Deadspin readers have been writing in all day to complain about NBC and their less than comprehensive coverage of the Winter Olympics. I've compiled some of the angriest rants for your enjoyment.
Some of the emails have been edited for length, but I think the essential grumpiness is still apparent. Take a look.
NBC paid a gazillion dollars to broadcast the games, right? So why didn't they schedule the indoor events (speed skating, ice skating, curling) and the outdoor events that could be held at night (half pipe, moguls) during evening hours when they could be broadcast live? And I don't want to hear their whining about how the Olympic committee schedules stuff—he who pays schedules everything!
Last night, NBC spent 1.5 hours on men's alpine & men's cross-country snowboard (an event that is actually too stupid to broadcast, but that's a rant for another time) when everyone knew who the winners were! Figure skating was live but since the couples who could win a medal weren't scheduled to start till 10 est, we got a tape delay of men's skiing. I was shocked given that skating usually pulls in a higher viewing audience...but then I remembered—oh, NBC's Olympic coverage sucks!
Our house is 100 miles from Vancouver, BC. We are watching Olympic events as much as 18 hours after they happen thanks to the tape delay. As a result, we are now DVR'ing the TV coverage, fast-forwarding over the extraneous crap, and watching the few minutes of coverage NBC deigns to share with us. Sunday's Olympic coverage, for instance, went till 3 a.m. Pacific.
I'm only sorry I didn't have the idea a couple of weeks ago, but I wonder if asking the Canadian government for political asylum during the Olympics would be a good idea. NBC is holding an entire nation hostage. Again. Shouldn't this be grounds under the Geneva Convention or something?
I don't have cable...which means that a lot of my daily sports come from Universal Sports. So I've gotten into Alpine Skiing and every week I've been watching the World Cup events. As you can imagine, I was looking forward to the Olympics soo much...not only did the Americans have LV as a strong contender, but I've gotten to follow the other skiers (Svindal, Reich, Cuche, Janka, Grange, Osborne-Paradis, Defago,etc.)
So right now, I'm so fucking mad at the travesty that is NBC's coverage. I almost threw myself out of a window when I realized that I had missed the Men's Downhill. I don't mind the advertisements (I'm a marketer and I know those games costs money) but I'm outraged, FUCKING OUTRAGED! at what little sports has been shown. Not only that, but I think the Olympics Committe thought that the death of the Georgian guy was the best thing that could have happened to them because now FREAKING LUGE is on primetime!!!
I'll tell you, I think I'll ban NBC for the rest of my freaking life after this.
The other problem I had was the ski jump. People speeding down an incline and then launching farther than a football field through the air has to be about the coolest thing, right? Not if you watch on NBC! The shot of every competitor was a close up that fit just them in the screen. You know in how in The Aviator, Howard Hughes puts his movie on hold because there are no clouds in the sky and planes flying without clouds around provides no frame of reference and you can't tell they are moving? That's what this was like, basically you have a stationary guy first crouching, then pointed awkwardly, then suddenly landing. What is the point of this close up? Does the average person have enough knowledge of this sport to look at these people's technical performance? "Oh, I don't like how his ankle is cocked there. He's making a big pocket in the middle!" No, just show people flying through the air already!
With both Curling and Men's Hockey starting today, I expected NBC's live online coverage to come into good use. So imagine my utter shock and outrage when I clicked to watch the feed of Norway vs. Canada in men's curling and this screen came up.
Apparently, in order to watch live coverage, I have to pick the name of my cable or satellite provider and then sign in with my username and password for that provider. And that is a major roadblock for me, because as a graduate student living on campus, I don't have an account with a cable or satellite provider. As such, NBC has completely blocked me from watching any live online coverage for the entire Olympic Games ... I am also forbidden from watching full event replays on NBC's Olympics website, a la on demand, because that is also classified as "Premium Content".
As such, if I want to watch a replay of this morning's curling matches, I need to pray that NBC is kind enough to replay it on one of their TV channels, or kill myself and hope that in a metaphysiological mix-up it somehow flashes before my eyes.
I too am extremely upset with the coverage by NBC. When they completely didn't show any speed skating last night in prime time i was furious at them. I think however that emailing them will do nothing. They own the rights and they are going to do anything they want regardless of what we think. I mean we've already seen how bad they manage their network, what makes you think that they will change their ways?
