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Posts posted by FiveRingFever

  1. Agreed. Surely even the 2008 gold medalists Netherlands (and maybe Germany) would add competitive depth too if the field expanded to 12. Hopefully Tokyo 2020. If that expansion were to happen, South Africa would also get the African spot.

    Germany sucks but Netherlands appears to be the odd team out. I bet they would have advanced in a round robin format like volleyball has.

  2. NBC's low Olympic ratings may drive down the fees for the 1992 Barcelona Games

    Again, I can't speak to personal experience of having watched these Olympics when they happened, but I have seen plenty of coverage off of tape in the following years and that about sums it up. Yes, there was the usual load of features and athlete stories and commercials (as if other events don't have commercials.. watch a football game or a basketball game and try not to notice all the artificial stoppages in play), and yes the time difference afforded them the opportunity to cover events and stories live. But that wound up being their undoing. Seems like too many times NBC went live somewhere for the sake of going live, even if it was an event that had no business being in primetime. Sure, they were able to manipulate the schedule much moreso than they did for Beijing so it meant that a lot of key events like the men's 100 meter final could be shown live. It's what filled around those events that was the problem. Yes, there was controversy at the boxing venue, but NBC almost spent too much time covering it. Certain days they'd sit there and watch it all unfold where they could have shown coverage from elsewhere. In theory, that sounds like the right way to cover an Olympics, but it's a massive turn-off for the audience when there's so much going on, mostly involving athletes and sports the viewers are unfamiliar with. There's a reason NBC never went back to that formula after `88, and it has nothing to do with Ebersol's arrival.

    The funny thing is, and I bring it up every Olympics.. ABC got criticized for a lot of the same things NBC does now. The outcries haven't gotten stronger, they've just because more public thanks to the Internet. The volume of fluff pieces and commercials aren't higher now than they were then. That's just perception taking over. And again, for better or worse NBC is a better partner to the IOC and the Olympic movement than anyone will ever give them credit for. I watched ESPN spend hours this morning talking about Aaron Hernandez's murder indictment. Why? Because football fans are who watch ESPN and that's what drives the cash flow there. The Olympics simply isn't in their wheelhouse. Not in February at the height of basketball season. And not in August when NFL season is starting up. ESPN needs to feed their audience what their audience wants. It's not in their M.O. to play to the audience because it's something they almost never have to do. We'll never know for sure, but let's agree to disagree on the merits of an ESPN Olympics.

    From the link you posted, "NBC's production was honest, immediate and technically superb.". That's really the main point I've been making. Given the context of how Olympics were covered at the time, I thought it was by far the best. Not the best from a business standpoint perhaps, but the best in terms of quality. You're free to disagree all you want.

  3. Miracle on Ice? Shown on tape delay.

    All you need to know about ABC's coverage.

    It was in the afternoon on a weekday. I have no problem giving it to ABC about their coverage back then, but there was only three or four hours a night in those days and that was it. And no one in their right mind thought the U.S. would be within 5 goals of USSR, so why would ABC preempt daytime coverage?

  4. NBC's first full fledged Olympic coverage with Seoul was met with a lot of criticism. Like you alluded to, the issue was that they treated it more like weekend afternoon sports coverage and didn't realize who their audience was and what they wanted. There was a certain portion of the Olympic viewing audience that wants that (who probably loves the cable and streaming coverage now and probably thought the Triplecast in `92 was the greatest thing that ever happened to Olympic television), but they don't make up the majority of the primetime audience for an Olympics. So you can't really fault NBC for playing to that audience. You're right that they tried it the other way, but I've seen that coverage (not at the time, but I have lots of it on tape/DVD) and I can understand why it turned some people off. For better or worse, the television industry in this country is big business. So NBC or whoever is showing the Olympics has to treat it that way. ESPN won't get a crack at it because the business side of it doesn't make sense for them. That's why their bids for past Olympics have been so low. I still think that ESPN covering the Olympics would be a disaster for both sides involved. 15-20 years from now maybe not so much, but in the short term, it's best for all involved that ESPN doesn't get a crack at it.

