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NBC Olympic Coverage - How are they doing?

Original post made by Brit, Palo Verde, on Jul 29, 2012

Searching through the internet, I have yet to find any satisfaction with NBC coverage of the Olympics. From no live broadcast coverage, to poor commentary and not enough coverage of the sport with too much chat and analysis rather than showing events, I think they are doing a very poor job.

My own gripe is that they did not show the tribute to the 7/7 terrorist attack in London the day after it was announced that London was going to be host from the Opening Ceremony due to the fact that it was not American enough! I am sure that most of my fellow countrymen would not think that any type of 9/11 tribute was too American! I also think most British people would be very upset that NBC to think that a taped interview was of more interest than a tribute to those who died.

Comments (25)

2 people like this
Posted by blessing
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm

My biggest complaint is the weird authentication process to see any coverage. Maybe those who've given up cable years ago are a bit ahead of the curve, but no doubt there's a general trend to web-based television overall, exactly when the Olympic-network deals are headed the opposite direction (at least in the US - Olympics free in 100+ countries). Can't wait to see what's required two and four years from now. A fax machine?

Thankfully the BT gods usually help when asked.

4 people like this
Posted by Brit
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 30, 2012 at 7:36 am

Here's a link to the 7/7 tribute that wasn't American enough for NBC to show, don't need to register just wait and it will come Web Link

2 people like this
Posted by RJ
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 30, 2012 at 9:49 am

Their "color commentary" for the opening ceremony was atrocious... they couldn't decide whether to let the PA announcers at the stadium talk, or whether they wanted to say the same thing. The flag ceremony was hamhanded.


That said, a beautiful event, nonetheless.

2 people like this
Posted by prime time
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 30, 2012 at 11:57 am

The prime time broadcast is awful. Slow paced made even slower by fluffy interviews instead in the middle of events. Awful commentary by biased announcers. The whole show is tape delayed by hours so everyone knows the results before the TV broadcast starts. They need to pick up the pace and show only highlights on these delayed shows.

2 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm


Thanks for the link to the 7/7 victims of the Islamists. Moving, in an abstract way. I forwarded it to my son, who was there on that day. A real shame that NBC decided to cut it.

1 person likes this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Underwhelming is the adjective I would use for the NBC coverage of the Olympics. I guess they have a much lower budget than in past.
I was watching NBC in the evening broadcast and gave up well before the end, owing to boredom. Another thing is still underway - the actual event coverage. I haven't liked the frequent adverts and cutting away mid-event, not giving appropriate context or perspective of the competitors/countries in some cases.
The lady who interviews the US swimmersright after they swim asks awfully basic questions (same lady at US Olympic trials)...Rowdy Gaines has knowledge/experience but is apparently cloistered away somewhere.
The NHS focus was pure political propoganda and should have been cut.
The segment with the Queen was clever.
I also dislike Ryan Seacrest, who I consider to be a nincompoop, doing interviews of athletes/major sports figures...can't they get appropriate, experienced sports journalists (even if for a fluffy feature piece)? Anything would be better than airheads with silly hairstyles. I guess Paris Hilton, the Kardashian mentality and LiLo HAVE taken over the world -sad for the state of the current target audience (I don't know exat demographic they are aiming at -- what, men and women ages 18-29 or something?)
I would prefer coherent, authentic "journalistic style" coverage of Olympic events with some perspective, overview of the Olympic village, metro London, is also fine. Phonied overblown select rivalries are a snooze nowadays...

1 person likes this
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm

"The lady who interviews the US swimmersright after they swim asks awfully basic questions"

I'm guessing you don't watch the NBA or NFL games. Same thing. Pretty sure there isn't anything that can be asked there or during any game that adds any value. Absolutely, completely the biggest waste of air.

"A good friend of mine used to say, 'This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.' Think about that for a while."

If that doesn't take you back, ya oughta re-up your netflix sub.

1 person likes this
Posted by FastForward
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Aug 1, 2012 at 11:26 am

Thanks or posting the link to that moving tribute to the 7/7 tragedy. I can imagine how it would played on NBC with those commentators talking us through the entire scene as if we were blindfolded kindergarteners.

As far as the sports coverage, the delayed broadcast is frustrating and behind the times. The commercials too - way too many and ill timed. Also, the coverage is too narrowly focused on American athletes. Sure we don't want to miss them but it is also a rare chance to see some other amazing athletes. The Olympics is an international stage and I feel like I am only peeking at it thru NBC's carefully aimed and biased binoculars.

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Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I like the NBC coverage that is on TV, but don't like that the on-line NBC coverage requires one to select a cable TV provider "user" code on the Web site in order to see the events over the Internet. I don't get the connection between having a cable TV provider and being allowed to see the Olympics streaming over the Internet. I get TV signals free over the air, so I can't get the Olympics over the Internet.

1 person likes this
Posted by dressage patronage thru taxes
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm

NBC paid billions to provide the Olympics and recoups via on-air advertising.

Should they be forced to provide coverage via the net for free?