Just to add to the already-lengthy list of complaints about NBC, I would like to add this tidbit that further illustrates just how lobotomized their (and Comcast's) conception of the way media works now really is. Like they did with Sunday Night Football and the last Summer Olympics, NBC apparently decided to stream their Winter Olympic coverage online. Awesome! I'm broke, don't have cable, and my supposedly-effective-but-actually-annoying-as-shit-digital-antenna doesn't get me NBC. Luckily, I have some bomb-ass internet that I PAY GOOD MONEY FOR (foreshadowing) from Comcast. And yet....now NBC wants me to login to my cable provider account. I'm a little suspicious, but whatever, I got Comcast! They're like fuck buddies with NBC or something. But hold on a sec! Turns out that my internet-only plan with Comcast isn't good enough. That's right, that $40 a month that I spend on the internet apparently doesn't pass muster to allow me access to a FEDERALLY MANDATED FREE SERVICE. Thanks, NBC. Thanks for making me want to pull a Nodar Kumaritashvili.
Last night I had to suffer through 4 hours of figure skating to see 30 minutes of downhill skiing and snow cross. Now I was already pissed because I knew the results of both the events I wanted to see because of ESPN, Yahoo and virtually every other major media site, but additionally had to put up with Figure skating.
In a royal F you to real sports fans everywhere NBC has foregone playing interesting sports and replaced them with figuring skating and other sports that will bring in a "larger audience" but really they are just isolating a more profitable market of 18-35 year old males.
I hate being cockteased by Costas saying "Let's head over to the Oval where we have men's Speed Skating" only to sit through 2 minutes of them showing a zambonie that can't do its job. Then they go back to Costas where he says we have skiing after these commercials. WE JUST HAD A COMMERCIAL!
The Olympic coverage on NBC this year has been outrageous. The only event that I actually watched ad was able to pay attention to was Apollo's miraculous victory served up by a selfish Korean skater. Other than that, I actually saw that Bode Miller was racing yesterday afternoon and actually made a conscious effort to sit down and watch. No where on any of NBC's networks could the race be seen until primetime that night. Are you shitting me? I couldn't believe it. I would rather turn off the tv and do fucking homework. So that's what I did.
These NBC productions obviously sold out a long time ago. There is little hope for a network that has Al Michaels do a fucking intro to a movie preview several times throughout the day. Is this what it has come to? As a 3rd year journalism major, I hope not. It is nothing like we are taught and it is a disgrace to all of us.
On Sunday afternoon, I tuned in eagerly to watch the men's luge - a German, Felix Loch, was leading and thus giving my home country a first chance at gold starting at 6:15 ET, as NBC's website dutifully informed me.
So I hauled ass to get home by 6:30. No luge. No luge at 7. No luge until 8. But then, after the news, there it is! And just in time! The medal candidates are on the track! What a perfect time to share the excitement with my friends back home on Twitter!
Which was when I discovered the joys of the NBC "We're-just-fucking-with-you-now" ten-minute tape delay. Nothing inspiring like seeing your country's first gold medal come in 140-character form. Pure fucking Olympic spirit right there. Congratulations, NBC, you really raised your game this year.
Also, while writing this, I just missed 8 minutes of the Canada-Norway men's hockey game because MSNBC had to switch to Keith Olbermann, CNBC had to finish summing up the curling event they had been showing prior, and both networks then had to cut to commercial. After which there were all of two minutes left in the period. Followed by a fucking 20-minute intermission. So just to be clear, every other show anyone watches goes off the air for the duration of the Olympics, but Keith fucking Olbermann has to come on the air on time OR THE EARTH CRASHES INTO THE SUN AND WE ALL PERISH.
Fuck you, NBC. You've got me at the point where I'm rooting for LOST tonight, just so you go out of business
So I want to watch Canada-Norway, men's hockey, first Olympics hockey I can see. At 7:30, I go to CNBC, the channel it's supposed to be on. They're showing Women's Curling, which hasn't finished. They make no mention of the hockey broadcast that's supposed to start. I flip over to MSNBC (lest you wonder why I didn't try NBC itself, I'm smart enough to know that the god-given sport of figure skating trumps all other Winter Olympic sports in the eyes of the fuckbrains at NBC), and they're showing Women's Hockey, USA-Russia, which was in the third period, and was 12-0 America. They refused to jump over for the start of the Canada-Norway game. They'd rather show the last 3 minutes of a fucking 12-0 game, and again, no mention of where/when the men's hockey would be shown. After the 12-0 game was finished, they then finally switched over to Men's hockey, already over 5 minutes into the game. I thought the madness was over. But no. During a Canada power play, with seven minutes left in the period, the announcers that the game is switching to CNBC, and they take a commercial break. I switch over to CNBC, which was also on commercial. They get back from the commercial break, STILL AT THE FUCKING CURLING RINK, and say that they're switching over to men's hockey, RIGHT AFTER THESE MESSAGES. A fucking double commercial break. When the game finally came on, the power play was long over, and there were 2 minutes left in the period.