    I wouldn't say they treated it like weekend afternoon coverage, at least in prime time. There were athlete stories like all the other Olympics and plenty of commercials, What was different was the amount of live events and the coverage of stories like real journalists. They -gasp- showed live swimming in the morning, and then showed some same races again in prime time. Unthinkable after Uncle Dick joined NBC. There were a lot of controversial things going on at the boxing venue, and NBC did a great job covering it. In fact, the Koreans accused NBC of trying to embarrass the host nation. Today NBC is in so deep with the IOC that all you get is fluff pieces. I honestly don't remember a lot of criticism about the coverage, at least any more so than what ABC got. And I just don't agree with you about ESPN/ABC. But I guess it doesn't matter for at least another 18 years.

  5. Just like the Olympic Games are a privilege and not a right to be hosted, so should be the ability to compete in the Olympics. Why should Canadian, American, German etc financiers of an Olympic Games have to foot the thousands of dollars per athlete to bring someone from St. Kitts or Guam or the Seychelles to compete for a minute or two?

    Because it's part of the Olympic ideal. Are the ceremonies necessary? The torch relay? The art festival? Not really, but they make the Olympics uniquely what they are.

  6. My main disappointment is that I'll be dead before another US network--ANY other US network--broadcasts the games.

    Watching one evening of NBC's sugar coated hyperbole is enough to make any viewer a diabetic.

    The sad thing is that NBC provided the best American TV coverage for the Olympics that I've ever watched. That was going way back to Seoul. By miles. So, NBC could do it, but Uncle Dick's tried and true formula (I guess it's really Grandpa Roone's) apparently gets more soccer moms to watch, so there you have it. Sochi was the first Olympics I didn't attend since Nagano, so I have to say that it's much better now with the cable channels and live streaming. But yeah, I'd love to see ESPN get a crack at it.

  7. I went with Athens and Salt Lake City. For summer, I also considered Barcelona and Seoul. To me, Sydney ripped off Barcelona, Beijing ripped off Sydney, and Rio ripped them all off and made their logo a pacifier to boot. Or maybe it's just a plain ol' nipple. And London is an absolute train wreck. Winter has quite a few good ones. Vancouver was probably my second choice there.

  8. Its never easy for anyone to get up for a bronze medal game, no matter the sport. And only 1 team sport is not professional at the Olympics now, curling. Everyone else comes from various professional leagues.

    To tipify this, look at women's football in 2012. Canada suffered a crushing defeat in the semi-final, only to go out and win bronze and celebrated like it was gold. Even research says that winning the bronze is psycologically more meaningful than 'winning' the silver. The flippant attitude North Americans have to the bronze medal is telling of our collective culture and our attitudes to winning.

    It wasn't 100 by 200

    I don't agree that North Americans are flippant about bronze and silvers in general. We're the only ones in the world who measure total medals vs. total gold medals in the medal tracking tables. It's the specific circumstances behind a medal effort that matter. No one in the U.S. is going to celebrate a basketball bronze. But a U.S. men's water polo bronze? Hell yeah.

  9. Probably not but at least it could have left a lasting image of winning their last game and taking home something in recognition of that. Instead, the lasting image we're left with is a 5-0 blowout against a team maybe they could have beaten. There are plenty of athletes heading home with bronze medals that are more than content with that result

    And athletes like Bode Miller, Steve Holcomb, Matt Antoine, and Erin Hamlin should justifiably be incredibly proud of their achievements. I just don't think it's easy for professionals who come from a winner-takes-all league like the NHL to produce their best efforts less than 24 hours after a tough semi-final loss. If anything, I'm really encouraged about the state of USA hockey. It used to be going in that the U.S. team had an outside chance and that all you could do was hope for the best. The state U.S. hockey is the best it's ever been.

    Congrats on two in a row and three out of four, Canada.

  10. And have a little pride. I mean, if you lose a close game, that's one thing. Don't give the impression to the rest of the world that you completely mailed it in because the bronze medal isn't a big enough prize for you

    And that might have done it. Sweden maybe could have gotten 2, no way they're getting 3 though

    I'm just stating the reality of it. Is anyone in the U.S. heartbroken because we didn't get bronze?

  11. I'm torn. Of course I'd love Canada to win. But I think it's a good thing when sports are competitive at all levels--and were I to pick my second choice it would be Sweden.

    Poor Team USA having their "Nagano moment" in the bronze medal game. We know very well what that feels like.

    Aw fdic it GO CANADA GO!!!!

    I can't see North American NHL players getting pumped up for bronze. Can you imagine what a suckfest it would be if the NHL had the semifinal losers playing for 3rd?

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