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NBC and the Olympics, should we talk about it?

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So, we all know that NBC has spent billions for the Olympics. I didn't realize until know what it would imply. But now that I've just realized that I won't be able to watch the Rio 2016 competitions live (cause all the major ones will be taking place between 3 and 4 am in France, while there's only 5 hours between Brazil and France), I'm starting to wonder about this whole thing. I've read that some athletes are really upset about this. In the 2008 Games they had to compete for the swimming finals in the morning, and now in Rio it will have to be at 10 pm. WTF??? How can the IOC let that happen? Fucking money...

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NBC spends the most money on obtaining rights for the games among all the countries. If you've ever watched ABC cover LA and Nagano (those are the ones I've watched), you'll wish they still did. The US audience alone is enough to influence the IOC to move things around so a suburban family in Wyoming can watch the games in prime time while Parisians can't. 

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It's obviously very convinient for you Americans. But for the rest of the world.... If noone but the Americans can watch the Games, what's the point. And it's going to be that way untill 2032? Gee!

NBC even tried to have the nations parade for Rio 2016 be in English, so that the US would be at the end and make sure the family in Utah watch until the end. In Portuguese they will be at the beginning. Thank god the IOC still had some balls to tell them 'no'.

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2 hours ago, phandrosis said:

NBC spends the most money on obtaining rights for the games among all the countries. If you've ever watched ABC cover LA and Nagano (those are the ones I've watched), you'll wish they still did. The US audience alone is enough to influence the IOC to move things around so a suburban family in Wyoming can watch the games in prime time while Parisians can't. 

CBS had Nagano.  ABC's last Winter Olympics was Calgary.  And they did a lot of the same things that NBC does.

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Quaker you are right about that. ABC had to juggle their soap operas during LA, although they were shorter than usual. NBC did keep their soaps during their first couple of Summer Games, but in 2004, bumped them for the Olympics, and have done that since then.

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NBC's tape delay is pointless and stupid. If 7 in Australia, BBC in the UK and CBC in Canada can show it live, why can't NBC. NBC wants to maximise ratings by tape delaying the Opening Ceremonies. 

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9 minutes ago, BigVic said:

NBC's tape delay is pointless and stupid. If 7 in Australia, BBC in the UK and CBC in Canada can show it live, why can't NBC. NBC wants to maximise ratings by tape delaying the Opening Ceremonies. 

It's not pointless and stupid for NBC if it makes them more money.  I don't know how that's the case with a 1 hour delay, but that other countries show it live is irrelevant so far as NBC is concerned.

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20 minutes ago, Quaker2001 said:

It's not pointless and stupid for NBC if it makes them more money.  I don't know how that's the case with a 1 hour delay, but that other countries show it live is irrelevant so far as NBC is concerned.

It may make sense, but I do think it's a pity. One of the great traditions of a games for most of us around the world is getting up at odd and ungodly hours to watch the magic of an OC or to cheer on an athlete we hope will snatch gold for our country. I think you guys miss out on that special aspect of a games. Still, I guess you have your own traditions. But I wouldn't swap them.

Edited by Sir Rols

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9 minutes ago, Sir Rols said:

It may make sense, but I do think it's a pity. One of the great traditions of a games for most of us around the world is getting up at odd and ungodly hours to watch the magic of an OC or to cheer on an athlete we hope will snatch gold for our country. I think you guys miss out on that special aspect of a games. Still, I guess you have your own traditions. But I wouldn't swap them.

It's a longstanding tradition for Australia when the Games are held in Europe. For the next three games, the games will be held within our time zone. Too bad if you're American wanting live coverage. 

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I don't care if it's 2 in the morning...I'll get up and watch my nation win gold, silver, or bronze. Athletes should not have to perform at ungodly hours just to fit the needs of US Prime Time viewers. 

I love my country and I love that we are the ultimate power, but the Olympics are the worlds event and NBC having this much power over the schedule is just wrong. IOC needs to grow some balls and start listing out demands to NBC. If India has to watch it live at three in the afternoon, my ass better be ready to wake up at three in the morning.

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54 minutes ago, mr.bernham said:

I don't care if it's 2 in the morning...I'll get up and watch my nation win gold, silver, or bronze. Athletes should not have to perform at ungodly hours just to fit the needs of US Prime Time viewers. 

I love my country and I love that we are the ultimate power, but the Olympics are the worlds event and NBC having this much power over the schedule is just wrong. IOC needs to grow some balls and start listing out demands to NBC. If India has to watch it live at three in the afternoon, my ass better be ready to wake up at three in the morning.

