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Author Topic: Olympics on TV  (Read 4420 times)
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Desmond
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2004, 08:49:17 PM »

OK, I'm back with something I planned to write before the Aaron Piersol thing broke.

The web site Jump the Shark has become famous for trying to figure out when popular television shows went downhill.  The site has a section about the Olympics.

Those who posted to the online forum cited many reasons for the decline of the TV coverage, including host Bob Costas, musician John Tesh (back when he covered gymnastics), the end of the Cold War rivalry, the inclusion of professionals in certain sporting events, and--my theory--the de-emphasis of sports in favor of a soap opera look.

A few said that the Olympics haven't "jumped the shark," but, tellingly, all of them cited the CBC coverage out of Canada.  They love the fact that CBC covers all events live, regardless of where in the world the Games are held.  One respondent even said that a Boston newspaper posts the names of bars that show CBC during the event.

Do you think that the International Olympic Committee can pressure NBC into changing its Olympic coverage here in the U.S.?  Naah, they just get too much money from them.
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ronbarnes77
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2004, 09:47:42 PM »

desmond what happen was this the official at first said that piersol made an illegal turn but did not use "official language" to explain the violation.the appeals jury then used this excuse to overturn the call.also i like the fact that nbc shipped out the soccer coveragr to telemundo(in spanish of course!).
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Desmond
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2004, 03:47:09 PM »

More on the violation from the NBC telecast:  

The swimming federation gave two reasons the protest were upheld.  First, the written and spoken explanations were not consistent, and second, the original complaint was in neither English or French, which are the two official languages of the Olympics.

After watching the replays, I don't think the kick was illegal.

Also, the feature on the Greek baseball team was actually interesting and very good.  I must give NBC credit for once.
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ronbarnes77
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2004, 10:09:34 PM »

also desmond apparently the official is still claiming that he called it correctly .now i saw the replay several times and i don't think he violated the rules either. the silver medalist also agreed and by the way this guy is a class act if you ask me.
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Desmond
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« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2004, 04:46:18 PM »

It's now time for the fourth PT-109 Awards of this Summer Olympic Games.  It goes to NBC itself (no surprise) for some of the commercials shown during daytime coverage.

For those of you who complain about the ads during NASCAR telecasts, well, be grateful that you aren't hit with ads for shampoo, pain relievers, and cosmetics.  These commercials belong more on soap operas than sporting events, but then again, remember that NBC treats the Games as a soap opera anyway.

And those who complain about missed restarts at races due to TV ads?  It happened repeatedly during the portion of the show Saturday in which U.S. men's basketball "not-so-dream team" lost to Lithuania.  They were late coming back at least five times and some baskets were not shown.  Besides, the commercials just don't match up with what basketball fans typically see on TV.

At night, the ads are more representative of a sports event, but I think there are still some cosmetic/beauty ads.

P.S. Promos for the Southern, er, Pop Secret 500 weekend race are already airing on NBC.  We already know that France and Helton are wrecking tradition, now they remind us every half hour or so Tongue

P.P.S. The U.S. beat Angola 89-53 this morning.  Just what they needed Smiley
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ronbarnes77
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« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2004, 06:37:06 PM »

hey desmond let me get your thoughts on the whole paul hamm thing okay?
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Desmond
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2004, 04:51:42 PM »

Ron,

Paul Hamm should not have to share his gold medal with the Korean, as some have suggested.  

Obviously, the precedent is the duplicate gold awarded to Canadians in pairs figure skating in 2002.  But the difference is that the results in this year's gymnastics was based on an honest mistake, not on corruption.

Also, did you see and hear the brutal crowd reaction after Alexei Nemov was given a low score in last night's high bar finals?  Hamm couldn't perform for about nine minutes as the fans insisted that the judges change the Russian's scores.  No matter: Hamm won the silver and Nemov finished fifth.

But the point was made, as mob rule hit the arena.  Much like Talladega in April, except that nobody threw anything.

I just wonder if gymnastics officials will install something like green-white-checkers to ensure it doesn't happen again :roll:
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ronbarnes77
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2004, 07:07:57 PM »

i feel that thew ioc should award  the korean a second gold medal  because  he would have won " but  for"  the judges mistake. it's unfair to have this guy's dream destroyed  because of something out of his control. also yes i saw the ruckus last night and i agree with the fans that score was way off  see the fans should boo because they pay the money and  anybody ignores them  tim dagett  talka about the gymmasts  deserving respect  but what about the gymmasts respecting the fans.
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kgregg
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« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2004, 08:46:39 PM »

Quote from: "Desmond"
It goes to NBC itself (no surprise) for some of the commercials shown during daytime coverage.


Have you seen any of the Olympics in HD?  If not, be very glad you haven't (the pic quality is stunning, by the way.... no complaints here!)  

NBC was not able to sell much commercial time on its HD broadcast of the Games (HD broadcast of Games is *completely* different content from non HD broadcast).  Sony was the only company to buy commercial time from NBC.  Sony made only ONE commercial to be shown.  This same "Hey Todd" commercial for a Sony tv is shown again and again and again.  It is enough to drive you to drink (nevermind, someone already drove me there)  

 :wink:
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ronbarnes77
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2004, 03:22:13 PM »

Cheesy i'm very glad i don't because i think that would drive me to start  drinking again
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Desmond
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« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2004, 04:06:32 PM »

I did see a few minutes of NBC HD last Saturday at an outdoor shopping mall in Irvine, CA.  I think it was sponsored by Cox cable, which serves the area.

