February 16, 2010

Not Quite Live

What do you have in your hand, Manuel?

OK, NBC. I get it.

The Olympics are on the West Coast, and you want the freedom to do a little "scouting out" the most interesting storylines for your primetime coverage of the Games. To that end, I don't really mind the fact you are tape delaying some events for a few hours in order to get better ratings.

Having said that, don't pretend you're not doing it and don't milk it. There's no need to announce that you'll be showing Apolo Anton Ohno's next race "in six minutes" and instead show a lengthy minute "Up Close and Personal" profile on the skater, which then leads into said race. The race itself was twenty minutes later. That's false advertising that can easily be avoided.

Also, if you know you're time shifting an event, then you need to do a far better job of editing the coverage. I tuned into the luge, and watched the American slider who went first make his run. Obviously, as the first competitor to go, he was in the lead. Without any hesitation, we then watched the "next up" - a German luger - take his turn at the course... and I couldn't help but be horribly confused as the "time to beat" had a Swiss flag next to it. Exactly how many competitors did we miss in the interim, NBC?

Oh, and one more thing - can we have a little sense of humor? How can you go through two whole days of Austrian luger Manuel Pfister and his good friend Martins Rubenis (pronounced repeatedly as RUB-anus) and not snicker even once?

I'm not sure what the coverage would be like if I went overseas, but I have to imagine they'd be far more respectful to the endeavors of some of these athletes. I have no plans to travel Europe anytime soon, but if I did make it to Austria or Latvia or any other of these countries that enter the American sports consciousness but once every Olympiad, I'd make it my business to not take my cue from the Peacock Network and avoid being as dismissive as possible.

Of course, I'd also hope my own personal Eurotrip would be as entertaining as this one:


  1. Only sorta related, A.J.

    The gentleman who plays Robot Man (above clip) is an actor named J.P. Manoux... Northwestern guy. Had the pleasure of doing a show with him in L.A. One of the more ubiquitous "that guys" in TV/Film/Commercial.

    As for Olympic coverage... keep thinking there's a fortune to be made by going to places where the average person doesn't get the idea of "tape delay" and betting on the results of events that ended hours earlier.

  2. As the father of a youngster who watches the Disney Channel regularly, I am familiar with Mr. Manoux from his work there. Although, my fave of his acting roles was "Not Moby" on HIMYM.