NBC London Olympics Coverage

I’m not one of those NBC haters.  I think they’ve done a decent job with the coverage actually.  I do have some complaints, however and wish to air them so to speak.  But first, let’s talk about the good.  I love the different specialty channels – the soccer channel and basketball channel are two that I’m aware of and there may be more.  Flipping around on the cable box, you can find most any event – horse dancing, boxing, ping pong, cliff diving, croquet and the like.  The only thing I don’t like about the channels is that I’m never sure if the coverage is live or recorded.  The channels sometimes air encore presentations.  The mix of live and taped makes the games seem a little stale and disconnected.

I generally like the reporting.  Bob Costas is still the best anchor around.  Ryan Seacrest has been pretty good.  The commentators have done a nice job overall.  They seem to know the events well.  Analyst Cythina Potter is the best of the best.  She breaks down those complex dives like no one else in the business.  She isn’t a “homer” and gives fair critiques to all the divers.  Tim Daggert has been a little less neutral, but his commentary has been informative and on the “balance” fair.

As a Genesis and Peter Gabriel fan, I enjoyed the reference to Gabriel in the bike race.  One commentator said that Gabriel had a recording studio at the base of Box Hill, and said to the other that he might be too young to know who Gabriel is.  The younger commentator laughed and said I wonder if he also has a studio on Solsbury Hill, a reference to an old Gabriel favorite recorded post Genesis.  I don’t think the older guy got it.

I really don’t like those sideline reports.  So far, Andrea Kramer has done most of them. Her typical question has been:  How does it feel? For once I wish an athlete would respond with Like a Rolling Stone and sing the entire Bob Dylan classic.  Last night, while interviewing Allison Schmidt after her gold medal swim, Kramer got the last word with an insult of sorts, America is “happy you got cut from your soccer team”.  Schmidt just smiled, but she must have been secretly annoyed.

And why doesn’t NBC interview athletes from other countries? Most of the athletes speak English. It is a mistake to assume that the American audience only wants to hear from American athletes.

Just a couple of other random notes.  That horse jumping event is like a cross between rodeo, a best in class dog show and miniature golf.

During the gymnastics competition, there’s too much going on.  Athletes are flying around and you can hear gypsy music playing as the women compete on the balance beam.  And have you heard that bleeping noise that is standard when someone curses?  I keep hearing that as the gymnasts perform; it’s as if their mental curses are being censored.

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One Response

  1. I’m with you on the lame questions and answers…step it up people.

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