Why is coverage of the Olympics so awful?

Every four years I get to remember why I really hate watching the Olympics on television. It’s not about the advertising, it’s not even the endless parade of “background” vignettes instead of showing us more events, it’s not the non-family-friendly previews for movies and TV dramas slipped into the advertising stream, it’s not even the talking heads in their quasi-newsroom sets telling us what we need to know about the day.
No, what drives me completely batty are the commentators.
There, I’ve said it. Maybe I’m the only person in the entire country who feels this way, but I just loath these idiots that NBC have hired to “talk us through” how the athletes are doing in specific events. Yes, they know more about the event, about the scoring, about the history of each athlete than I do, but I don’t want to know all of that while the athlete is competing. Afterwards, maybe, but not during.

Last night’s coverage of the men’s figure skating was a classic example of the terrible pontificating coverage of the Olympics. Russian Yevgeny Plushenko was skating to a well-deserved gold medal and the commentators were busy telling us how he can’t “integrate his hand motion with his jumps” and how he has a “dull routine” and how he’s “worked since childhood to be here” and on and on.
Then next up was American Johnny Weir, whose father was watching him compete at this level for the first time, “something that’s probably causing Weir more anxiety than being here at the Olympics” one of the commentators blithly informed us. How do they know? Why would we care? Did I sign up to get insipid psychological commentary during skating events too?
Oh, how I wish that the commentators could be pushed to a separate audio track, like SAP, so I could turn them off and just watch the skating and listen to the music and the cheers of the crowd!
(Yes, I could mute the audio while watching the events, but the music is such an integral part of figure skating that it’s impossible to fully enjoy it without sound. And the cheers and reaction of the audience is also fun and exciting)
Is it any wonder that advertisers are complaining about NBC’s ratings and the reach of the Olympics again? Maybe more events and less commentary, less expensive background mini-documentaries, could help bring people back?
While I’m in a complaining mood, am I the only one who finds how NBC coverage is organized to be terrible too? I have a Dish Network connect with an on-screen guide, and instead of NBC making it easy for me to, say, just record snowboarding and figure skating, I get these monolithic blocks of events:

Dish Network's NBC Olympics Coverage

What I really want to see here is some planning on NBC’s part. I want to see this sliced up so I know that 1:00am-1:20am is the luge (which, btw, still seems to be a sport purely for the insane), and 1:20am-1:35am is downhill skiing, and so on. There are no technological limitations to NBC organizing its coverage this way and you could still have “highlights” segments where they’d have flexibility to cover whatever was the breaking sporting event or news, but when we’re fast-forwarding through three and a half hour blocks of ads, background profiles, idiotic commentary and the occasional few minutes of actual sporting events, it’s darn frustrating.
And I can still distinctly remember our disappointment in the 2002 Olympic coverage when the description promised a specific event that wasn’t actually included in the block of coverage.
I recall a few years ago the attempt to have ‘all Olympics’ channels (I believe there were three channels, “red”, “white” and “blue”?) that failed, but surely there’s some middle ground here? We’re living in the twenty-first century now, with more technology and video processing capability than you can shake a stick at, and we’re still trapped with this terrible coverage of the Olympics?
Ah well. I think I’m just ready for “Olympics 2.0”.

54 comments on “Why is coverage of the Olympics so awful?

  1. I agree with you. The Morbid Stream Media once again shows its true putrid colors here, don’t they. I love seeing the MSM crash and burn. I think it’s funny.
    The commentary has been lack lustre, insipid, negative, pseudo-psychological, invidiously vapid.
    The commentators seem to relish errors, accidents, any Morbid thing they can Stream at us, hence: Morbid Stream Media.