Fuck you, NBC. Dicks.
It does suck. I realized this with the Men's Downhill. They only showed the three medalist,the American 2nd best finisher, the token Canadian (who crashed) and a couple others from the ski powers of the world. worst.coverage.ever. In the past, they showed more races and attempted some drama. Not this time..it's like they expect you to not look away from the TV on the evening news or look at the web for the results.
I realized tonite that this is the formula, as they did this with women's luge. Medal winners and the two best Americans, that's it. Worst part of all, NBC denies us the perverted cheap thrill. You don't see these chicks in their tight suits, get up off the sleds and show off their bods, except for the gold medalist, who had a nice arse. They go too fast to even get a glimpse of camel toe!
Meanwhile, as you watch the womens SBX, (Shorter Banks, NC?), you wonder what men's figure skating your missing. Speaking of which, that is the best thing of the Olympics..NBC is keeping a very heavy lid on Scotty Hamilton's over-the-top commentary, which has been minimal so far, but it's the only thing that can be more over-the-top than Johnny Weir's outfits.
I hope Jeff Zucker is fired by Trump on live TV..just for kicks.
[Ed. note: Needs more camel toe. Got it.]
Just in case you haven't already heard, the live stream of the US-Switzerland game was broken for most of the 1st period. It seems someone was asleep at the switch and forgot to switch the curling stream over to the hockey stream, as hockey was stuck at "Coming up!" status while curling was "LIVE now!"... even though curling was over and several minutes were ticking in the hockey game (you know, the only streaming event anyone outside of Canada cared about today).
The pxp crew NBC is using to cover the Finland-China women's hockey game on CNBC isn't even in the same building as the game is occurring, unless all the seats were painted blue during the intermission. (In the "booth" shot during the int., an arena full of empty red seats was visible behind the pxp crew.)
Also, I continue to be thoroughly pissed off that NBC is tape-delaying everything for us West Coasters. Sorry, I have a job, I can't spend two weeks north of the border to watch everything live. And really, does Brian Williams need that much MORE face time beyond what he's getting during the Olympics that he still has to have his Nightly News?
Props to Comcast for adding TSN and CTV to their Northwest lineup — oh, wait, they didn't do that. At all. Since CBC didn't win the Canadian TV contract, we're totally fucked here in the Seattle area.
Just one more quick anecdote about trying to watch the Olympics on NBC. While watching the Canada vs Norway men's hockey game on MSNBC, during the second period it goes to a regular commercial but then comes back to the opening credits of "Countdown with Keith Oberman". No warning, no information about if the game was going to continue or switch to another NBC family channel. We did finally find it on CNBC and continued to watch it but all of us watching were very disappointed at NBC's lack of any level of professionalism.
Why in the world should any of us expect a network who values Jay Leno over Conan to know how to appeal to anyone under the age of 63 years old?
NBC - Nothing But Cocksuckers
I was just talking about it last night with a friend of mine. Both of us are Canadian and have been totally impressed with the coverage here. They've got it live on at least 3 channels at all times to catch everything, plus 2 channels in french with their own coverage, and the main CTV channel doing live coverage as well as interviews and regular news breaks.
Thought you might find it interesting that NBC actually cut out some of the opening ceremonies. There was a song done in French with a few flag presentations to represent our French heritage. NBC cut the entire segment. I get that a lot of people in the US probably don't speak French, but that doesn't mean you should just cut it out!
The only way the 2010 games get better is if Hongcouver suffers an earthquake and the entire global warming gay ass place falls into the ocean ...
Gold fucking medal
My roommate and I were lamenting last night about how poor the coverage and camera work is, specifically during the figure skating when one of the skaters wasn't even in the frame. I said, "well, NBC knows they are going to lose money on this operation, so why send a full team or even a completely trained team, what difference does it make?"
Also, I was annoyed that per Twitter, I knew the results of the Snowboard Cross race, and had to stay up till 11pm to see a race that I already knew the result