Saturday, August 4, 2012
Olympic TV Coverage Still Not Quite Right
3 Scoops of Bosco (out of 5)
Review by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco
While the television coverage of the 30th Summer Olympiad has certainly come a long way since NBC took over the franchise in the 1980's...there is still work to be done to make it better.
First of all, this is the first year that we can see all events live as it happens over the internet on nbcolympics.com. Which is a step in the right direction but the only thing is you have to prove that you have a subscription to a cable TV service or Satelite TV provider. Which in essence means it's not free.
Secondly, you can see many events live as they happen on NBC affiliate Cable networks like Bravo, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, etc. But again, you need to have cable or satellite television. Which, again, means it's not really free.
NBC is already charging high rates for advertisers to hawk their goods during the Olympics. Why do they get to charge us coming and going?
The basic premise of having advertisements during any television program is so we don't have to pay for the service of watching the show. In theory, we pay for it when we go out and buy the advertiser's product. NBC shouldn't be able to have the best of both worlds.
What they should be doing is following the example of CBS and how they cover the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
That event is on Commercial television totally live. They slide from game to game as it happens. It is really quite compelling.
CBS allows the local affiliates to choose games of interest to the locality. (For instance UCLA games in the LA area or North Carolina State on the East Coast) CBS also has games on other cable networks as well. And their internet coverage is totally at no charge.
NBC should follow suit. The London Olympics would have been perfect for this.
Live coverage on NBC Commercial television should start at 12:30 AM Pacific Time/ 3:30 AM Eastern Time and continue until the last event is over at around 1 PM Eastern time. They could go from event to event as it happens. They should forgo all the other shows like The Today Show. The hosts could still anchor the coverage, but we can really go without the Today Show for a couple of weeks.
The other thing NBC could do, as the NCAA Tournament does, is provide events that are of interest to each of the areas. For instance, this week in our area, we had a Southern Californian competing for a gold medal in the Butterfly and Backstroke. We should be able to see that live on commercial television while maybe the people in the Midwest would have been watching the young lady from Ohio that won the first USA Olympic gold medal in Judo.
And the last thing...Have a "Best of" show in primetime when there is no events happening (as they do now), keep the cable television station coverage on MSNBC, Bravo, etc. as it is but the Internet coverage should be free unless they are not going to show commercials.