  2. One of the few things we liked about living in southeastern Michigan in 1992 was that we got to watch the Albertville games on Canadian TV. It was wonderful, just wonderful. We saw, for example, the entire pairs skating competition and were able to see for ourselves the incredible difference between the 20th-placing pair and the top 5 or 6.
    And an uninterrupted opening cermony was a delight if a bit surreal in a very French way.
    We also subscribed to the red, white and blue (Barcelona) channels when they were on and enjoyed the heck out of them. Right now, as I live on the west coast, it’s hard NOT to know how the competition ended before it begins on our television. I don’t understand why some of the “lesser” channels are not just running the competition live so one could see it all (or not in my case, not being much of a hockey fan).
    I was thinking last night, however, that Mr. Button was remarkably restrained for him and wondered if they’d told him to cool it. On other occasions he would tell you how someone was on the wrong edge and other stuff that makes sense if you either know how to skate or watch way too much skating on TV. The commentators are insiders and those of us who watch a lot of a single sport are insiders, too, by virtue of having watched many of the preceding competitions. I think they may lose track of the concept that many folks watching the Olympics are not fans of that sport but of the competition in general.
    I have been complaining to my family a lot about the “hype-y” commentators. Particularly those of the half-pipe and mogul competitions. Those competitions are exciting enough by themselves, they really don’t need someone telling me that this is HUGE. Some of the verbs are great, though. “To combo” is one I expect to use frequently 🙂

  3. Dave, you’ve done it again. It’s scary; you are so right!
    You know that TV ad that touts something as being “unfooled around with?” That’s exactly what I’m looking for. The events being split into a gazillion little overproduced segments makes me insane. And oh please spare me from the inane chit chat and the over-dramatic commentary. Argh!
    What happened to watching events as they happen – or as close to that as we can expect – and just plain unfooled around with?

  4. Not only do I agree that the coverage of the Olympics has been more than awful, I wish there was more publicity about how people feel to let NBC know that this is not acceptable! I grew up in Austria, where Winter Sports is mandatory watching and I am outraged that NBC chooses what events are covered and focuses so much on American Athletes. The Olympics are about Athletes from the entire world and NBC has completely missed its objective by their selective coverage. Thank goodness I will actually be in Canada for the 2010 Vancouver games as coverage in Canada will surely be infinitely better than NBC’s.

  5. I am writing to complain about commentator Bob Costas’ constant negative comments about the US atheletes. If they win the gold they are wonderful, if they do not his comments are absolutely nasty. Our snowboard cross athelete, Lindsay made a mistake when going for the gold. She admitted this in her interview with Bob Costas. He was just rude, insensitive, and downright horrible to her. She knew her mistake. What gives him the right to judge her and display such a unkind demeanor. My husband and I were appalled at his attitude. I feel Bob Costas owes Lindsay a huge apology. This man must realize that the US does not win all of the contests. Celebrate all of our athelets accomplishments and not draw attention to and dwell on every little error. No one is perfect especially Mr Costas. He needs to become a decent human being and show some kindness to all. I am so disappointed in the negative coverage the NBC commentators are displaying.
    I certainly hope NBC does not get the bid to cover the next olympics.

  6. I live in China, have very much appreciated their coverage of Olympics for the 2000, 2002, 2004, and the current 2006 Olympic Games. One big plus is that China’s government can easily stir the people’s nationalist emotions when their athletes win, and since they control all media, it is easy to paste the Olympics on several different channels. So, you can watch just about anything you want. I even got into the trap shooting in the last Summer Olympics! I did not even know they had trap shooting.
    Their commentators are equally horrible, but I have noticed, they actually wait till breaks in or the end of the event before they start talking. Literally, I can watch the Games, no commentary, with music, unhindered. It is great! I really feel for everybody watching in the commercial-controlled United States. You would think the networks would catch on.

  7. Man, I thought I was the only one! My family is watching the women’s figure skating and the commentaries have been especially brutal. The kids were even amazed that anyone would make such demeaning statements on television. I agree that you need a way to turn off the commentary chatter and just hear what’s going on inside the stadium or out on the slopes.

  8. I agree wholeheartedly. The skating commentary is always negative. Instead of enjoying the skating, my wife and I take turns yelling at the commentators. We do like Scott Hamilton’s comments, though. Maybe the rest of them will get laryngitis.

