Olympic TV Coverage


Phil Mushnick of the New York Post offers some commentary on NBC’s coverage of the Olympic games:

The thing I don’t get is the public’s ugly response to NBC’s “coverage.” Every two years, those who grew to value the Olympics as a news/sports event — as opposed to taped and packaged primetime programming — rage as if they expected better, or even different, from NBC.

There are even intelligent folks who think that the IOC might be upset with NBC for what it has done to (that somewhat frightening and vague term) “Olympic movement.” [emphasis added] But as long as American TV remains the No. 1 underwriter of the Olympics, the IOC wouldn’t care if NBC showed speed skating in slow-motion and downhill skiing from the bottom up — unless the check bounced.

I find Phil’s comment I highlight most interesting because it is finger pointing and as much as he tries to dress up the criticisms as those of others they really sound as if they are his.

You know despite the tremendous unemployment rate there are still more people watching TV during prime-time than during the middle of the day. NBC can broadcast the events during the day but the complaints they would get from soap-opera watching couch potatoes would drown out those from those who were actively watching the Olympics.

Yeah, I find frustration in the fact that we do not get the full deal when it comes to skiing events but we can’t always get what we want. I find frustration, in the notion that “coming up” means “within the following two hours” rather than “immediately following”.

Fortunately, for us US skiers, the US Ski Team is taking care of business and this may spark better coverage of the ski events in 2014 when you will have a better chance at watching live coverage. This is because they will occur live at 2:00-4:00 am CST when nothing else is on. Just be careful you do not get Olympic-lag!

Good Stuff!


  1. I do not have TV reception where I live, So I cannot really speak to NBC’s coverage. But since it is broadcast for free and not something you have to subscribe to on ESPN, then I guess we really have no room to complain. I have been checking http://www.nbcolympics.com regularly and find the coverage and playback video of key runs to be exceptional. I have watched Bode’s Gold medal run like five times so far since it was posted to the web. Since there is no competitor that is also covering the games, we really have nothing to compare to. But, I have been happy myself so far with NBC.

  2. I’ve went to the NBC website you mention, but they require MS Silverlight and the version of Silverlight available to this MSphobe is not capable of viewing the online stuff. As you say, the coverage is provided free of charge and NBC has to make it at least pay for itself. My guess is the Olympics are viewed as a loss leader and hope they can make it up by enticing viewers to tune in for the shows they are pushing in the advertising.

    A lot of the people I am following on Twitter make a lot of noise about the coverage and are in general derisive of the non-ski events, especially figure skating. As bad as the coverage is, normal world cup skiing gets about 0 TV coverage in non-Olympic years and this is a case of appreciating what little we get. I need to get a new DirecTV receiver or remote so I can view my program search. One of my searches is on skiing and I used to watch World Cup skiing regularly, but now I am unable to access the search results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


thirteen + one =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.