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Summary:

Warning: This story is meant for our U.S. readers only. As many of you already know, I am giving Olympics the miss and perhaps that is why I am not familiar with the daily coverage on NBC and its online properties. The Olympics apparently have proved […]

Warning: This story is meant for our U.S. readers only. As many of you already know, I am giving Olympics the miss and perhaps that is why I am not familiar with the daily coverage on NBC and its online properties. The Olympics apparently have proved to be a bonanza for the company. The Peacock Network CEO Jeff Zucker thinks the viewership number of Olympics prove that network television is still dominant. Mattew Ingram says not so fast, buddy, because Olympics come around once every four years. What about rest of the years… when viewership is declining, because somehow viewers can’t make must-see-TV.

[qi:004] Unfortunately, not everyone seems to be pleased with NBC’s coverage — too many ads, inane and bland commentary and time-delay tactics have got people hopping mad. While Zucker seems to be crowing about how well the Olympics are doing online, Rafat Ali of PaidContent points out that Yahoo’s Olympics section beat out NBCOlympics.com, and sees it as a missed opportunity, thanks to what is described as “bottled excitement.” Russell Beattie, a good friend, pointed out in his typical no-bullshit style that NBC has ruined the Olympics. “What should be a privilege for a national broadcaster has been turned into an extortion racket, holding the Olympics hostage with all of us paying the ransom,” he wrote. NewTeeVee’s Chris Albrecht added, “This could have been a golden moment for online video — too bad NBC just couldn’t stick the landing.”

What grade would you give the NBC coverage, both on TV and on the Internet? Take our poll and leave a comment.

  1. I know this post was for US viewers, but I thought it would be a good time to chime in to say how well I think the BBC are broadcasting the Olympics here in the UK.

    Plenty of interactive channels to choose from over satellite and cable, and even 3 extra options on Freeview. The live online streaming video is also impressive. The huge traffic they are getting doesn’t seem to be adversely affecting the service either.

    All in all I am impressed so far (and it doesn;t hurt we are doing pretty well in the events as well of course).

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  2. I was pleased to see NBC posted the full 3 hours of the Qualification round of the Trampolining, because I’m a former competitive trampolinist, but there is no commetary although I have provided my own in my head but for people who don’t know the rules of the sport or the tricks will be totally lost .My Father is a professional trampoline coach in Australia and he cant access the NBC streams of course but Ill probably screen grab the video and sent it to him.

    They should provide a service where you can download the video for a fee from anywhere in the world but I suppose that would mess up the IOC’s revenue stream they milk from selling the Broadcast rights to the highest bidder in as many countries as they can .

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  3. Too be perfectly honest, I’ve just been watching things on nbcolympics.com and it’s been great. Sure, you have to wait 15-30 seconds when you first open the video stream to watch a stupid GE ad, but after that it’s clear coverage with no commercials and no commentary. How can you say that’s a bad thing?

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  4. NBC has online coverage? I have been going to Yahoo everyday. If only I didn’t have to use Silverlight…

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  5. I have been using the NBC Olympics website. It’s difficult to communicate just how bad and horrible the online site is. It takes hours for videos to show up on the site. Why??? I’m reading about Phelps 8th medal on every other news site and it’s 8 hours later before I can view it at NBC.

    The video player does not work well and often hiccups and forces you to watch a second ad when you dare to click the “enlarge” button if you want to watch the video in a larger window.

    They also offer a customized player for downloading content that is a clusterf*&K of monumental proportions and if i were not a geek would not have been able to get installed. The you download a 2 minute clip of table tennis highlights and they warn you that you can view it for only 2 days! How about longer than 2 days to watch my 2 minute table tennis highlight?

    A complete and utter joke and as usual a missed opportunity to make even more money by fully embracing the 24/7 nature of the web.

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  6. Proprietary Silverlight. Makes it so I have to run an operating system that THEY want me to run.

    Should I…

    A. Go out and buy Windows for 300 bucks
    B. Not watch the olympics because they can’t seem to provide a standards compliant video stream

    I chose B. Many like me also did.

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  7. Who needs online coverage when you can fill up your DVR every day with 40 hours of HDTV coverage? That’s more than I can consume.

    I only watch recorded material, so I can skip commercials. Since I watch everything delayed anyway, it really does not bother me that NBC does not show all events live.

    I just have to stay away from the websites to make sure I don’t know the results before I watch.

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  8. Om,

    Unquestionably the worst olympic coverage that i’ve witnessed in my entire life. How bad is the coverage:

    1. It’s not live though the coverage says “Live”

    2. Bob Costas is proof that Jim McKay has no olympics equal (at least none as of yet)

    3. NBC commentary is for 5th graders who have already been sent to special learning.

    4. NBC hasn’t figured out that ALL of the games have more countries competing than the US, China, Russia, Germany, Australia, the UK, and Canada – and yes it is okay to show more than 3 of them for a given competition.

    5. 24 hour television and internet coverage would have been fantastic, but much too complicated for NBC’s narrow minded incompetence.

    6. NBC’s consistent inability to recognize that they’re receiving “audience lift” from television viewership in China (the world’s largest market and current olympic host), and will be embarrassed by their drop off for the next olympic games because they won’t be able to explain it to their shareholders or anyone else for that matter.

    7. The fact that I had to endure two weeks of NBC’s crappy coverage in support of my wife who had been a lifelong gymnast though she never made the olympic team but spent her formative years with the Karolyis as her coaches, as well as living and training at the US Women’s Gynastics Training Center while I could have been watching great coverage of major league baseball on any network other than NBC.

    8. Too many commercials.

    9. Too many promotions of upcoming NBC programs that will suck.

    10. NBC’s hippocrisy – Issued press release that they would not air the protest of the Swedish wrestler as “the games are about sportsmanship and not politics”, then did the color story on the Russian athlete and Georgian (Russian province) athlete that are “friends in spite of the conflict”. Apparently it is okay if NBC infuses politics, just not the olympic athletes.

    The IOC should permanently ban NBC from ever bidding to cover the olympics in the future.

    Just my $.02.

    Best,

    Curtis

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  9. the pool doesn’t work on an iPhone. Too bad

    I would have given them a C

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  10. i would say ‘worst olympics coverage ever’ but i guess it’s better than seeing only very selected snips on the weekly newsreel. that said, i think it’s ridiculous that NBC tried to use Tiki Barber to explain the intricacies of the new gymnastics scoring system. he was a running back, for american football, when was he ever expected to understand math? it would be nice to have some people who actually tried to learn something about the sports they are covering rather than making fun of something they don’t understand.

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