Most Americans would probably not wake up at 2 in the morning.  These hours are hardly "ungodly."  A little inconvenient, but especially with the swimmers, they lost their case to be upset when they were smashing world records left and right in Beijing despite the claims the schedule would negatively affect them.  NBC has that much power because they pay that much money.  What demands should the IOC make of NBC?  As if the IOC isn't already well-versed in making demands.  If by grow balls, you mean accept less money to get their way, you know that's not going to happen.

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NBC possibly the only rights holder in the world that doesn't show it live - was ridiculous with the ceremony when they could surely have started at 7pm.  Yes they pay the most for rights but collectively the rest of the world puts their hand in too - and the latter starts don't favour the Europeans.   It's notable with the Paralympics that the swimming and athletics will begin about 4 hours earlier, much more suitable for UK audiences and still primetime for Rio.  Anyone know what is "primetime" in Brazilian television?

I guess in Tokyo we might get morning swimming finals again.   Notice in Rio for the athletics though they're having finals in both the morning and evening session, so some (less appealing) finals are early evening in Europe.

 

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You also have to think about it this way, it's not just our own athletes that are inconvenienced, it's ALL athletes. So therefore they're at an equal level right there.

It is a bit amusing to hear that I think Phelps said he didn't leave the stadium last night until 1am (or maybe it was 11am) and didn't fall asleep till about 3am.

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22 hours ago, Quaker2001 said:

Most Americans would probably not wake up at 2 in the morning.  These hours are hardly "ungodly."  A little inconvenient, but especially with the swimmers, they lost their case to be upset when they were smashing world records left and right in Beijing despite the claims the schedule would negatively affect them.  NBC has that much power because they pay that much money.  What demands should the IOC make of NBC?  As if the IOC isn't already well-versed in making demands.  If by grow balls, you mean accept less money to get their way, you know that's not going to happen.

I managed to just wake up in time for Adam Peaty's final last night - left it to my body to decide if it was worth waking up for and woke up about 5 minutes beforehand.   Unfortunately my body also decided to keep me awake during the Opening Ceremony despite me getting bored of it rather quickly.

NBC are probably as good as anyone as prepackaging highlights into a show, so no reason not to give network viewers the live option and the highlights option.   The next two Winter Olympics at least should offer some live skiing in primetime without disruption to the schedules (they're normally held in the morning, so that'll fall in primetime).   I don't see what NBC have got to lose in 2020 by giving viewers the chance to watch the evening events, including the ceremonies, live in the mornings and then having a mixture of live morning events and highlights of the days key moments in the evening.  I'd be surprised if the overall ratings dropped for the ceremonies if they had a live broadcast in the morning and an encore in the evening.

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2 hours ago, Brekkie Boy said:

NBC are probably as good as anyone as prepackaging highlights into a show, so no reason not to give network viewers the live option and the highlights option.   The next two Winter Olympics at least should offer some live skiing in primetime without disruption to the schedules (they're normally held in the morning, so that'll fall in primetime).   I don't see what NBC have got to lose in 2020 by giving viewers the chance to watch the evening events, including the ceremonies, live in the mornings and then having a mixture of live morning events and highlights of the days key moments in the evening.  I'd be surprised if the overall ratings dropped for the ceremonies if they had a live broadcast in the morning and an encore in the evening.

Think like a network executive that works within the system that is the television business in the United states.  Not a fan, particularly one who would wake up at an odd hour to watch an Olympic event because there aren't too many of those here.

First off.. options.  You do realize that every event is streamed online now here, right?  The live option is there.  And even if big events are held until primetime, there are still dozens of events that get live coverage.  And like you said, plenty of opportunity to show big events in primetime since the morning in Asia is primetime here, not to mention that they've already announce figure skating in 2018 will be held in the morning.

So what does NBC have to lose?  How about millions of dollars in advertising revenue.  It is all but a mathematical guarantee the audience for a morning live broadcast of an Opening Ceremony or other key events would be relatively low.  So now you've greatly diminished the appeal of the primetime show which is what the advertisers pay the big bucks for.  And you've already doomed yourself with the Opening Ceremony argument by referring to it as an "encore."  Advertisers will flock away from that in droves.  The ratings would almost certainly suffer if people realize the primetime "encore" show already aired earlier.

I know to those outside the United States, it's a foreign concept of how NBC operates to where they're so dependent on advertising revenue and they'll go to great lengths to get it.  That's simply the nature of the TV business here and there's no way around it for them.  And the dynamics of how people consume media hasn't changed enough to justify them doing things differently from the standpoint of trying to be a more successful business.

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I'm fine.  I'm happy with it.  I have 5 channels to choose from.  And then I fall back to PBS if nothing excites me.  The replays and ON DEMAND options are great to.  