  9. Use your opinions where they count! Go to nbcolympicsfeedback@nbcuni.com and get your complaint heard!! It’s all about the consumer(viewer) and ratings. If enough of us aren’t happy, they have to re-think and revise!!
    The majority of us agree that NBC should have been more informative of the various event times of Olympic scheduling. Instead, viewers who are patient enough, have to watch for hours every night, hoping to catch the events we’re interested in. I think their strategy was to keep us away from the channel changer and boost their ratings!
    Also, most of us agree that Dick Button has NO tact, is wreckless with his brutal assessment of performances, and is rude to the point of disrespecting the very spirit of the Olympics. I don’t care how great an olympian he was waaaaay back when. These athlete’s have worked and sacrificed and earned the right to be respected. If they bomb in a performance, it’s a dream shattered and they don’t deserve the pounding they get over and over by Dick Button. If Scott Hamilton can critique and analyze a performance without sounding condescending and degrading, it’s not asking too much of Dick, to follow his lead. Tell NBC to fire the obnoxious mouth!

  10. I could not agree more with your post and the following comments! This year’s games have been fatally tainted by the overwhelmingly negative slant of the commentary. Are these people insane or just hopelessly amateur. I am constantly amazed at the artistry and sheer athletic achievement of the vast majority of these competitors only to be informed again and again that these athletes and their performances basically suck. Huh? Are they even watching what I ‘m seeing? The ice skating commentary has been particularly heinous, with medal winning performances being described in such hateful tones that I have gasped in disbelief numerous times at the gaping disparity. Get rid of these hateful has-beens and hire some people with a true love of the sport and respect for the viewers who just want to enjoy seeing the very best athletes in the world do their thing.

  11. The figure skating commentary is perhaps the worst sports “color” I’ve ever been subjected to. Button is flat-out awful, says nothing positive (unless he finds a young female skater “cute”), and litters the performance with useless derogatory comments. The others haven’t been much better, although Scott usually keeps his comments objective. Why do they even allow them to speak during the performance?? Regardless of the crew, they should be limited to speaking before the performance and during instant replay.

  12. I thought I was alone in this. I couldn’t find a snail mail address, but you can certianly drop them an email about how sucktastic the coverage was this year:
    Likely it won’t do any good, they’ll have to get several thousand emails for it to make an impression. But at least someone will hear how bad a job it was.
    I’m going to try to find out how one gets CBC in the deep south.

  13. Concerning negative comments on NBC’s Olympic coverage, I have to say that Bob Costas’ comments and post event interview, following the Lindsey Jacobelis incident were the worst I have seen in years. It was as if Jacobelis had taken away Bob’s personal gold medal. His Americanism was insulted by her failure to capture the gold. He was personally injured by her only winning silver. Costas and his “little man complex” surfaced once again, prompted by his perceived ultimate failure of American athletes in Torino. Bob should apologize to Lindsey Jacobelis to ever gain any of my respect again. Having been a Costas fan in the past, I was sickened by his remarks. Never again will I respect his views. He compared to the absolutely self promoting interview of Pete Rose at the allstar game a few years ago, done by another NBC commentator, I think.
    Come on Bob, this is the Olympics, the best athletes in the world. Any medal attained there should be celebrated by all. Just being a member of the U.S. Olympic team would be the dream of a lifetime. Give these athletes the utmost respect that they deserve. Drop all of the negativity, or is that all that you know? There are many variables in winter sports other than the athlete’s shear ability to perform at the top of the game, that can make the difference in gold or no medal at all. Why continue to always ask why they failed? They tried their best. Be proud for them and their efforts. Sure, some athletes had higher expectations, and also some medalists never expected to reach the podium, so lets celebrate the achievements of them all, and put a positive spin on a “dream come true” event for all of them.
    I will tune out Bob Costas commentated events in the future. Come on NBC, you can find better, or else hopefully, another network will be allowed to cover the next Olympic Games.