They give you the over-the-air through the public spectrum because they can load it with ads.

Great opening ceremony, great sport events, terrible coverage for both.

Can't wait for dressage, so I can root for that horse we all paid our taxes to support.

1 person likes this
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Meadow Park
on Aug 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I know they have to recoup what they've paid; but, if I didn't have a DVR I don't think I could stand watching the parade of commercials. They appear to enter some phase of the competition that we've just missed because of the length commercials.

The announcers are very lame.

@dressage. I love it! We gave a $77K tax deduction from our in-the-red government wallet for Ann Romney's horse.

1 person likes this
Posted by Underwhelmed
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Boring! the gymnasts were amazing, can't understand how they do it! But the commentary is a) inaudible, b) non-stop. As though we don't understand what we are looking at.
Men's swimming, too long, repeats and repeats; then shows prior years race. give me a break.
Fawning over Phelps ad nauseum. I think his quest for more and more medals is not admirable. He just wants to beat the female who had the most medals. How many Olympic medals is enough?
Greed is greed.

1 person likes this
Posted by Rafalca
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

"How many Olympic medals is enough? Greed is greed."

We raise our children to compete. We compete.

Yet when a one in a million athlete does what he does best, to compete at the highest level with the best athletes in the world, someone expects him to throttle back.

You and I are clearly not on the same page.


I too, also wish to see the horse my taxes helped fund. Dance, Rafalca, dance!

1 person likes this
Posted by Ronnie
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm

That memorial segment was amazing! I can't believe they didn't show it. Deeply moving. As much as I like Phelps, it was a total fluff interview with "seacrest...out" where he basically said nothing. Very bad choice on NBC's part, especially when they could have aired the phelps "interview" as pretty much any other time.

1 person likes this
Posted by Hates_spoilers
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I'm tired of having the results announced before we've had a chance to see them. At 8 PM last night I was getting ready to sit down and watch the women's gymnastics all-around competition, only to hear the winner announced on NBC radio news. I can understand other stations trying to scoop them, but why NBC's own news show? Arrogant East Coasters as usual don't think we West Coasters matter.

In general I like the gymnastics commentary. It's useful to hear why the judges make some of their bizarre rulings.

As for Rafalka, how do you take a tax deduction on an expensive hobby?

1 person likes this
Posted by Lyn Hibbert
a resident of another community
on Aug 4, 2012 at 8:48 am

If I had to grade NBC on coverage I'd give them a grade A for Awful. They can give all the Nielson ratings they want because we have the coverage on all the other networks and the 1000 cable channels and then decided to wait and watch the awful NBC coverage.

4 people like this
Posted by @midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

I am very happy with the NBC coverage through Comcast this year. They run from 2 to 4 concurrent channels. For those who want processed content, channel 703 packages the highlights interleaved with commercials. For those who want to watch raw and live content, two 895 and 896 channels show continuous coverage without any commercial. I have watched great basketball and soccer on these latter channels.

1 person likes this
Posted by P ORourke
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I think the NBC Olympic coverage is very disappointing. Way too many commercials at the expense of not showing the actual events, especially in volleyball, way too much swimming, way too many preliminary trials, plus a lack of noting what exactly you are watching (medal, semifinals, etc-how about a graphic on the blasted screen? It is 2012. Is the the best we can do?

1 person likes this
Posted by Brit
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Here's an article by Yahoo which explains what BBC is doing, and doing so much better. Web Link

1 person likes this
Posted by Brit
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm

This evening NBC's coverage took the biscuit. Spending a large chunk of the precious prime time coverage to a documentary about WWII was bad sportsmanship! Covering the Olympics should be covering the Olympics, not history!

3 people like this
Posted by NBC hates children
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

What we hate the most about the NBC coverage is that they delay broadcasting the best events until after 11pm, after most children are asleep. What's up with that? Are they afraid that Usain Bolt will corrupt our children? I don't think any of his races were broadcast before 11pm on NBC.

1 person likes this
Posted by Brit
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Can't believe they interrupted the closing ceremony to show a pilot of a new sitcom, commercial free, and expect us to come back in an hour for the end of the closing ceremony!!!!

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Posted by Regular Guy
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I enjoyed it. We get only over-the-air broadcast, and thought it was interesting and entertaining. Sure, there were parts we enjoyed more and less, but overall it was great for us. We watched pretty much every evening, sometimes staying up late, and watched on and off all day today, starting with the basketball game. I'm sure some people didn't get what they wanted, but thought it was worthwhile to show that some of us think it is fine.

3 people like this
Posted by MY_Presidential_Picks_are_Atrocious
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2016 at 8:57 pm

Oh My...Women's Volleyball with Walsh-Jennings & Ross exaggerated flattery - Was the question really asked "Do you ever feel sorry for the other teams you beat?"

That's probably the height of American Arrogance.

7 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 11, 2016 at 10:06 am

We gave up on watching the Olympics. All the important events are after our kids' 10pm bedtime. Why is the prime time Olympics show just warmup events?

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