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Memo to NBC: Improving Olympic Coverage

NBC BuildingThe Olympics are an important event. They are how, in a relatively peaceful world, we determine what the best country in the world is.  They are not about boring personal stories, inspirational voiceovers or some greater international “Olympic Dream.” They are about which county wins and which loses. As such, I have a few recommendations about how to enhance your coverage.


How do we know what county is winning if you only show us the medal count at the end of the night? You need to slap that baby up there every time you come back from commercial, just to remind those of us with a short attention span where things stand.


Economists, bookies and sports analysts all have projections on how many (and which) medals every county is projected to win. Let us know about them and keep us up to date on whether or not team USA is keeping pace with expectations. In short, cover this like you would an election.


No one will remember who these athletes are in a week, so why are you wasting our time with their (not very compelling) bio spots. We already know that they train hard every day and lead bizarre lives devoted to mastering niche sports. So you can stop wasting our time with sentimental bio spots. Spend the time saved explaining the rules, development or technology behind the game instead. I’m sure the story of how they mixed skinning and shooting is more compelling than most of these bios anyway.


When I’m watching skiing or snowboard races, I want to know who the good guys are. You need to have a key on the screen up at all times that shows who’s who so that I know whom to root for. The flag overlays you do during Speed Skating or Summer Olympic Swimming are good models for what needs to happen.


You paid $2 billion for the rights to broadcast the next two Olympics in America. The least you can do is invest a few bucks to translate these meaningless metric measurements for the viewers back home. I’d like to know how fast lugers are going, but some figure displayed in KM/H is meaningless to me. Put that in the good old MPH that we all understand.

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  1. One thing that is good about NBC is the full replay videos that are available on their website. They are full recordings of the ACTUAL competitions as you would see them in person — no sob stories about growing up on a farm. They also show ALL the competitors, so you can really see that how much that guy from Kazakhstan or Andorra sucks at snowboarding compared to the Americans.

  2. Heesa Phadie says:

    I gotta say…NBC has completely lost me as a viewer because of their coverage….if they weren’t the only ones showing it. I swear, if there was an alternative I’d be on it in a second. The most annoying thing is knowing the outcomes prior to being able to see them. It’s nearly impossible this day and age to not wee the results online first. DAMN YO NBC for sucking so hard.

    1. nowooski says:

      This was particularly infuriating today when NBC did not put the USA – Canada game on their normal broadcast, they ran it on MSNBC. Of course, in order to stream the video over the internet you need to prove to NBC that you pay for cable by authenticating via your cable provider. Bad news for those of us without cable TV.

  3. nowooski says:

    The other thing that is horrible about their broadcast is that NBC insists on prattling on with nonsensical sports commentary during every event. It is even worse than the “hustle” and “wanting it” talk we hear during football games.

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