Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Worst Olympics (Coverage) Evah?

The Winter Olympics were always a big deal when I was a kid and we seldom missed a minute of the limited coverage, especially when the ski jumping, giant slalom and figure skating competitions were on. Then coverage expanded and expanded, but not of the competitions so much as canned features on athletes who miraculously overcame daunting odds, endless chitchat by talking heads and endless commercials.

Many years on, I found myself barely tuning into the Winter Olympics. But then we bought a 12-foot commercial TV dish (this was well before Dish TV and such) and when the Winter Olympics came around during the 1990s we locked into Canadian Broadcasting Corporation coverage, which spoiled me forever with its emphasis on the competitions and not endless prattling.

The dish is history, so it's back to having to endure NBC's atrocious coverage.

My guess is that CBC broadcast about 45 minutes of athletes actually doing stuff each hour and being a public broadcast network, had no commercials and few promos. By comparison, NBC has worked hard to create the impression that you're damned thankful if you get to see 15 minutes of athletes actually doing stuff each hour.

And once again I've been driven away from an event that I adore because the coverage is just too paintful to endure.

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