Is Olympic television coverage outside of the US really _that_ much better?

I can understand US TV dwelling on their potential medal winners, seeing as the US team has so many of them. British, Australian etc. TV may appear to be more even-handed simply because there are more events in which our competitors have no chance. Certainly, when a Brit does have a chance at a medal, we get to hear about it :stuck_out_tongue: . It would be interesting to compare US coverage with that of the other big medal-winning countries China and Russia.

By the usual coverage standards, one could assume that the Olympics consist of gymnastics, basketball and swimming with just a few other sports sprinkled in when they run out of backstories on the gymnasts, swimmers and basketball players.

Well either there is a trick to figuring out the DirectTV line-up or the coverage sucks on DirectTV. I see that they have this handly little group of channels with all the Olympic coverage. At first it was great. Saturday I could flip to each of the channels and watch something different. Of course they did have the same soccer game on two different channels each at a different point in the game, but I could shrug that off. The problem is that the times when those channels are going to actually be showing Olympic coverage seems pretty random. I look at the guide and all it says it “Upcoming: Olympic Coverage” with no times or events listed. That makes it pretty worthless to me. NBC is the only channel I can count on to be showing some event just about all the time. But it’s not always what I’d like to watch…stupid networks.

I don’t watch the Olympics so I can’t answer this, but this would surprise me, at least for cable subscribers. We have 500+ channels now, surely there’s room to show everything. I’m curious though about the huge time difference between here and China. Would people prefer sports at 3am as to have the benefit of seeing the events live, or during daytime hours for convenience of viewing?

I was staying with my mom this weekend, and she has DirecTV, and we did not have that problem at all. If you hit the little red menu button and pull up the special Olympics menu, each channel should have the time/date of the “Olympic coverage” and below that, a listing of the events in that time slot. If you scroll over to the right, it’ll allow you an option to scroll through all the times and days to see if there’s going to be boxing on at midnight on USA tomorrow, or something like that. Even if you can’t figure out the menu, you can always go to the NBC website and plug in your info to find out exactly what events are playing on which channel and when in your area with your set-up.

I know for a fact that you go the exact same “primetime” program as the rest of the country, because I was chatting with my best friend who lives in CA. Yeah, it was delayed…but well, I have some news for you. Everything is 2-3 hours delayed in the Pacific Zone, unless it’s the Oscars or a live sporting event. It sucks, but it’s not like most of the rest of the country doesn’t have to put up with potential spoilers. My sister was innocently scrolling through her friend’s list on LJ and found out who the 400m relay about an hour before we saw it. Just like people on the east coast spoil shows I haven’t seen yet! I guess there’s nothing to be done except, you know, deal with it.

The flying camera on wires about the swimming pool is uber-cool.

I like the glurgey human-interest stories. That’s right; I said it! You can certainly overstate them through hyperbole (the kid who walked on his lips to training camp, etc.), and God knows NBC can overplay them, but I still like a good “personal triumph over adversity” story and, yes, find them more interesting than live coverage of badmitton.

And re: the East Coast/West Coast delay: It’s all delayed. (Well, most of it.) China is 12 hours ahead of the East Coast U.S. and AFAIK virtually everything from the Olympics on primetime NBC is on tape-delay.

And the complaint that American coverage is too American-centric has always struck me as silly.

Congratulations, I’m sure your mother is so proud. Any reason why you felt the need to shit all over a thread in which people, obviously, DO care?

Very seriously: what value did you get out of submitting that post?

The value of feeling better than all of us schlubs who are glued to the idiot box, I’d imagine.

CBC has always been better in my opinion than NBC but they have their share of homerism too. I was able to catch the opening ceremonies on each network. CBC was better at shutting up and letting the show go on during the performance part while NBC’s crew felt compelled to yack it up now and then. During the parade of nations, CBC took a hike when the Canadians came in and talked about and with their athletes while the next dozen or so nations marched in without comment on a split screen. NBC abbreviated the time between nations quite nicely since to watch the entire thing in real time would be the definition of boredom.

During the weekend, I found myself watching CBC a bit less than normal as they tended to repeat performances that involved Canadians. However, I was disappointed in NBC’s non-use of its affiliated networks. Prior to the games, they led you to believe that USA, CNBC, and MSNBC would have a lot more coverage than they turned out to have. Often during the prime weekend afternoons, one or more of the NBC family was back to normal programming.

What really pissed me off about the NBC coverage of the opening ceremonies is when they’d cut to commercial. I didn’t really mind the commercial breaks, but then they’d come back and say “we’ve moved ahead several centuries during the commercial and now we’re at…”…well, why the hell didn’t you just pick up where you left off? Why cut anything out of a pre-recorded event?!

I know I saw a lot of water polo yesterday and if that is popular in the US then I’ve really been out of it. All I could think while watching it was “how does someone get into water polo…all the others I can see how someone would start playing…but water polo?”

Because many viewers are not particularly entertained by watching the athletes of places like San Marino, Burkina Faso, and the Marshall Islands march in. NBC didn’t edit because they had to; they edited because they could.

It is not really popular, but then neither is curling. And they spend all kinds of time gawking at that during the winter Olympics. For the summer games, water polo is telegenic, 'cause they’re pool hunks splashing around. Same appeal as beach volleyball, really, 'cept more likelihood of underwater hijinks going on out of camera and ref sight.

Most water polo players I know got into it via the swimming world – around the pool a lot, got interested, maybe played in high school or switched from a swimming career to water polo.

The Canadian coverage used to be better than the NBC coverage. But over the last couple of Olympic cycles CBC has increased the the number of studio interviews and human interst stories until it’s almost as bad as NBC. Now the big differences are that if I really wanted to I could have watched the opening ceremonies live on CBC at 4am instead of waiting for the tape-delay broadcast and that I find the CBC commentary slightly less irritating. I do give NBC credit for the streaming coverage of lesser known sports that they have available online. However, points are deducted for the fact that you must certify that your TV coverage comes from one of their partners in order to access the streaming coverage.

No no, I understand cutting some of the parade of nations…what I’m talking about was that during the opening performances they’d cut bits out for commercials. That’s what I found annoying. It’d be like watching a movie that they cuts bits out of. Sure I don’t mind if you cut stuff out of the credits, but cutting bits out of the movie is irritating…especially when you come back from commercial and tell me that you just skipped a bunch of stuff.

Ever been to Southern California? The sport is fairly popular there. People get into it usually in high school as they burn out in regular swimming.

How do you keep the horses from drowning?

From Detroit I get US and Canadian. I have a flipper so I avoid as many human interest and commercials as possible. Late night I get 3 stations with coverage,