Even before the 2012 Summer Olympics started, I wasn't a fan of NBC's sports coverage. I watch a good deal of hockey, so during the winter months, NBC is on usually once a week. But NBC's coverage of hockey is truly pathetic. Outside of Doc Emerick (who I will always respect as a broadcaster), no one knows what they're talking about.
But NBC's actions during the Olympics takes things to a new level for me.
Let's start with the opening ceremonies. To me, tape-delaying it was a big flub. I don't know about everyone else, but if I already know what's going to happen, unless there's something I truly want to see, I'm not going to turn something on. So when I'm getting reports on Twitter before I can even watch something, I've lost all motivation to even turn it on.
Plus, let's think of things this way. How many major sporting events - the World Series, the Stanley Cup or even the NBA Finals - get tape-delayed?
None. So why make the exception for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, something's that's arguably bigger than any of those?
NBC's reasoning? They wanted to cater to the late-night crowd in America. In other words, they want the ratings, so they can keep getting the money.
I would be willing to bet that the ratings wouldn't be all that different if NBC showed it live.
But every other event in the Olympics is tape-delayed, so that the evening crowds can watch it, or whatever other reason NBC would like to share. My question is, what's the point of watching the Olympics if you already know what happened?
Sure, maybe swimming fans want to see what really happened to Michael Phelps in the 400 medley. But I'm not a swimming buff. So again, I see no point in watching it if I can already see what happened online, or on BBC, who's not afraid to show it live.
Now let's address NBC's other little disaster. British journalist Guy Adams had his Twitter account suspended after NBC filed a claim, saying that Adams divulged "personal information" in one of his tweets. The personal information? NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel's corporate email address.
Adams has been critical of NBC's coverage of the Olympics since the start, and rumor has it that his criticism had more to do with NBC's request to suspend the account than people are saying. Anyway, his tweet containing the information pretty much said, "Tell (Zenkel) what you think (about the coverage)," and then proceeded to display his corporate email account.
Whether the email contained in Adams' tweet was private or public knowledge is debatable. It's a work-issued email, which I feel should be public knowledge. If you've got other stuff to do, that should go through a separate, private email. I don't feel Adams divulged "personal" information.
Page 2 of 2 - Plus, how else is NBC going to know about the outrage? An emailed complaint probably gets filed into a little subfolder and then officials act like it never happened, so NBC can go along and say everybody's happy and nothing's wrong.
I've become disgusted with NBC to the point that I refuse to turn it on now. If I want to watch the Olympics, I'll go to BBC, or I'll just check the scores online. When hockey comes around in the wintertime, I'd much rather listen to the games on the radio than hear Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury babble about things a high schooler knows more about.
At least then it won't be tape-delayed.
Alix Kunkle is the news editor of the Leesville (La.) Daily Leader. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.