the following statement:
NBC has indicated that their decision is based on providing coverage of the most popular events in time periods that allow the most people to enjoy the Games. Most viewers are available to watch The Olympics during the prime time hours between 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
And a last great quote from another Internet piece:
The biggest problem with NBC’s approach to Olympic coverage is that the network believes it is still 1984. Instead of utilizing all of the options at its disposal to broadcast as much of the action as possible, Ebersol and his minions have elected to tape-delay most of the events. Think about how stupid this is for a second.
Tape delaying the events would make perfect sense if the vast majority of the viewing public didn’t have Internet access all day long. Nobody is waiting around until prime time to find out what happened. Viewers essentially have to shut themselves off from the “Information Age” in order to enjoy a spoiler-free Olympics.
Does NBC think that nobody in America has access to DVR or TiVo? How out of touch can an allegedly major television network be?
The worst part is that the Olympics aren’t happening on the other side of the world this time. They’re happening in Vancouver, which is in the Pacific time zone!
Just see why I call NBC stupid here.
- I’m sitting on a free Saturday afternoon in front of the TV to watch a skating contest, while I’ve just spent 5 hours at a sunny beach on California watching one of the most awesome surfing contests there is on earth
- You piss me off for not showing my country win a gold medal on the first day of the Olympics
- I find out Sven Kramer won the Gold medal as soon as it happened
- I have no interest to watch the whole event in replay any more
- Fuck You NBC for ruining my excitement if being part of the Olympics, you could have sold so much advertisement time to me, while I was sitting there in anticipation of the races to start again!
Just watch the following conversation unfold on Twitter after I tweeted the message above:
At least I got the updates through Twitter. NBC is ruining the Olympic games for a lot of people while they could make a lot more money just broadcasting the live events, and double dipping on those people who will be watching the events at rerun.
From the Examiner article, I can only agree with the quoted viewer:
“I’m not surprised they’re going to lose money, they deserve to. All we’re getting is a sanitized version in the evening, they don’t even have the decency to show events live. I for one won’t watch it in those circumstances.”
And how stupid NBC really is, just watch the following piece from Dutch TV, where Sven speaks about how stupid the question from the NBC reporter is (in Dutch but with sub titles):
BTW: the reporter and Sven Kramer are talking about how a reporter from NBC are asking these kind of stupid questions and expect the athletes to comply with their “way of working”. Sven answers that he is not interested in playing that game. If the reporters want to introduce him, that’s ok, and he is also perfectly fine answering any question.
Update: On Reddit a lively discussion has started about the Stupid NBC reporter question as a defining TV moment of the Olympics so far. One person, who is a field crew member is jumping in to give some context:
I work as a field crew for a television station, so let me put this in perspective here. In most situations the crew does know you biography, it our job to know who we are interviewing. The people who haven’t read your entire life’s history is everyone else watching the tape. I don’t know if that was aired live, but in the course of a day, or a major event like the Olympics, or super bowl, or Daytona 500, we interview dozens and dozens of people. Sometimes when in a hurry its easier just to shuttle to the beginning of the interview and refresh our memory with the persons name and where they are from. Its standard practice to ask from name, spelling, pronunciation, and title at the beginning of every interview because at the end of the day you may not be the person writing the story or editing it. You may be “kinda a big deal” where you come from, but we have 20 other interviews to get today and I probably won’t remember your name in 3 hours when I’m editing my tape asshole.
So next time, make it easy for yourself and do the intro yourself. This way, you can introduce the person in your own way, and make sure you have all the info you need for the editing. Or next time you probably won’t get any interview anymore if you act like this as a field crew. He is the asshole then!