Olympics, Summer

As another Olympic Games begin, it gives NBC more reasons to lie to their viewers

2/10/10 in Olympics, Summer   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

So, NBC will be lying to a great many viewers yet again starting Friday when they broadcast the Vancouver Winter Games Opening Ceremonies.  Bob Costas will continue to tell us he is "live" when for many many viewers that will not be the case.  You see, the Opening Ceremonies are scheduled to being at 6pm PST.  (9pm EDT).  But will NBC be broadcasting at 6pm?  Not if you are in the western half of the country.  What we get to see will be three hours old.  Sometimes, such a shift can be justified.  Like when the winter games were in Torino four years ago and it will be even further complicated four years from now when they will come from Sochi.  (Which is on the Black Sea in Russia).  But not this time...  And it certainly wasn't an issue when the Games were in Salt Lake City in 2002.  NBC taped everything then, too.  At least, for those of us in the Pacific and Mountain time zones.

One can indeed understand NBC's dilemma.  They pay a lot of money for the US rights to broadcast.  They should be entitled to try and make as much in return as they can.  But somehow I am thinking that delaying broadcasts to half the country is counter-productive.  NBC didn't delay the World Series when they had it.  It started at 5:00 pacific.  Not 8.  CBS didn't delay last weeks Super bowl to the west coast.  Even the world's biggest sporting event, the World Cup, has matches broadcast LIVE on ESPN and ABC.  Even if they come at 4am.  The CBC in Canada has been known for not delaying the Olympics.  I have not seen personally but have been told by multiple sources that the CBC shows live events even if they come in at odd hours.  For some reason, NBC is the only national broadcaster that feels the need to delay events.

One of the reasons NBC gives for the west coast delay is the local affiliates don't want to lose two weeks worth of evening news.  Which I will grant is a legitimate grievance as well.  However, in today's media, many stations have multiple places to broadcast their news.  And use them.  In addition, is it too much to ask for the affiliates to shift their schedules a bit for big special events like the Olympic Games?  They only come around once every two years, you know.  Perhaps to NBC, it is.

This can bring in consequences.  For example, for the last 20 years the Bay Area has been the highest rated region for Olympic viewing.  The Bay Area loves their Olympics.  But two years ago, with all the delaying tactics NBC had, it seemed the Bay Area had enough.  The regional ratings for the Beijing games dropped from #1 to #15 nationally.  The same thing happened up and down the West Coast.

It seems to me that the viewers have finally started to take umbrage at being told over and over that something will be live, when we all know it isn't.

NBC...  If you are going to delay the games, at least stop insulting the viewers intelligence.
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2/14/10   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Well, I stand corrected.  NBC USED to have live daytime coverage.  But thus far, ALL of their daytime coverage has been tape delayed.  

It is truly pathetic.

2/13/10   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

I live in British Columbia and luckily my Satellite provider allows "time shifting" so i watched it live on NBC Detroit.  I am now watching it on NBC Seattle so I can share it with some of my west coast American friends.  And yes, when CBC was broadcasting the Olympics, they did show them live, regardless of the time.  However, CTV has the broadcast rights for the Olympics in Canada this year. I just checked the schedule and broadcast begins at 4am MST.  What exactly will start at 4am, I'm not yet sure, but that's when coverage starts

2/12/10   |   westernflyer

ML31 wrote:
Yes...  He will be live....  To the east coast!   Not in the west.  That is my point.

I am an intelligent, educated person who believes everyone should evaluate, consider and see the other side of every argument or decision. I am sorry to say that in this case all I can say is NBC SUCKS.

2/10/10   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

WISAC1 wrote:
bob costas is live. the rest of the stuff is taped. i like the line, lets take you live  to (whatever venue) and the sun is out. but behind bobby boy the flame is glowing in the dark. good job idiots.

Yes...  He will be live....  To the east coast!   Not in the west.  That is my point.

2/10/10   |   WISAC1   |   6711 respect

bob costas is live. the rest of the stuff is taped. i like the line, lets take you live  to (whatever venue) and the sun is out. but behind bobby boy the flame is glowing in the dark. good job idiots.

2/10/10   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

justinedward wrote:
WHO CARES! It's the games opening ceremonies.

It's not just those.  It's anything that happens during the day NBC thinks will garner a large audience, they will time shift the event.  Or, if it is already scheduled for between 5 and 8 pacific time, they will delay it to the Pacific and Mountain time zones.

2/10/10   |   justinedward   |   31 respect

WHO CARES! It's the games opening ceremonies.

2/10/10   |   nikitapianzov   |   13 respect

well this is dumb, even though i love nbc channel, many good sporting events and good and funny shows it needs to fix this problem, if its in northamerica then broadcast it live to whole country, if its in different contenent then you tape it, dont lie, wow

2/10/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

Again the Western and Mountain Time Zones get the double middle finger from NBC Olympic coverage.  

2/10/10   |   Lizzo   |   324 respect

ML31 wrote:
I will add this... The coverage that is farmed out to NBC's cable outlets (MSNBC, CNBC, etc) will actually be LIVE. But only because those cable stations don't have the capacity to delay anything. It will only be the things that are on the main NBC network that will be delayed. With the lone exception, perhaps, of the daytime weekend coverage. I will also add this... NBC, like ABC before them, know their Olympic audience well. This may sound sexist but the demographics show it... The Olympics are watched by more women than any other sport. Male viewers are more accustomed to sports being live and crave them to be live. The female viewers for whom the only sports they watch are the Olympic Games, are not as concerned with that. This is also why you get so many "personal story" type segments. To appeal to the non-die hard sports viewers who DO watch the Games. That being said, I do not see why the broadcasters can't take steps to accommodate BOTH.

Spot on with this assessment.  I really don't care much for the personal stories because I follow so many sports and read so much, they rarely tell me anything new. I really miss the segments they used to do about the hosting country and the various venues. Lots of cool scenery to compliment the coverage, not try to create drama. But, as bad as NBC coverage is, I will still be glued to the tube at every opportunity.  I love the Olympics!

2/10/10   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

I will add this... The coverage that is farmed out to NBC's cable outlets (MSNBC, CNBC, etc) will actually be LIVE. But only because those cable stations don't have the capacity to delay anything. It will only be the things that are on the main NBC network that will be delayed. With the lone exception, perhaps, of the daytime weekend coverage. I will also add this... NBC, like ABC before them, know their Olympic audience well. This may sound sexist but the demographics show it... The Olympics are watched by more women than any other sport. Male viewers are more accustomed to sports being live and crave them to be live. The female viewers for whom the only sports they watch are the Olympic Games, are not as concerned with that. This is also why you get so many "personal story" type segments. To appeal to the non-die hard sports viewers who DO watch the Games. That being said, I do not see why the broadcasters can't take steps to accommodate BOTH.

2/10/10   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

NBC's coverage of sports sucks, period.

2/10/10   |   ary201   |   213 respect

Good topic! I HATE that NBC does it. Play it twice if you want, I just want to see this stuff live!

It's insult to injury that I live in SEATTLE, less than 200 miles away and I'm going to be seeing these event 3 hrs AFTER people in New York or Boston?