OLYMPIC COVERAGE – NBC NEEDS TO JOIN THE 21st CENTURY

29Jul12

After months of continuous promotion, the Olympic Games have finally begun.  This time around, the NBC network, with all of their branches (CNBC, MSNBC, etc.) has the monopoly on the televised coverage of events. 

What a golden opportunity for this network to prove that it is still a player in the television broadcast world.  Heck, MSNBC might even get some viewers for the next couple of weeks! 

Unfortunately for those of us that have been looking forward to watching this great event, NBC has decided to keep with the philosophy of twenty years ago.  That is to say, they are failing to recognize that modern technology is too advanced to present these games to us on an eight hour delay. 

I sat down yesterday with a smile on my face.  The stars had apparently aligned for me, as my schedule was going to allow me to sit in front of the big screen for nearly six hours uninterrupted so that I might be able to enjoy watching some exciting events play out before my eyes. 

With four or five stations televising at the same time, I was sure to be able to find something exciting to watch. 

Unfortunately for me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that has had to deal with this, everything that was being televised was already old news.  For example, while driving to the store in the morning, I heard the story of how Michael Phelps had finished fourth in his first event, thereby missing out on a medal.

 Later that afternoon, while watching the coverage of men’s swimming, I was able to watch his fourth place finish.  Whoopee!  Way to go NBC!  There’s nothing more exciting than watching a sporting event of this magnitude eight hours after finding out the results. 

I know, I know, I could have turned off my cell phone, computer, television, radio (and brain, for that matter) so that NBC could keep me on the edge of my seat. 

Here’s a better idea.  Let’s bring NBC into the 21st century.  They have a stranglehold (okay, take a minute to play out in your head that great intro to the Ted Nugent classic…..are you back?) on the televised coverage, but not on the information. 

Now that we have cell phones in every pocket, computers on every flat surface and things like Twitter and Facebook, information only takes seconds to make its way around the world.  When Phelps finished fourth in his race, the world knew about it instantaneously.  Eight hours later, they had moved on to the next big story. 

Actually, there were probably about fifty more big stories between his race and the NBC televised broadcast of it.  Which leads to the question on everyone’s mind…..WHY? 

Why has NBC chosen to play their coverage out as if we were still living in 1980? 

Why haven’t they figured out how to televise events as they happen? 

And more importantly, why should we continue to follow NBC for our Olympic Game coverage, when the rest of the media outlets have figured out that we are living in real time, not tape-delayed. 

I mean, c’mon, this isn’t brain surgery.  The world has evolved into an instant news society.  No longer are we willing to sit around for six, eight or ten hours waiting for the elites at the networks to work it into their schedule to let us know what is going on. 

The solution is simple, at least in theory.  Given that the games are being played between five and eight hours ahead of mainland USA, give your viewers a schedule of events that you plan on televising.  Then play them live! 

So what if that means that it may come across our screen while we’re asleep.  There are things like DVRs that can record enormous amounts of televised data (more of that annoying modern technology) so that we can wake up and watch the events before we are bombarded with the results. 

Make sure that the coverage is as close to continuous as possible.  It’s not like you’re going to get more viewers watching Rachel Maddow than the Olympics.  Your ratings might actually grow for a change! 

As I said, this is a golden opportunity for NBC to prove that it is still a player in the television broadcast world, or at the very least, remind people that they once were.  Unfortunately for the viewers, the network has decided not to go for the gold. 

 

Which, like Phelps on Saturday, will result in NBC failing to reach the winner’s platform!

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