  14. Here are the comments I sent to NBC about their coverage:
    The coverage is uniformly awful except for a few expert commentators. I can’t mention all.
    The Canadians who are doing the hockey commentary are EXCELLENT! They use correct English and don’t talk down about the game. The curling guys, and some, though not all, of the skiing commentators are good.
    All the people who do follow-up interviews are really terrible and that includes some of the big names. Asking “what was going through your mind when you …..(fill in the blanks)…” is a boring question that is impossible for the athlete to answer in an interesting way. The answers predictably are uniformly boring and always amount to the same thing, including “I just wanted to go out there and have fun” or “I just wanted to skate a clean program,” or “I just wanted to skate my best.” Couldn’t you ask something like “What do you think was your best moment during the program?” or “Did you have any moments of hesitation?”
    What I found unforgivable is the way the matter of Hedrick and Davis was handled. Their difficulties may have been a small story in itself, but it was exacerbated and enhanced by the television coverage. Davis does not verbalize very well and is a very immature young man, but you let him hang out there for all to see. He obviously has problems that go way beyond his ability to speed skate. Hedrick behaved a little better. Their differences were not a fit thing to focus on. Now these two will have something that will embarrass them for life. You could have reported it and dropped it. You did not.
    Then there was this business of not allowing replays on other networks. Bad decision. If people could have seen even brief replays, they would have wanted to turn to NBC to see the coverage. Instead it made me, as an example, want to stay away from the coverage. Even your network competition could have helped you attract viewers!
    Very bad marks on nearly everything where these questions about “what were you feeling,” “was this result discouraging” and other similarly boring queries were used.

  15. I can’t comment on NBC’s coverage because I never once felt the urge to flip over there. I was never missing anything on CBC. As for your commentators, every one of them should take a page out of the Canadian commentators’ books. Even the hockey announcers, who I have watched many times in the past, being TSN announcers. Nothing can compare to our two sets, Bob Cole and Harry Neale and Jim Hughson and Greg Millen. Especially Hughson and Millen they’re the best in the game by my opinion. And Catriona Le May Doan at speed skating is actually a better color commentator than she is a skater, which is tough for a repeat gold medallist.
    As for knowing when something is on, we never had to worry because all you had to do was look at the torino schedule, subtract 7 hours, and you had because it was ALL live. And if you had to miss something important, the entire day, including every miniscule event was covered in the primetime show. To know when it was on there, all you had to do was tune in at the start of the show, and the program was pretty much laid out right then and there.
    The only thing I would question the CBC about is why they continue to use Terry Leibel as a morning host. She is terrible at pronouncing even Canadian names, often gets facts mixed up and doesn’t always know where you’re going to next. They have an up and coming guy by the name of Elliote Friedman and I certainly think he deserves a chance; he was great with hockey interviews, men’s and women’s.
    I am concerned though – CBC loses the rights after Beijing. I don’t know if CTV will be anywhere near the same, especially since they are owned by the same company as TSN which could mean a large amount of cable coverage which wouldn’t reach every household. The problem is that CBC has only one other show (Hockey Night In Canada – which is on Olympic break) while CTV carries too many good american shows.

  16. I am so heartened by the comments here about NBC’s awful, manipulative and bloated coverage of the Olympics. American coverage of these spectacular events is built around advertising and highlights. It disgusts me and I feel robbed of the Olympic experience. It should be about watching events, not being dragged around by a network whose only interest is in selling me stuff. Mind-numbing commercials repeated for hours on end, supercillious commentators, American-only focus of events have turned the Olympics into a Must Miss TV event for me.
    How can I get foreign channels for the next one? Is that possible?

  17. After watching every Olympics in Australia for many years I was in the US for the Sydney Olympics and it the coverage was worse then I could ever have imagined. No broadcasting of live events, sickeningly sweet athlete bios, highly edited replays with long ad breaks that you don’t get in real live coverage. At the time the US was one of the only countries whose Olympics ratings dropped. Canada had record ratings as they treated sports fans to overnight live coverage.
    Over the last two weeks in Australia we have been the victims of this US style coverage, they only showed highlights, the only live coverage was one event where an Australian had a chance of winning. It was difficult to watch. Many performances were edited out, the long ad breaks made it too disjointed and deflated the sense of occassion and since most of the results were on the news throughout the day there was no excitement.
    Sports fans want to see complete live events with short ad breaks and commentary from people who are passionate about the event.

  18. Guess you touched a nerve here, eh bro? I pretty much agree with everyone here, especially about Dick Buttons. I found his commentary shocking.

