Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic Games coverage on NBC.

I want to ask the readers outside the US whether the Olympic Games coverage in their countries is as bad as what we get here on the US network TV. NBC has exclusive coverage rights for the Olympics. There is nothing wrong with that but they have turned the covergae into a soap opera. Not only they cover the sports that that the Americans are good at (swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball mostly with a little bit of polo coverage) but even then all we see are the performances of the American athletes with a ton of cheesy commentaries and interviews.

That would still be OK. But here is what they were showing yesterday during the ladies gymnastics. For what seemed a long time we were watching the American gymnasts who were watching an overhead screen outside our view. Then we were watching one of them, Nastia Liukin, massaging her foot... And this is while other athletes were performing.

I don't even know who the other athletes are, what kind of activities are going on, etc.


Danielbeast said...

I despise NBC Olympic coverage, it is downright terrible. Turn it on at any moment and you are likely to see either soap-opera gymnastics or swimming which is interspersed with NUMEROUS Phelps fetishists gushing about their love for him or cheesy promos regarding how his is the most perfect body ever or how amazing his arms are, etc. It's downright disgusting hearing these grown men(!) fawning over him like he is God's gift to man and the most important person who ever lived. I wish I could say I was exaggerating but I am not, they literally had a segment yesterday in which they in precise detail documented close-ups of every part of his body and described why they are the most perfect leg or arm, etc. that ever existed. I am NOT even kidding, a close-up on just his feet for like a minute describe how perfect they are. They went as far to describe him as having "superior genetics". Sure I am giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming they meant his genetics created a body which is superior than the average one at swimming, but that's all they said plain and simple, "he has superior genetics". Are we in Hitler's Third Reich?! Is Michael Phelps the Übermensch?! In the near future will he be the only American allowed to breed?

On top of all this they keep talking about how much he's worth in endorsements and I see him starring in or at least mentioned somehow in 2/3s of every Olympics related commercial. I am so sick of him, I feel this is really killing my Olympic spirit- since when is it about idolizing and celebrating ONE PERSON and throwing billions of dollars at him? Is this teaching us that if you have 'superior genetics' and a good story it's worth not gold or glory but GREEN? It's really sickening if you ask me. I've ranted enough to warrant an entire post on my new blog but I just started it and it is supposed to be Armenia/diaspora related so no sense in breaking the trend so early with a Phelps rant. I mean everything I say though. If you'd like to see my new blog please do at

Anonymous said...

Being from Spain I´ve seen other olympic games there broadcast by the local TVE. Normally they introduce all the competitors, they don't shout, they concentrate on the event and they cover a variety of events. It's a pleasure to watch.

But I've seen these games in the States and I agree with your assessment of NBC's coverage: soap operas, mushy stuff, silly stories that have nothing to do with the Olympics, stupid guys running around a fountain, too many opinions, too much irrelevant meta-information, few events, the irritating beach voleyball (not a real sport), too much political manipulation (the story of the paraolympic who got paralyzed in Iraq "for defending his nation", yeah right!), TV speakers out of control, yelling like monkeys, because Phelps finished 1 millisecond before the next guy.

Disgusting. I don't want to watch another Olympic games like that even if I have to travel to the worst country in this planet. It can't be worse than this.