Monday, August 16, 2004

The Olympics

I like to support the Olympics. They are an opportunity to foster world unity, patriotism, interest in sport, peace, love, and harmony, etc. But the Olympics aren't causing any sort of positive feelings to grow in me. In contrast, I find myself, again, growing both upset and bitter. Why you ask? The NBC coverage. When I began to see the commercials promoting the Olympics before they started this year I thought that NBC had learned from the fiasco that was their broadcast of Sydney. I thought they had because they had begun to advertise that they would be covering events on 5 different NBC affiliated networks. I think that they have learned...A little. They, however, have not figured out that one of the most basic problems that they did have last time around was that they never showed events live. With the internet and availability of all kinds of information at our fingertips, I wonder how they can think that we will be patient enough to wait until "prime time". Why, when I turned my TV on during breakfast this morning were they not showing some sport? Why does their coverage (which starts at some unknown time during the day) stop for two hours between 6 and 8 each night? They really think that we need to see (and will watch) their news casts? Instead of competing with the other news stations by airing...News, why don't they compete by showing more sports? I'm sure that every one would be able to survive for 2 weeks without their nightly broadcasts.

Also, why don't they finish the coverage of one event before going on to another. Its not as though they are breaking from one exciting event to cover another for a bit that is going on live! Its not like the US open in Tennis. These are events that finished hours ago! We aren't going to miss one bit of Swimming if we finish the Bike road race first instead of coming and going 4 different times!

Finally, I would really like them to post a schedule of exactly what events will be shown and when. They have many hours to figure this out, after all, what with the delay from live! I really think that this is not too much to ask!

Given that this is unlikely to happen, I have a suggestion. Instead of allowing television stations to compete to have the rights to show the entire Olympics, we should instead have them compete for event coverage. You know, NBC could get the gymnastics, ABC swimming, and OLN the Bike events and Archery. That way we could have control of the flipping between events ourselves, and since all the cable stations would get in on the action too, every event would be covered! Meanwhile, instead of getting the airbrushed version of things, we would get the chance to watch our favorite events in detail, and perhaps see some teams besides the USA and perhaps even some of the obscure events that we do not compete in, becoming a bit more internationally savvy!

Well, it is an idea... :)