  19. The coverage was just awful. Full segments of the opening and closing ceremonies were cut for other programming. I worked at the Atlanta Games and NBC did the same thing there. Entire segments were not shown and it was LIVE! For the first time in my many years, I did not watch several nights of the coverage due to the horrible coverage provided by NBC. The IOC does not care about “humanity” – they only care about the dollars that NBC pays!

  20. It’s now March 9, but I’m still sufficiently steamed by the nastiness of the commentators during the figure skating events to read all the comments and add my own observation: that it used to be a big honor to win any medal — bronze, silver or gold — in any Olympic event. Thanks to the inhumane and unsporting sniping of the commentators (except Scott Hamilton) over so many years of Olympic events, it now seems like winning bronze or silver is interpreted as a slap in the face of the athlete who doesn’t get the gold — that is, the silver medalist is described in terms of “what could have been”, as “being unable to deliver in the clutch”, and if they aren’t expected to participate in the next Olympics, as spending the rest of their lives in a state of regret and disgrace. It makes me sick. Only one person can win the gold medal — that doesn’t mean the others should get “LOSER” seared into their psyches, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the bronze and silver winners should be labeled “Super Losers, Came so Close & Blew It”. Listening to the cruel comments made me feel like the Olympics would be less painful if they awarded just one medal – the gold – to the first-place finisher in each event. It’s just too contradictory and mean-spirited to “award” an athlete a silver or bronze medal while simultaneously portraying them as losers.

  21. Skaters LOVE Dick Button and would miss him at any event. He is a standard bearer and an important figure in the sport. It is a very complex sport and is deserving of commentary by those who know what they are talking about. Long Live Dick Button!

  22. I ran home every night to see “Push Dick’s Button” – my favorite part of the coverage, with Mary Carillo (?sp) and esp. David Pelletier.
    NBC is unbelievably cheap and will never orient coverage toward viewers – it’s all about the advertisers.

  23. I just watched a video on what they are doing to cats & dogs. How they are killing them. This will be the first time ever that i will boycott the olympics. I don’t know how they even picked that country. The people are heartless & have no care for human life nor animal life. So i will not watch olympics this year. God always says it is his vengence not ours. So be it!

  24. Thank goodness I am not the only one who has these sentiments! I live in the Caribbean and I think their coverage is quite disrespectful. Why must they comment on the delegates’ “outfits” as they call it? Really in many instances what we are seeing is the national dress of the particular countries, particularly those from Africa. It is clearly a case of they don’t know and they don’t know that THEY don’t know! I am ashamed for NBC.

  25. I lived in Japan for several years, until just before the 2004 Olympics. TV coverage of the Olympics in Japan is very comprehensive, and though there’s an obvious bias toward showing the performance of the Japan team, the coverage there provides immense opportunity to experience a wide variety of competition, usually while it’s happening (live).
    Returning to the US, I’ve been extremely disappointed by NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. Part of the problem is due to the huge fees they are paying for exclusive coverage rights. They really have no choice but to do everything possible to maximize advertising revenue. The competitive landscape in Japan is different, resulting in sponsorship fees that are not so burdensome to the broadcaster and therefore allows more time and attention to be paid to the quality of the content rather that assembly of the TV audience.
    The second difference is the sheer size of the US team. The US Team performs well across a large number of sports. Of course there will be a bias toward covering the US Team by NBC, and since it performs so well across so many sports the time allocations is immense. That leaves little time for other coverage. Again, Japan TV doesn’t have this problem, so they’re able to constantly monitor the competition and pick and choose those competitions that appear to be most compelling.
    In theory, internet accessibility to broadcasts in other countries may begin to give more options to viewers. But the sheer cost of putting on the Olympics will bring strong motivation to tightly control access to coverage outside exclusive distribution rights. So I fear we’ll be forced to live with disappointing Olympic coverage here in the US for years to come. Somehow, though, I get a sense that it could improve if ESPN took over. They just understand sports viewers better than anyone else.

