Photo Credit: Getty Images
The Winter Olympics are going on, as you know because every 10 minutes there's a news report about how there hasn't been a terrorist attack at the Winter Olympics... yet. It's ridiculous; as I ate breakfast with my nieces (ages seven and nine) Saturday morning, there's Dan Patrick saying we'll "get back to the figure skating in a moment" and then goes into a news package about if the spectators are safe or not and how nothing's been blown up... yet. They don't actually say "yet," but their tone does seem a little too hopeful. Eight in the morning, watching people in pretty costumes spin around on the ice - a rare LIVE broadcast of an Olympic event - and there's NBC giving a security update. Something no one watching the Olympics at that moment wanted to see instead of the Olympic skaters competing in the Olympics that we missed because they were showing this stupid news package.
By the way, Dan Patrick, my seven-year-old niece thinks it's "neat" no one has died... yet.
NBC's television coverage overall has been pretty miserable. They absolutely figured that whatever money they're getting on ads during their old-news 8pm "Primetime" broadcasts that show a fraction of the action, is worth not showing as many events possible live. It's the Olympics; of course, they need to make money off the broadcast rights, but the coverage should also be consider a public service.
Take Curling for example... It was a surprise television hit during the Olympics in Vancouver four years ago. And I know the time zone where these games are being held is 12 hours ahead, but last night at 9pm, which for people can't do the math is 9am in Sochi, while the old-news broadcast is going on, Curling is happening live. But you couldn't get it on the West Coast because of that stupid primetime broadcast? A broadcast that aired three hours earlier on the East Coast - about that, make sure you don't check your social media from 5pm - 8pm if you don't want the old news spoiled for you. Anyways... Apparently, NBC doesn't think more people would watch Curling than whatever they've got on MSNBC or CNBC at 9pm. Sure, USA didn't have a match at that time, but the gold medal winners from the last Olympics were. Oh, Canada.
One upside is that I have been able to watch some events live on my phone and computer. That is a service NBC's providing, as long as you have some sort of cable service. I shouldn't need to rely on it, but it's nice they at least give us that option. It's not great. It buffers a lot, and you end up watching the same three commercials over and over again. But, whatever, I can watch Curling and other events live online. Maybe NBC is actually using these Olympics as a way to show that the internet is better than broadcast. A bold move... a bold move indeed.
I'm over it. Go USA!