Olympic Whining

I have roughly the same reactions as Kevin Drum to all the Olympic whining (about tape-delaying events)

  1. NBC paid an absurd amount of money for the games.  Of course they are going to show the best stuff in prime time
  2. Lots of people have jobs where they can't watch all day.  They value the tape delay
  3. If you want to watch it, it's all streaming over the Internet.  Every damn match.  I have had fun sampling stuff I am not exposed to much, from team handball to skeet shooting to archery to cross country equestrian.  The kayaking was a favorite of mine, in particular (though the purpose built kayaking stadium seems a government boondoggle of epic proportions).  And all of it (with the exception of the sailing, can't figure out what the hell is going on) works great without commentaries, frequent commercials, or relentless human interest stories.

I have heard tell that NBC put spoilers in their evening news coverage.  This seems to be a mistake -- if you are going to tape delay, then as a network you need to be consistent with this policy.  But since I don't watch the network evening news, I am safe.

Best broadcast TV moment of the games:  The first commercial after Phelps lost the 200m butterfly by hundreths of a second in an uncharacteristic finishing mistake, we get the Morgan Freeman-narrated commercial about Michael Phelps winning by a hundreth of a second last Olympics and wondering how great it would be if it happened again.  Priceless.



  1. TJIC:

    > the purpose built kayaking stadium seems a government boondoggle of epic proportions

    But think of the multiplier effect!

  2. Matt:

    I don't think England has any natural rivers sutible for the kyaking events.

  3. James H:

    Don't fear the spoilers, they warn you when they're going to reveal results so you can look away from the screen. They don't read the results, just display them on the screen and tell you when you can look again without seeing the results.

  4. HockeyDad:

    The issue seems to be that watching online is only possible if you have cable or Dish Network, as NBC is requiring a "pay tv" provider login through the NBCOlympics.com homepage. This has led to lots of people learning about how to VPN to a UK server via TunnelBear or similar, thus circumventing the US-only NBC login issue. Unintended consequence: tech education!

  5. KR:

    You can't "spoil" a sports event, unless you are Biff Tannen and have a 2015 sports almanac. It happened, the result is out there. If you want to wait and watch it later and be surprised, that's on you.

    Also, the other issue is that NBC's website doesn't work very well. Tried to watch some of the events live and it stuttered and locked up through the whole thing. May have been a server load issue -- later watching a less popular event live I didn't have as much trouble. Or else they are purposely sabotaging the events that they tape-delay for prime time. *tinfoil hat*

    NBC is doing better about showing things on TV though: I've seen the archery and cross country equestrian and canoe/kayaking on TV this year. Canoe/kayak has been one of my favorite events since 1992, so I always try to catch it. Sometimes they build an artificial whitewater course specifically for the Olypmics, sometimes one already exists (I believe the one in Barcelona did IIRC), sometimes they use an actual river (Atlanta, though the kayaking took place in Tennessee).

    As far as "of course they are going to delay it to prime time", the Canadian stations don't pull that crap despite being in the same time zone. If NBC wants to reshow the events later on, that's fine and I'm sure there's an audience for that (people at work or whatnot), the problem is when they don't show the event as it happens just to be obstinate.

  6. BCM:

    Totally thought the same thing about the Phelps olympic commercial right after the 200!

  7. MingoV:

    The whining is somewhat justified for the tens of millions of American viewers who do not have broadband internet.

  8. Thomas:

    Except James H. Today Show promos...

    My simple response about now live feed is three letters... DVR. Air it all live, no spoilers and let them rebroadcast prime time whatever they want. Best of both worlds and less BS.

  9. Ariel:

    OT, but my take on the Olympics is that all of it should be in the nude, with appropriate harnesses for scrotum and breasts. No prurient interest here, but after reading how hi-tech clothing can mean a win or a loss (measured in 10ths of a second) I'm going with the only real record is unclothed. Body shame notwithstanding.

  10. Ben:

    What are the www addresses for watching all events of the Olympics?

  11. Another guy named Dan:

    @Ariel - equalling the field as far as equipment and attire has already happened in swimming. You may have noticed that the one piece, full body suits are not around any longer. The swimming federation has put strict rules into place regarding the materials that competition suits can be made from (woven or knit nylon/spandex only, no more custom molded neoprene), and decreed that they can extend no lower than the knee and no higher than men's navels or women's clavicles.

    This is also why the number of world records recorded at the games has dropped dramatically, as the "technical" suits were found to give about 0.05 to 0.1 seconds a lap advantage.

  12. caseyboy:

    Hush up on the tape delay. I've been winning a lot of bets with people in the sports bar (Obama supporters probably).

  13. caseyboy:

    Did I write that out loud?