  26. Hey Dave
    Apologies to you for my attitude. I’m just in a weird mood today. No good reason. Just a few mishaps: My wife left me, my dog ran away. The neighbors dog barked all night, the cat was with its friends, loudly doing it’s ‘kitty’ thing, somebody forgot to cover the bird cage, so deep into the night…tweet tweet. I’m trying to quit smoking. On top of it all, trying to remain awake, I’m all hoped up on caffine. (Heck, I’m all set to write a country & western song.)
    Well, whatever. Grin & have a good day.

  27. I’m from Israel and I just arrived to the US a month ago and I thought that I’ll be happy with the fact that at least I’ll see the swimming on day time. I miss the channel Eurosport more than ever. I always admired them, but now when I see NBC I understand that there is no replcaement for eurosport coverage. NBC are horrible!!! They paid millions of dollars and almost nothing is live. Apart from that, you don’t know what sport will be when. It’s a total disaster. The commnetators treat you like you don’t know anything. Why the well is it so shallow.
    I woke up today to at 7:00 to see the swimming heats. What I get is a replay of the open ceremony. Now when at last somewhere at the afternoon they give some swimming they show only two heats – one with Lochte and one with Phelps. The next heats – they will come back to them. So am I supposed to sit all day and guess when they’ll show what?
    Now the above and the following is a completely joke: they started to show , not live ofcourse, the cycling, and after 5 minutes they said “we’ll get back to them”, as if it is live. Are they making fun of us? Couldn’t they edit something?
    Now I tried to get eurosport tv broadcast and enbc just blocked it. If they where really giving good coverage I mmight understand, but after this terrible package?
    The sad part is that the swimmers had to change their whole regular competing haabits due to NBC – the finals are at the morning so US can see it on prime time. I understand money change the world, but yet again – for this coverage? I got cables especially for the olympics and they just puke in face. I won’t repeat what have been said about the commentators, but I totally agree – a pack of garbage.
    After a long will I think I might found how to get eurosport. So for thos of you who feel like me – I hope it will work (and not be just eurosport news) go into http://www.startpage.co.il and press Eurosport . I hope you’ll, and trust me, the commentators are the best.

  28. Geesh, you must be one insecure person. It’s one thing to censor out comments that use vulgarity, but it’s quite another to exclude comments that merely disagree with you. Doing that gives the false impression that EVERYBODY agrees with your opinion. Unanimity of agreement is contrary to human nature, and had I bothered to read the comments that you screened and posted, it would’ve been easy to deduce that error. Nobody is right 100% of the time. Though I’m no fan of NBC, I am not in 100% agreement with your gripes. Basically in that not everybody who wishes to watch the Olympics has the option of alternative sources. Yet, although the content of my criticism was appropriate to the current topic (my comment was a quote of your own post!), and I was far from utilizing vulgarity, I did feel that I was curt, so I apologized to you. It seems that I jumped the gun on that aspect. Point of fact: You chose to exclude posting the criticism, but did not waste a moment posting the apology. (to be screened and posted so fast, you must’ve been at the computer as I wrote!) In my opinion, someone who acts brave enough to opine in such a public forum as the Internet, requests that others comment, then balks at comments that do not reflect agreement, that person is just an opinionated sad-sack. Tip: Show respect for the opinion of others & yours will *deserve* the same.
    I seriously doubt that you’ve the cajones to post this, but I’ve no doubt you’ll read it. I’ve wasted way too much time with this blog. There’s only a few MILLION other blogs.

  29. I’m having a hard time figuring out if NBC’s coverage of the womens team gymnist silver medal finish intention was to bludgeon Alicia Sacramore with repeated questions on her dissappointing performance in the floor exercise.
    Seemingly the tears welling in her eyes wasn’t enough for the interviewer relentless questioning of her mishap and apparently going for blood; Since, that didn’t happen ( Hey lets try to get the team to slam her),and posed the same line of questioning to her fellow teammates for the blame game for not winning the gold medal. Which seams to be the consensus of the NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

  30. WHY hasn’t the tennis matches between James Blake and Roger Federer, William sisters been televised?? Young children need role models. My 5 y/o looks up to the tennis players & yes, the swimmers. Michael Phelps is great, but what about tennis & track for both boys & girls????? We’ve seen enough of rowing, sord fighting & volley ball.
    Remember the kids are watching & learning.

