I love the Olympics. But I have to say this season, I'm hating the coverage.
It doesn't even have to do with NBC running a really dumb Ryan Seacrest interview with Michael Phelps instead of showing the 7/7 tribute during the opening ceremonies.
It has to do with a few things:
(1) Tape delays. Yes, I know that the ratings aren't bearing me out on this one. We know what happened because the results are available, but people are still watching a lot in prime time anyway. My guess on this is that people are just going to watch the Olympics anyway; it doesn't matter what they show. But if I know who won the race or the game, I don't really need to see it.
(2) The stories. I know, they're aimed at getting more female and youth viewers. But I'm into sports. That's what I want to watch.
(3) Picking the sports. NBC is primarily showing sports that Americans are involved in, getting medals in, or likely to win medals in. But there's a whole lot of great sport going on that we're not seeing. We get a lot of swimming and gymnastics and volleyball (don't get me wrong, I love volleyball), but not a lot of handball (which looks like a lot of fun) and badminton and soccer.
Coverage has been so widely disliked, there's a popular Twitter hashtag at
Worse, it's probably about the money, not just questionable judgment. NBC dropped something like $2 billion to show the next few Olympics – in an age when more and more people are watching on mobile devices.
What do I want to see? Stuff I can't see all the time. I want fencing, handball, and the ability to pull up whatever I want whenever I want and watch it live without guest commentary from sports celebrities like Ryan Seacrest. Wait, what? Yeah, why is he even in the mix? NBC actually has sports guys, and Seacrest is doing the Olympics?