I love the Olympics. Always have. My earliest Olympic memory is from 1984, when Mary Lou Retton was every girl’s role model, playing “gymnastics” in our front yard. And I’ve been a sucker for it ever since.
But a lot has changed since 1984.
NBC doesn’t seem to have received the memo.
See, they paid a bajillion dollars to carry Olympic coverage exclusively in the U.S. This means their family of networks–MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBC Sports, and your plain ol’ run-of-the-mill local NBC affiliate–is the only place in America you can watch the games. Not even on the Internet can you watch, because if you have an IP address originating from the United States of Money, those YouTube live streams are blacked out.
But that’s (almost) not the worst of it.
Take this article, which highlights the inane commentary of Matt Lauer and Bob Costas during the opening ceremonies. Do they even want to be there? Or consider that NBC chose to cut this beautiful part of the ceremony in favor of yet another press sit-down with Michael Phelps.
And tonight, as Bob Costas started “prime-time coverage,” he said that all coverage would be aired spoiler-free, completely ignoring the fact that most of us already knew most of the results. By the way–there’s no reason NBC needed to wait until 8:30 tonight to air the first Phelps-Lochte showdown. While that was happening live in London, I was watching a tape-delay of a different sport.
And it makes me wonder…maybe NBC doesn’t know there’s an Internet. I can still access bbc.co.uk here in the states and get all the Olympic results I want. I follow news organizations on Twitter that tweet live results.
NBC doesn’t get it. As someone else tweeted tonight, would ESPN even THINK of time-delaying Wimbledon? The French Open? Soccer?!? No.
My only hope is that NBC gets it together by 2014. They can’t do this again. The world has changed. Acknowledge it.