[Off topic] NBC Olympic broadcast: an epic failure

I’d really like to see some statistics on NBC’s coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver, Canada. Some quick gripes:

  • I’m in the same time zone as the Olympics, why must I watch events 3 hours after the east coast?
  • Why on Sunday, February 14, was there no Olympic coverage until 1p? Were the talk shows (8-10), paid programming (10-12!!), and Monk (12-1) really more important and revenue generating than the Olympics? Seriously, 2 hours of infomercials?
  • Is it really more important to broadcasting multiples of Keith Olbermann (5p, 7p, 10p), Rachel Maddow (7p, 8p, 11p),  and Hardball with Chris Matthews (9p) than to expand Olympic coverage on MSNBC? These three shows were squeezed between two Olympic hockey games. NBC couldn’t find its why to show more?
  • Why is it an anomaly for NBC to show two events back to back? They clearly prefer to show a single event then go to commercial rather than back to back events.
  • Please someone do a comparison between the time NBC spends on broadcasting actual competition with time spent talking about events and – as a separate comparison – time spent on commercials.

Why does NBC make it so difficult to watch the Olympics?

8 Replies to “[Off topic] NBC Olympic broadcast: an epic failure”

  1. Talented athletes aside, the way the Olympics are packaged and presented is one giant commercial scam – to that end I boycott watching all but 1 or 2 summer events that interest me.(My comment won’t answer your question, and is stream-of-consciousness as I brew my morning coffee, so be warned)
    The IOC is abusively-protective of its “intellectual property” and forces local firms out of business/change products if they “infringe” on the IOC’s rights. Hell, they sent notices to blogs and major news sites telling them to remove video of the luge crash because it violated broadcasting rights, even though it was NEWS. WTF?
    As to NBC, it is shooting itself in both feet and face in how they schedule the Olympics. Too many soft profile pieces, not enough games. Tape delays for maximum viewership based on what the media execs think people want to watch. Then they blow gobs of money in an effort to allegedly “make it impossible” to watch on the Net other than NBC’s own website….and once again failing miserably.
    These people do *not* understand the nature of information and information flows in the Internet Age.

  2. NBC is an incompetent media organization. That’s why. These are the same people who moved Jay Leno to 10 p.m. where he dragged down the prime time network ratings and alarmed local stations when they saw what was happening to their 11 p.m. news ratings. Then forced Conan O’Brien to leave The Tonight Show at a cost of $40 million and incalculable losses of future viewers to put Leno back where he was before. The Olympics are a business like all professional sports but some media organizations are better at business than others and NBC is among the worst.

  3. What Bill said. It’s a ratings game. NBC got massacred for it’s Conan/Leno debacle and is now trying to reach every demographic in one long assed telecast. The result is sports coverage bizzaro world style. Al Michaels, fanny settled comfy in a plush lounge chair, looks like he’s about to launch into a Fireside Chat between events.The infomercials are probably a way to make up lost revenue. An infomercial on any given Sunday is one thing but on a Sunday where it precedes the Olympics?

  4. Seriously high levels of FAIL.In addition to your issues, our listings with NBC are all messed up which makes it impossible record anything. According to the program guide, I recorded the Men’s hockey game today when in reality what I got was curling. Guide says I am watching the Russia game right now, when in reality the Canada game is playing.

  5. Hello, Matt and Everyone:If NBC offered substantial coverage, ratings would go down. They attract a much larger and wider audience with their approach. As an old guy who watched the first Super Bowl when two networks broadcast it live, I remember when sports TV was about the game. Now it is about a mass audience. And you get that mass audience by de-emphasizing the game and doing a lot of “color.” Hey, it’s free market capitalism, baby. Go with the green or else you perish. (You might recall that CBS lost its NFL broadcast rights to Fox in 1994 and it suffered financial losses for 4 years until they bought back into it.)

  6. They have broadcast more Curling then I can consume (and I want to consume alot!!) on MSNBC, CNBC, and USA. The hours have been odd, but that is what my VCRs are for.

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