18 August 2012

Belated Olympic Coverage Thoughts

Category: Randomness — Posted by Michael at 2331

In an earlier post I commented that my posts tend to be more plentiful during the Olympics. As it turns out, I was on vacation in Michigan for the entire second week of the London 2012 Games so I just finished watching all of the events that my DVR could hold plus the Closing Ceremonies. (For somehwat obvious reasons, I don’t mention online in any form when I’m on vacation.)

I did keep up with London 2012 while away thanks to constant alerts on my phone and a few nights of watching the games on TV. One of the cool things about being right near our neighbors to the north is that you can watch Canadian TV. So, I got to watch some of CTV’s coverage of the Olympics. It was fun to watch something other than just NBC’s coverage.

That leads me to the main topic of this post, NBC’s coverage of the games. Before I left, I wrote a post about the tribute to terror victims that NBC chose to cut out of the Opening Ceremonies broadcast and replace with, of all things, Ryan Seacrest interviewing Michael Phelps. (I’m not so much against an interview with the now most decorated Olympian of all time, but show it at some other time. You’ve got 2 weeks of shows ahead.) Add that to the fact that the supposed expert commentary consisted of Matt Lauer and Meridith Vieira demonstrating how clueless they are and I definately think it wasn’t NBC’s finest hour. That being said, I think the whole #NBCFail movement was a bit harsh about the tape delayed coverage. There’s a simple reason why the events were shown on tape delay. Very few people are at home to watch the Olympics at 2 pm Eastern. Personally, I was really glad to see that the overall amount of coverage was huge. Between 6 TV channels and the online streaming it was physically impossible to watch all of the coverage. I do, however, think that NBC should have live streamed events even if they were going to be on the “big show” in primetime.

This is the opinion I held all week as I watched the events I’d recorded. (Yes, I know the fact that I watched most events nearly a week late, makes me care even less about a 5 hour tape delay on NBC’s part.) Then tonight I watched the closing ceremonies. The coverage wasn’t bad. Even if we did have to listen to Ryan Seacrest a bit, at least we weren’t subjected to Matt and Meredith wondering who the Spice Girls were. But then as the ceremonies were winding down NBC found a new and creative way to piss off viewers. They broke away from the ceremony to air a full episode of a new show they’re premiering this fall. I was able to fast forward through it and see the end of the show, but it didn’t make it any less infuriating a commercial is one thing but a 44 minute show???

Speaking of commercials I did catch the commercial for NBC’s coverage of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and it made me hope the next 2 years go fast. Here’s hoping NBC learns from their mistakes before then. I won’t hold my breath.

29 July 2012

View the Tribute Segment that NBC Edited Out

Category: Randomness — Posted by Michael at 0114

The Opening Ceremonies of the London 2012 Summer Olympics were impressive for many reasons. If the Beijing Opening Ceremonies represented how creepily impressive thousands of people all thinking alike can be, then the London ceremonies showed the world what can be accomplished when creativity and free thought are allowed and put to their fullest use.

While watching the impressive event on NBC, it appeared that we were seeing the entire ceremony minus the many commercial breaks. Apparently, that wasn’t the case. It’s now known that NBC edited out a 6 minute segment that represented a somber memorial tribute. It was not officially for the victims of the 7 July 2005 terror attacks in London, but it did feature photos of the victims of those attacks which occurred only days after London was awarded the 2012 Summer Games. The segment can be viewed in BBC One’s broadcast right here.

There’s a bit of an uproar online about this editing choice by NBC. I definitely disagree with the removal of this segment. When I watch the ceremonies I want to experience them as they were intended, not as NBC wants me to see them. I recorded them, so I could fast forward any part I didn’t want to see. The only thing (besides commercials) that I skipped over was Paul McCartney’s performance. (Sorry, I’m not a Beatles fan at all.) Additionally, I see nothing wrong with acknowledging the attacks. During the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, the attacks of September 11th were acknowledged.

The part of the outrage I cannot get behind is the comparison of NBC now showing the tribute segment to the IOC’s refusual to acknowledge the 1972 terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics that year. Obviously, I am neither pro-terrorist or anti-Israel, but I think the IOC made the right decision by deciding against holding anything more than the small gathering that they held in the Olympic Village. The 7/7 attacks took place in the host city, London, right after games were awarded. The murder of Israeli atheletes occurred 40 years ago in a different country. That does not make it any less of a tragedy, but there was also a bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics; should we acknowledge that too? Should every Olympic related tragedy be acknowledged at every opening ceremony? Just because you don’t mention something constantly, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or that it wasn’t tragic.

28 July 2012

The Online Olympics

Category: Interesting Links,Randomness — Posted by Michael at 2331

I usually write many more posts in my blog during the Olympics than I do in the intervening years. The Olympics are also the only time (other than the occassional Phillies World Series appearance) that you’ll ever see sports of any kind mentioned on my website. However, usually I’m writing them as I watch the Games on television. This year that’s changing some. The more widely popular events are on the primetime broadcast and (my favorite) the late night broadcast. But what if you want to watch the women’s badminton preliminaries or for some odd reason, any fencing match. Then you’ll be glad (as I am) that NBC is live streaming every round of every sport at which they have a camera. While you can view it on their website, the best way is to download the NBC Olympics Live Extra app.  (Fair warning: You must be a cable or satellite subscriber to view NBC’s online content.)

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