NBC

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NBC's Olympic Coverage-Will It Ever End?

Sep 26, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Few

Cons:Many- too many commercials, too many interruptions, too little coverage during daylight hours

I have been extremely disappointed by NBC's Coverage of the Olympic Games in Australia. Instead of concentrating on the games, NBC has given them almost secondary treatment-showing the United States that as far as NBC is concerned-the Olympic Games are not very important.


Growing up, watching the Olympic games was an Event-something special. I can remember watching the gymnasts and the divers utterly amazed at their abilities. I can remember being fascinated and proud watching the American teams play, win and place. It seems that when I was young the Olympics were something special-for everyone. All other television shows were suspended for the time the Olympics were on. This is no longer true. Instead of being the primary focus of NBC the Olympics are at best secondary to hokey talk shows and lame news shows. What we see of the games is taped, not live and it is shown at odd hours-gosh forbid that NBC put Montel Williams talk show on hold for a week so that we could watch the best athletes in the world compete.

One of the biggest gripes I have with NBC's coverage of the games is the announcers themselves. During most events the running commentary is obnoxious, off-topic and annoying. For almost every athlete there has been an announcer telling a sob story -a sad story about their lives-loves, losses-stories about a Canadian athlete who was stabbed by a soldier when she was a child, a story about a runner who had a mental breakdown. Then of course there were the not so friendly jokes made about the Russian diver during the platform diving competition-jokes about her size-the female announcer commenting that the diver's baby was almost bigger than she was. Truly pathetic-and un-necessary.

Then there are the commercials-for every 1/2 an event it seems there are at least twice the length of time's worth of commercials. Every time an event gets going, it is interrupted by a commercial. Obviously NBC feels it necessary to pay off what they spent to cover the Olympic games by showing lots and lots of adds.

The only event that we have watched more or less from beginning to end was the Platform Diving competition. My daughter-who is 6 was utterly fascinated by the women divers. After watching for several rounds of the semi-finals I had Barbie dolls flying from the upper landing in a make-shift diving competition. My daughter wanted an early bath- and 6 Barbie's had another diving competition in the tub. Unfortunately my daughter was unable to watch the finals. She missed being able to watch the American diver come out of 8th place and win the gold because the NBC deemed it necessary to show the final coverage late at night-past her bedtime. I really wish NBC had seen fit to do a Kids show-maybe just updates and stories aimed at the children on this country who will be the future gold metal winning athletes!

I wanted my daughter to watch the uneven bar finals-she is in gymnastics. But like the diving, the uneven bars finals were shown late at night-past her bed time. It seems like most of the "good" events have been shoved into late night slots-past the bedtimes of those future Olympic athletes who should be watching!

My daughter is 6 years old and right now the Olympics are an almost magical thing. By the time the next Olympics come around she will be ten, and I doubt she will be as enthralled by the games as she is now. I have let her watch as much as we can-but the coverage is constantly being interrupted for lame updates by ex-athletes with bad hair. As soon as we get into an event it seems like the local NBC affiliate-Channel 9 in Denver- has to have a 1/2 hour newscast.

To be fair-I am not 100% sure that ALL NBC affiliates are showing the Olympics in the same style. Channel 9 has a fairly egocentric attitude in general so it would not surprise me to learn that they are responsible for the late night coverage. But I doubt it. It appears that despite paying truckloads of money to have the honor of showing the exclusive coverage of the Olympics NBC feels that shows like Montel Williams and the like are more important than an event that occurs only once every four years.
While I know that the Olympics must be shown at night-so that those who cannot watch during the day might see-I wish they could also show coverage during the daytime-mornings-so that those who cannot watch at night could see.

Hopefully whomever gets to show the coverage in 2004 will learn from NBC's mistakes. Less commercials, more kids oriented coverage, better announcers-less foreign athlete bashing please! Less interruption of the coverage for pointless stories from the announcers and newscasters!

I have been disappointed by NBC's coverage of the games to the point where I am looking forward to Lewis of Bizzarnews.com's coverage of the games-at least from him I can expect the twisted and unusual stories! I am hopeful that in 4 years the coverage of the games will be better-assuming NBC is not the network in charge. In the meantime-I am wondering if the pathetic coverage by NBC will NEVER end!


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