London 2012! For some reason this year I’ve been really into the Olympics, not just volleyball (my sport of choice; I used to want to try and play college volleyball, so I’m pretty enthusiastic about the subject). Maybe it’s my new-found interest, or maybe NBC’s just really doing it wrong this year, but there have been a lot of complaints about how they’re handling the 2012 Olympic coverage They even have their own hashtag: #NBCfail. Honestly, you can add me to the frustrated complainees. Here’s why:
This is my logical list of reasons as to why NBC is doing it wrong, and what they should’ve done instead.
1. There’s no need to hoard all the main events for primetime…
From Houston to London, 6 hours come and go at any given time. It’s 9:50 am here as I write this; in London it’s 3:50 pm. That’s a fairly big time difference in and of itself, right? Well the main events won’t air on TV until 7 pm this evening! If I so much as set one foot onto Twitter or Facebook, or go to the Yahoo dashboard to get my mail, I’ll get spoilers. While that’s not the end of the world, it’s frustrating. As I’m watching it at 7 pm, two things go through my head.
1: This is at least 6-7 hours old.
2: While this is compelling, I know So-And-So already wins.
NBC should broadcast live coverage of the events, from 3:30 in the freaking morning on down with actual event hosts — you know, the Brits. Most of the events end well before primetime, and during the work hours so a lot can’t view it until 7 pm anyway. Then repeat all the key things during primetime and voila! Replace the normal hosts with your annoying NBC anchors and you’re good.
But Elisa, NBC offers live online coverage if you have a cable provider. Well that’s fine and dandy, but…
2. The random and all-to-frequent Youtube ads on NBC’s live online coverage will drive you nuts, along with the clunky interface
TV commercials are unavoidable. I usually record stuff on the DVR and fast forward through all the annoying stuffs. But online coverage of the Olympics isn’t fast forward-able. Worse still, NBC somehow decides when to insert these ads, usually at the worst times.
OK that’s not too bad, Elisa. Ads are a thing you deal with. Simple. Well yeah, except there are a bunch of ads on the site itself, which runs really, really badly on Chrome. Seriously, I love Chrome, but I’ve had to switch to Firefox to watch the live Olympic stuffs. Otherwise, it glitches like crazy, and I get more ads, which is weird, but whatever. Also when you’re watching beach volleyball, every freaking time they take a break there’s an ad. It’s ridiculous.
Also, some events, mostly the main ones like swimming and gymnastics, can’t be re-watched. For example, a fencing final has the “Watch Replay” option. You can click on it and watch the entire thing, which is awesome. However, for something like gymnastics it simply says “Concluded.” This is a little stupid on NBC’s part. It’s sort of an obvious ploy to get people to watch the main events on primetime, and we’ve already addressed why that sucks. So yeah.
Nix the Youtube ads. If you’re that desperate for ad money, NBC, maybe you should just squeeze more onto the website or something, but not during live streaming. That’s just retarded.
Provide a better website overall. This is just so full of clunk it’s frustrating. Also leave Chevy alone. If I had a nickel for every Chevy commercial I watched yesterday, I’d have like $50…
Allow replays of the main events as well. Don’t hoard them for primetime. Also nix the ads on these.
OK so NBC must’ve done something right, Elisa. Nobody’s perfect, but come on.
Now that you mention it…
3. You aren’t witty, NBC commentators. Learn when to shut up and when to give USEFUL information
Seriously, they were making all sorts of stupid comments that meant nothing during the opening ceremony (and that one really speaks for itself. I mean, nixing the 7/7 tribute in favor of an interview with Michael Phelps was the worst move NBC could’ve pulled), but then they act like they know each and every reason why a gymnast or an athlete will get a deduction. This Youtube video puts it fairly well:
Deductions, deductions, deductions.
Personally, I’m not interested in hearing the commentator’s opinion on a possible score. The judges make that call, the judges post that call, the end. Unless something is obviously an error, just shut up about it please? Because it makes watching something like gymnastics almost painful. Maybe some like this, I don’t know, but I found it very hard to get into because I was enjoying the routine, but constantly hearing these two people say how poorly these girls were doing, when they would end up getting scores in the green or the yellow (nearly green).
Hire people who don’t like the sound of their own voice, endow them with knowledge on the gymnasts themselves, have them mention it before/after a performance, make them point out obvious flaws, and have them cheer when someone does well instead of talking about deductions. I know this is specific to gymnastics, but this applies to all the sports arenas. Basically have useful commentators that know when to keep their mouth shut and let us at home watch the performance without their input.
I promise I’m normally not this whiny
This is the basic reason why I’m annoyed. I could go on and on, but this is nearly 1000 words. I don’t want to be a super negative jerk or something. I love the Olympics and am very enthusiastic about the events, and as a fan this stuff has been fairly annoying.
Ultimately there’s no reason any of these issues should exist; they simply do because NBC is making some calls in favor of better ratings, ad money, and a strange not-really-commentating form of hosting that smarts of excessive drama. And that sucks.
What do you think? Has NBC’s coverage of the London 2012 Olympics annoyed you?