  31. NBC’s coverage is a disgrace. Too much epic, too many mushy stories, way too much meta-information, too many people having nothing to do with the games and everything with self-promotion, only two countries: the USA and China, nothing else beside swimming, gymnastics and that overrated beachball game. So I switched to satellite coverage from other nations and I advice you to do the same.

  32. I’m just glad I live in Washinghton so we can watch CBUT, you’ve got to love the Canadians.. We here on the west coast love to see everything that has happened 3 hours ago. How much beach volleyball can one person watch? I have yet to see a womens soccer match on NBC, but you can see them all on CBUT.

  33. I have been watching the summer olympics from Beijing and I think that the coverage of these games is very prejudiced. Every time the United States wins a medal they show the athletes and play the National Anthem. They do this for a few other countries. However, Jamaica won in the track and field and made history by breaking a world record but they did not show “Lightning Bolt” receive his award or play the Jamaican National Anthem.

  34. The olympic coverage is nauseating.I have to turn from it on a regular basis.They need to get someone other than Bob Costas to anchor.The coverage is totally negative and biased.Micheal Phelps is not the only one who worked hard to get there and want to win gold medals.He has domimated the coverage even after his events are over.While the other events are going on that you want to see they are still talking to Phelps and his family. They covered him differnt from any body else.He has ADHD,drunk driving record,parents divorced etc but that is never mention but if it had been others the first thing they would say before talking about his achievement would be to put out negative personal info but Phelphs is exempt from that.
    T. Cope

  35. NBC Coverage is the worst in the world. The quality of the program is good but very little substance.
    They cover only swimming, gymnastics and beach volly ball during prime time. Most other athlets are not prime time worthy in NBC business mind.
    I get to see more of Mysty May/Walsh ass on TV than any other sports.
    When did Beach volly ball became a prime sport in US?
    SHAME ON NBC!!!!
    !!!Show Sports NOT stories!!!!
    And that Bob Costas guy is so annoying

  36. Being from Spain I�ve seen other olympic games there broadcast by the local TVE. Normally they introduce all the competitors, they don’t shout, they concentrate on the event and they cover a variety of events. It’s a pleasure to watch.
    But I’ve seen these games in the States and I agree with your assessment of NBC’s coverage: soap operas, mushy stuff, silly stories that have nothing to do with the Olympics, stupid guys running around a fountain, too many opinions, too much irrelevant meta-information, few events, the irritating beach voleyball (not a real sport), too much political manipulation (the story of the paraolympic who got paralyzed in Iraq “for defending his nation”, yeah right!), TV speakers out of control, yelling like monkeys, because Phelps finished 1 millisecond before the next guy.
    Disgusting. I don’t want to watch another Olympic games like that even if I have to travel to the worst country in this planet. It can’t be worse than this.

  37. I agree completely. Why doesn’t anyone at NBC realize what a poor and disgraceful job they’re doing in terms of honoring the sports, competition, and athletes. I don’t need THAT many studio interviews, background histories, and human interest stories, especially when there are events actually taking place at that moment. Another thing that upsets me is that I can’t watch the online material because with my cable I don’t subscribe/pay for a video service package that includes CNBC and MSNBC in my TV line-up. Shame on you NBC and the Olympic committee and whoever else sells out and gives away the essence of the Olympics.

  38. Why are Rod Black and Pelletier commenting on the pairs outfits? I had a huge argument that the outfits “mattered” and was shot down but now I’m (unfortunately) proven right. The broadcast sounded like we were from south of our border. Loud and proud does not translate to making “fun” of the outfits. Poor form people,poor form.

