Everyone Agrees: NBC's Olympic Coverage Sucks

I was only half-serious when I lamented how the lame non-live coverage by NBC was ruining Winter Olympics. (I'm in curling heaven now!) But apparently there are others out there boiling over with tape-delayed rage.

From reader Anomie M.:

I'm pretty enraged at how poorly NBC has covered the Olympics thus far. I can't even handle it. I watch for 2 fucking minutes, then receive a commercial. Then they show 2 more minutes of sports, then more commercials, and instead of returning to the sport they go to mother fucking Al Michaels to give us a melodramatic introduction to some piece of shit "human interest" fluff story. Finally, after that bullshit is over, they return to the "sport" (30minutes tape delayed of course). After 2-3 minutes of action the ~commentators~ (they're all horrible at their jobs, unsurprisingly) say, "We're in for some great stuff today folks! We've got a bunch of great skiing coming your way, and in the meantime why don't you check out what our friends over at Dreamworks have done. They've imagined what it'd be like to ski in the time of Vikings and dragons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Then we get a nice movie promo that nobody gives a shit about. Followed by commercials, including one telling everybody to watch prime time Olympic "coverage" tonight so they can get a "sneak peak" of Scorsese's new flick.

It's disgusting. The 2 minutes of coverage they actually show end up being full of USA teammate cockbreath, regardless of how skilled the USA teammates might be. He could be in last place and they just show him do his thing, then cut to a commercial.

Sure do hope they don't fuck up hockey though. Hockey coverage is bad enough here, and Olympics hockey is one of the rare ways for me to see more than 2 games a week.

Oh yeah, by the way. Dunno if you knew this by now, but over on the west coast they are getting a complete tape delay. Indeed, despite the fact that the Olympics are occurring on the west coast, they are getting an entire tape delay. They didn't even get to see the Opening Ceremonies live.

And reader Velta:

Honestly, this has been the WORST coverage of any olypics....action of sports cut by commercials and more commercials and then the ever boring interviews by guys who like to see themselves on TV and like to hear themselves talk and forget about showing us one uninterrupted event....the most distressing part was when at the opening ceremonies they couldn't wait to have ALL countries shown during their entrance, but the commercials were SO IMPORTANT. Please give the next olympics to a network that would show the sports uninterrupted and then show their commercials, and where we wouldn't have to wait until next day (on NBC, of course) to see who won what. This really sucks.

Even respectable bloggers are losing it. Henry Blodget has written at least three posts at Business Insider about how he had to explain to his weeping children why the men's downhill wasn't broadcast live. ("It's because you didn't eat your broccoli, son!") He is not taking it well.

So, right now, for us, NBC isn't the network that brings us the Olympics. It's the network that prevents us from watching the Olympics. And we hate NBC for that.

In the age of DVRs, Hulu, and mobile phone scoreboards, the pointlessness of NBC's broadcast strategy—Olympics and otherwise—has never been more obvious. People don't eat dinner during Nightly News then settle in for three hours of prime-time network programming anymore. They want things when they want them, not when NBC wants them. Even the network knows this. Another reader wrote to me saying that we should post the results of events as they happen to shame NBC and ruin their "secret" prime-time specials. And we totally would—if NBC didn't already do it for us. They aren't ignorant, just stubborn.

You can't keep people from finding out the results of Olympic events as they happen, so what is served by refusing to show them live? If they did, people who can't watch live will continue to tune into the nighttime highlight shows to see what they missed and everyone else might ... *gasp* ... watch more TV. Or they'll follow Henry's totally non-sanctioned advice and not watch NBC at all. That seems more and more likely.

Anyway, continue to send me your outrage about NBC's ongoing affronts to decency and we'll updating throughout the fortnight. Like Today's inability to distinguish between Canadians named Fox. They really do all look alike.

UPDATE: Email Dick Ebersol

NBC's Infuriating Olympics Tape Delays Have Sports Fans From Coast To Coast Rooting For Its Quick Demise [Business Insider]

UPDATE AGAIN: Now, NBC is just lying. The women's 10K biathlon is airing right now "live" on NBC's main channel. Provided "live" means, "completed"

Everyone Agrees: NBC's Olympic Coverage Sucks