Monday, February 27, 2006

The Olympics Are Over, Hurrah!

The Olympics that ended last night and I, for one, are glad.

Not that I don't like the Winter Olympics in general, I do, but this year's incarnation of the event was ruined by NBC. In this day, with all the technology available to a network, how dare it show nothing but pre-edited events during prime time? There is nothing worse then getting tidbits of an event. I want to watch an event all the way through, see the good athletes with the poor.

If a person really likes snowboarding then he or she will be sorely disappointed by getting to watch six athletes, three of them American, make two runs each over a three hour period while having to watch men's figure skating or ice dancing in between. I was able to view one hockey game, just one. The gold medal game was played out at Saturday at 8am East Coast time. Just when everyone with a family has time to sit down and watch. A great game between two underdogs was probably viewed by 22 people in the US.

I know that during the day events were shown in their totality on CNBC and the USA network. Why weren't these networks utilized at night? My guess is NBC was scared its flagship network would lose viewers, and thus ad dollars, when people tuned in someplace else. Well, NBC received its just reward, the lowest rated Olympics ever.

(I am now going to be a hypocrite and complain about how some Olympic announcers complained.)

My other issue is with the event announcers, particularly the fools covering the ice skating. I am not a huge fan of the sport, but I understand the difficulty involved and respect the skaters. What I could not stand was Dick Buttons, Scot Hamilton and two other people so far down the announcing food chain that I cannot recall their names. With the exception of Hamilton, the other three did nothing, but bad mouth the skaters. All of them. Granted, the figure skaters for some reason had a tough Olympics with more falling down then I've ever seen. However, this does not excuse the nasty tone of voice and nitpicky analysis that took place.

What was particularly galling was listening to Buttons condescendingly state how such and such skater had no chance of medalling half way through her routine. It is obvious that everyone is not on the same level, but don't write them off. Also, spouting off about errors and points deducted for not pulling off a certain maneuver does not help the average viewer who knows little to nothing about figure skating. He made the broadcast almost unendurable and I regret not turning off the volume and just watching the video.


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