  39. I am extremely disappointed with CTV’s coverage, right from the opening ceremonies. It just has gotten worse. I was thoroughly disgusted with the Jennifer Heil post-race interview. Instead of celebrating the win of a silver medal for Canada, and despite the fact that Jennifer pointed out it was an achievement for Canada, the unprofessional interviewer’s attitude was the equivalent of “OMG, what happened to you? Why did you blow it?”. The NBC interview was much better and I found that depressing…they celebrated her achievement instead of crapping all over it like CTV did! Today, I heard one of those idiots say on air something like “while Jennifer Heil didn’t bring smiles to Canadians, she sure did for Americans”…What kind of callous, insensitive crap is that???? CTV is trying to be hip and relevant; sadly, they are waaaaay off the mark. NBC is much better in terms of quality and approach…even the way they cover Canadians competing! Better context, better commentary, more professional. Shame of you, CTV!!!! You are an embarrassment to professional broadcasting!

  40. Come on guys, did you forget that America has no value for anything besides money? This shouldn’t be new to any of us. The only reason their coverage is horrible is because they want a huge audience during primetime so they can make bank from the advertising companies. Its not the first time America has to suffer so a big corporation can make some big bucks.

  41. Not to mention how NBC believes that the Olympics are an all American event. What happened to the rest of the world?

  42. Every day i get more frustrated at the awful olympic coverage. not only do they only show american events, they rarely even give us full coverage. there are supposed to be 3 or 4 channels covering and we still can not get full coverage. i also can not believe you can not pay extra to have every event at your demand, i mean you can watch every baseball, basketball and football game. this needs to be fixed. lets start a petition.

  43. I agree completely. I sat down to watch the women’s figure skating short program Wednesday night only to see 3 performances in the span of 2 hours. The first one was right around 8pm eastern. They immediately went to skiing or bobsledding or something. Then after about a half hour they showed ONE more skater. Then after another half hour of skiing/luge/bobsledding, they threw in another random skater. Then about another hour of “stuff” went by before they showed the next skater. What a waste of time! I feel robbed by NBC!

  44. I dont think Canadian coverage is any better than American – I have regularly switched over to NBC and found a lot of excellent coverage of Canadian atheletes and Olympics insights that CTV has not shown [or assumes we all know here??]
    Also, there is nothing more irritating than listening to Rod Black’s inane and useless commentary especially in figure skating “He’s here for the Gold David” Really? I had no idea!! Is no one else or are they aiming for bronze instead?
    It makes my ears bleed and I don’t know why he’s allowed to keep coming back!
    Overall both countries network providers need to work on how events are shown, a four-hour block that supposedly covers many events without telling us when is not helpful.

  45. Dear NBC I was deeply dissapointed the way you handled the Olympic Ice Skating, Ice Dancing etc, Why did you put these at such a late hour, I was not able to watch any of these programs because they were on too late. I thought Ice Skating was popular event, so why make it available so late? People have to get up for work, seniors can’t always stay up that late.and so on. I love the different events but you sure screwed up on the Ice Skating as tho it were only for night owls. Not only lousy time scheduling but the closing ceremony was a bit much to put on viewers. The opening and closing programs were long drawn out affairs and stopping the closing program to switch over to Jerry Seinfield show only to say the ceremony would continue in an hour. That was the straw that broke the camels back, who ever does this sceduling need a different job, you don’t seem to care about we the viewers. You people at NBC are in deep do do. Looking forward to better times for the Olympi scheduling. Twila in Toledo Ohio

  46. You must have missed Terry and Linsay, too bad
    They had a great thing going, what a set, what a background, Well Done !

  47. I’ve lived in the States since 1989. Olympic coverage always sucked. Always. It isn’t about enjoying the greatest athletes of the world compete in real time. It is about squeezing in as many commercials for you to watch as they can.
    NBC is an idiotic bs commercial broadcast company that is in it for the mighty dollars and NOT quality.

    • NBC has never had a good coverage on any olympic games. I watch the olympics to get the olympic experience. All I ever saw was a bunch of idiot announcers who think they were important say nothing of any value concerning the olympics. The worst one was Mary Carillo. She talked about things that had nothing to do with the olympics. Instead of seeing olympic comptetion I had to listen to that idiot. The there is Jimmy roberts. I never heard put out so much manure out of his mouth and not say anything that would be remotely be considered intelligent. NBC needs to clean house and get rid of the idiots. the first ones to go should be carillo , Roberts and Bob Costas.Get rid of all of their jock sniffers.

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