Did you watch the closing ceremonies last night? That was something. Too bad towards the end NBC abruptly cut the broadcast off to show us The Marriage Ref. Yep, the show they promoted throughout the games was shown at 10:30 PM ET/PT and forcing viewers across the country to wait until 11:30 PM to watch the rest of the show from Vancouver. Obviously NBC’s ratings tactic worked to perfection, if only The Marriage Ref was actually getting good reviews would this move be considered “genius”. As you can expect, Twitter was abuzzing with angry messages towards NBC for this idiotic decision.
In many ways it was a fitting end to bar-none the worst broadcast of a global sports event I’ve ever seen. This includes the Beijing Olympics and ESPN’s 2006 World Cup disaster. There are so many things NBC just completely butchered when they should’ve been handling the Olympics in a competent manner. Here are my five “favorite” moments from the Peacock’s 17 days of ineptness.
5.) Oh look we missed a goal. With a lack of TV timeouts in the hockey, NBC tried to get those advertising dollars any way they could. Whenever there was a stoppage in play due to icing or an offsides call, they would try and sneak in a short ad before the next faceoff. However, on more than one occasion this backfired, as they broke out of commercial only to miss a goal during live action. Hey, we got to hear Morgan Freeman’s voice AT SOME POINT! Even if they had gone the entire tournament not missing a goal it still wouldn’t have been acceptable.
4.) Cutting away from the closing ceremonies. This of course should be higher on my list. But what prevents something as awful as what NBC executed last night from shooting up the board is the musical lineup that was given a 1 hour tape delay featured Nickelback and Avril Lavigne. In essence they did spare many of us the pain of listening to that tandem “sing”, but the alternative was just as bad.
3.) Michael J. Fox? Terry Fox? Rick Fox? By far the most hilarious moment in the past two weeks. It takes a lot to perform a perfect double screw-up like Today did. The researchers took the day off and Meredith Vieira clearly threw out tic integrity while doing this piece.
2.) The curling has gone into extra ends! What are we to do? A classic case of not communicating with each other led to further alienation of hockey fans. For three straight days the riveting curling on CNBC went into extra ends, it overran its alloted time and continued past the opening faceoff for the men’s hockey. The solution was simple. The hockey was switched to MSNBC until the curling was complete, BUT ONLY AFTER we witness the US women’s team clobber their opposition. Once that was over fans would get their hockey fix before being magically cut off just before 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT, because that’s when MSNBC’s coverage window is finished. Curling is complete however, so the transition should be seamless back to CNBC, right? Of course not. Doing something right is just not necessary when you can just wrap up the curling “highlights” and then go to commercial while the hockey game is being played!! Yes, as a result, several minutes of action was missed during these three days (and I believe a goal).
1.) Tape delay bonanza. I suggest reading the February archives of this blog for thoughts on how I really feel about something as stupid and backwards as this.
NBC didn’t care about the Olympics. It’s obvious for the country to see. The execs saw ratings for their dopey shows, dumb fluff pieces, and told everyone they sought the female demographic in primetime; why do you think you kept seeing figure skating and hearing Scott Hamtilton’s voice close to breaking? The worst part is they don’t even need to care as long as they are the only game in town. Ratings talk and NBC performed well despite delivering sub-standard coverage for an international sporting event.
There is a lot more I could discuss, including the constant patronization of Canada, their terrible announcers, and infatuation with the same 5 American athletes, but I’ve covered enough the past couple of weeks.
I for one enjoyed the 2010 Winter Olympics, awful coverage aside. After a pretty rough first week marred by tragedy, glitches, and criticism of the event courses, Canada proved to be fantastic hosts. Congratulations to the host nation for winning the most gold medals with 14, and they certainly “owned the podium” to a certain degree. Yesterday’s hockey game was as good an ending as it could get for a hockey-mad country looking to beat their fiercest rivals on home ice. It wasn’t the best outcome for the United States, but they gave the Canadians a great game. Too bad no one is going to care about this sport for another few years. Honestly there isn’t much more to be said about the events themselves, you watched it after all (live or tape delay)!
And so concludes a memorable Olympics for another two years. Bring on London 2012!