I agree with Kevin's assessment of the picture.  It's something I would be interested in exploring if I had the money to purchase the necessary set and service.

Also, NBC has introduced 40-minute commercial free blocks between 10:45 and 11:25 p.m. ET/PT every night.  It was obviously made to compete with local newscasts on ABC and CBS affiliates.
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Desmond
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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2004, 04:23:42 PM »

It's time to name two new "winners" of the PT-109 Awards: Bob Costas and Dick Ebersol.

One of the great criticisms (at least here) of Fox coverage of NASCAR racing is that Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip insist on calling the action as if they were actually there.  Costas does something similar when NBC goes on the air at 8, 7 Central and Mountain every night.  He'll say something like, "Your dream of gold may well come true" or "You're trying to carry on a tradition."  Excuse me.  Is Costas secretly watching NASCAR coverage?  Or maybe Sam Flood gave him the idea after watching the competition.  After all, Flood (NBC/TNT NASCAR producer) is in Athens to produce track and field.

Ebersol is an easy target, but worth mentioning because he has admitted to the media that NBC doesn't cover the Olympics as a sporting event, as every other broadcaster in the world does, but as a "family entertainment special" (I think that's the quote from the Los Angeles Times).  As another reminder of this treatment, NBC aired a documentary Wednesday night about a form of the Olympic Games staged at Nazi prison camps.  The piece, narrated by Tom Brokaw, will re-air Sunday on Bravo.  Although Times critic Larry Stewart gave the piece a good review, it is still out of place at a "sports" telecast, just like the PT-109 feature in 2000 which inspired these awards.

One final thing: Miss the basketball games that USA Network has aired at 4:30 a.m. in this time zone?  Sorry, don't look for the highlights.  NBC holds them from rival TV stations/networks for a full 24 hours!  As Jim Rome says, "Nice!" :x
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Vivian
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« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2004, 08:17:36 PM »

Although I have not watched much of the games, I think they should award a second medal to the Korean.  Much as I have heard and seen, the judge was wrong and IMO, they both should get medals.
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Desmond
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« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2004, 07:39:30 PM »

The Olympic Games are almost over, with only the closing ceremonies left.  But NBC is pulling one more trick on the viewing public.

Right now, the men's marathon is being shown.  This is the last competition of the Olympic Games.  Then we'll see the closing ceremonies, right?  Of course not; this is NBC.

After the winner is determined in the marathon, it will switch to taped coverage of boxing (Andre Ward won for the USA in, I think, the lightweight class) and taekwondo this afternoon.  When NBC returns tonight, it will show the United States in men's court volleyball (lost to Russia, no bronze medal), and then we can see the Olympic flame snuffed out.

Dick Ebersol will never say it out loud, but he prefers Games in Europe or (even better) Asia/Australia because he can better manipulate the coverage with fewer live events.  Then again, this is the same Ebersol who spent $15,000 to find out who Carly Simon sang about in the 1970 hit song "You're So Vain," with the condition that he keep the subject's identity secret, just as Simon always has.  There's a connection there somewhere.

As for JW, he must have a crazy schedule again; no commercial posts since the Monday of the first week.

I'll have one final post tomorrow.
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Desmond
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« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2004, 09:32:17 PM »

The Olympic Games have ended, and, as promised, here is my final post on the subject.

First, here's a story NBC chose to ignore.  Justin Gatlin, winner of the men's 100-meter race, is coached by Trevor Graham.  Graham was the informer who helped break open the case against BALCO for supplying athletes for the new steroid THG.  It has since been reported that seven other athletes Graham has coached have tested positive, and that some of them have received bans.  As far as I know, none of this information has been reported by NBC.  

Newspaper columnist Bob Keisser has also accused NBC of covering up or underreporting other examples of anti-American sentiment at the Games.  Here's the entire article:

http://www.presstelegram.com/Stories/0,1413,204~23174~2366520,00.html

And another article from Keisser on the NBC coverage:
http://www.presstelegram.com/Stories/0,1413,204%257E23174%257E2367800,00.html

Other observations:
--I think that Jim Lampley should replace Bob Costas as main Olympic host.  He has more experience at the Games than Costas and sounds more interesting.
--Yes, this is American coverage, but since when has it turned into a public-relations machine?  The medal winners are interviewed on late-night coverage, on the Today show, and starting tonight, on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  In other words: overexposure.
--The cable networks have been invaluable.  Many sports appeared on these channels that the public haven't heard of, but how the sports were presented on TV no doubt fired a spark in someone that will lead to a new opportunity to compete in sports.  Not everyone can play football, basketball, or baseball (or can race cars).
--NBC gets an F in journalism.  They wasted Jimmy Roberts on trips to the plaka (a place like Times Square) and athlete profiles that could have been used to discuss serious issues like doping and the treatment of American athletes.  During the Paul Hamm controversy, NBC was clearly on Hamm's side, apparently unwilling to hear from the other side.

That's it for now.  On to Torino, Italy, February 2006 and the Olympic Winter Games.
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