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20 minutes ago, baron-pierreIV said:

I'm fine.  I'm happy with it.  I have 5 channels to choose from.  And then I fall back to PBS if nothing excites me.  The replays and ON DEMAND options are great to.  

Also they air evrything on the NBC Olympics website, commentating free too sometimes. And they show it live. If you wait for the NBC TV replay of gymnastics, you're going to be severely disappointed since all they show is highlights, like last night they only focused on showing 5 performers and maybe a handful of others just for s**ts and giggles. So I can't complain too much about NBC if they provide online coverage for pretty much free.

I assume it's free because all I did was pick my TV service provider (which I have none lol but I picked u-verse because they're my internet provider) and voila I'm in, watching everything live!

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I watched the men's all-around on my tablet yesterday.  It was outstanding.  Quality couldn't have been better.  No complaints there, especially knowing what NBC was likely to offer up in primetime.

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Mehh it is what it is, NBC pays a lot of money if you look at the numbers IOC's revenue for 2013-16 was $1.375 billion a year ($5.5 billion total,) NBC's portion was $775 million for 2014, and $1.23 billion for 2016, so over $2 billion that's quite a sum and enables them to ask for and receive a lot of things. But ratings are down, could be because the Olympics, at least the summer edition, is past it's peak in US audience mind share, or could be unique reasons to these particular games like dates, location, Russia doping, IOC corruption and bad public relations, we'll have to see what happens. If the trend continues the rights will be less valuable leading to less interest from American networks and less clout surrounding event times (good for you I guess, but bad for the whole endeavor.) 

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really good article if you live outside the US and wondered what NBC was paying all that money for. i'm sure i'm not the only american on here who finds the primetime coverage absolutely useless.

what the article doesn't mention is that winter olympics coverage is actually a lot more balanced since there are fewer american superstars to focus on (but rest assured they over-expose the hell out of the ones they've got).

NBC's coverage of the Olympics is atrocious. There's a simple reason why.

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Without any competition, the network continues to fall back on the same tired storylines about men who are gritty competitors and women who manage to fill some traditionally feminine role in addition to being athletes (when it’s not suggesting their husbands are responsible for their success, that is).

NBC continues to value American success stories over almost anything else (to the degree that not a second of the men’s gymnastics team finals aired in primetime, since the US didn’t medal). Frequently, the only non-Americans we see compete in events like gymnastics are those who have direct bearing on NBC’s US-centric narrative.

And the network continues, above all else, to suggest that the Olympic stories that matter most are the ones that offer up a wholesome, usually white face of Middle America — even when reality gets in the way.

 

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30 minutes ago, kraussie-kraussie-kraussie said:

really good article if you live outside the US and wondered what NBC was paying all that money for. i'm sure i'm not the only american on here who finds the primetime coverage absolutely useless.

what the article doesn't mention is that winter olympics coverage is actually a lot more balanced since there are fewer american superstars to focus on (but rest assured they over-expose the hell out of the ones they've got).

NBC's coverage of the Olympics is atrocious. There's a simple reason why.

 

You could substitute US and NBC with Australia an Channel 7 and it would ring true too.

I guess we're that minority who would prefer watching a Belorussian or Colombian set the gym mat or diving board afire ahead of heart-wrenching replays of an Aussie or American getting get a PB but missing out on progressing from a preliminary event.

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1 minute ago, Sir Rols said:

I guess we're that minority who would prefer watching a Belorussian or Colombian set the gym mat or diving board afire ahead of heart-wrenching replays of an Aussie or American getting get a PB but missing out on progressing from a preliminary event.

yeah, uh they don't really do that here because my country produces more gold medalists than coverage hours, but i take your point. maybe you were referring to my WOG reference. NBC does love tears and heartbreak but they do not wallow in it and they rarely bet on maybe winners, although upsets do happen. (they were positively scrambling for breakout-star simone manuel pieces but all they had were the standard in-studio interviews they do with all the swimmers to hedge their bets. i don't think anybody talked to her cousin christopher or went to her hometown to interview her third-grade teacher, which they will do for a ledecky).

their pound of flesh is gold medal moments from athletes succeeding against the odds spliced between special interest pieces, and they will have them -- even if they have to go athletes from the home country or the UK or freaking slovenia in the case of tina maze. tom daley got a piece in london (for being gay and british -- both challenges he had to overcome).

and they will find that adversity! in beijing, phelps' ridiculous hardship package was that he was bullied as a kid for his hot swimmer's bod (although i suspect that was more of a plan B after they received a hard "no dad talk" rule from the family because his father wasn't mentioned once).

they literally write the olympics before they happen and they don't let a trifling little thing like results get the way.

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What they need is some real drama to lift ratings. What say we send the Campbell sisters to take on Katie Ledecky with baseball bats in the run up to Tokyo?

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