Friday, August 8, 2008

NBC Olympics news and boos

Just a bunch of links having to do with NBC and the Olympics.

Ian Cahir:

This is a quick post to follow up on the NBC soccer channel news. I spent the past 24 hours pretty much watching this channel....

Soccer really needs to be in HD all the time. Every match looks amazing. On the down side, it exposes how bad the fields look when they shoot close-up. Also, it’s painfully obvious that the secondary match announcers are in New York and not China, as they often miss names and plays because it’s obvious they only have two or three monitors to look at. Also, they seem to imply that they ARE in China, but I know that’s not the case.


NBC will bring coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to cell phones in what it calls the "most ambitious sporting event coverage ever" for mobile devices.

The site,, will offer near-instant results, along with news headlines, polls, photo slideshows, and athlete profiles. Additionally, each day mobile users will be able to catch video highlights on their handsets.

All right and fine, but what about their regular Olympic coverage? Yahoo/AFP:

The rest of the world might have been dazzled by the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony but angry US viewers clamoring for a glimpse of the spectacle on Friday were made to wait after a media blackout.

US network NBC, which owns exclusive rights to Olympics coverage in the United States, refrained from showing the opening ceremony live, preferring instead to delay coverage by 12 hours for a prime-time evening slot....

Bizarrely, the co-hosts of NBC's breakfast television show barely mentioned the ongoing ceremony during their broadcast, which was reportedly pre-taped.

I can tell you that this went to the local level. At 6:30 this morning the local newscasters on Channel 4 were saying that the opening ceremony was only hours away. Then I got in the car and listened to the radio, only to discover that the opening ceremony had already started.

When network coverage numbers are low, NBC will blame its low ratings on Darfur and the fact that not enough Americans won medals. In reality, American viewers aren't going to bother to watch television to see things that happened a day ago. Frankly, they'd probably get better ratings if they aired events live at 3 am Pacific time or whatever.

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