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Durban Sandshark

Some More Olympic Tv Updates

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As to the CBC stuff, the network broadcast did have the usual sort of introduction to the games, starting at the 7 am time mentioned, with interviews with athletes and some segments on Beijing, usual CBC opening broadcast fare. This was about an hour long, leading into the ceremony. A couple of nights before, a more general preview was made from the regular Olympic Sports studio in Toronto with similar content, but less of a Beijing focus (since, obviously, it wasn't in Beijing). The pre-ceremony was the only thing on for about half of it's total length, as you probably already can see from the schedule.

As to one of your points about the delayed v. live events for NBC, the moment that summed up NBC coverage for me was the first night (in Canada, morning of Day 1 in Beijing). I turn on the TV, flip to NBC and see Yao Ming during the opening ceremonies, something already on CBC twice that day. Flip to CBC, and I saw the American men's gymnastics team doing preliminaries, while NBC pretended that all the sport would start the next afternoon/night. I understand protecting their rights to earn huge ratings, but I feel bad for hardcore Olympic fans in the US (at least live streams are making this somewhat more bearable)

But, as a reminder, those NBC live streams didn't include the feature attractions like the men's and women's 100m, the all-around gymnastics, and the swimming finals--all that was reserved for TV. Internet streams help in getting events that attention to stuff that can't grab a broad audience consistently enough or not at all ABC/ESPN has indicated that, should it regain the US Olympic TV rights up for grabs starting with 2014, everything will be live as it happens with no tape delay for primetime purposes and ad dollar revenue, which will be great for us American hardcore Olympic fans. But they'll quickly learn it may not work ultimately with ratings. The US TV networks that can afford it the hefty price tags are commercial-oriented of course, unlike a lot of TV networks worldwide like NRK, ARD, ZDF, France Television, TVP, ERT, TV LAD, SVT, BBC, and NHK, though not all, that are less dependent on that. So they don't have to rely on the Neilsens.

I finally printed out the Australian Olympic TV schedules from 7 and SBS last night. Aside from all of the frequent commercial breaks on 7, missing some significant action and not going to stay until the end, the thing that jumps out of me for this is how Melbourne got their Opening Ceremonies broadcast a 50 minutes later than Sydney and Brisbane, which have the Opening Ceremony: Before The Final Countdown (what was shown on that), and when the AFL games came on 7, the city would have it an hour later than what the rest of the Australian east coast would apparently get. Was the games itself on tape-delay in Melbourne? All this with the three major Australian cities on the coast, with all due respect to Wollongong, Newcastle, Geelong, Canberra, Gosford, Townsville, Cairns, and the Gold Coast, all entirely on the same time zone. Why that? As an American, it can be very confusing. Another reason why I'm now glad 9 and FOXTEL has the rights.

Here's another suggestion for NBC: really embrace yourself more with Podcasts. That was perhaps the only significant thing in the media it didn't do with Beijing. Perhaps the network is actually thinking and planning about it for Vancouver. We can only expect the iPods gaining greater capacities for video in the coming years and accomodate more features like cable/digital satelitte/worldwide Internet TV. Why not take advantage of it more?

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But, as a reminder, those NBC live streams didn't include the feature attractions like the men's and women's 100m, the all-around gymnastics, and the swimming finals--all that was reserved for TV. Internet streams help in getting events that attention to stuff that can't grab a broad audience consistently enough or not at all ABC/ESPN has indicated that, should it regain the US Olympic TV rights up for grabs starting with 2014, everything will be live as it happens with no tape delay for primetime purposes and ad dollar revenue, which will be great for us American hardcore Olympic fans. But they'll quickly learn it may not work ultimately with ratings. The US TV networks that can afford it the hefty price tags are commercial-oriented of course, unlike a lot of TV networks worldwide like NRK, ARD, ZDF, France Television, TVP, ERT, TV LAD, SVT, BBC, and NHK, though not all, that are less dependent on that. So they don't have to rely on the Neilsens.

I've made this point here and elsewhere.. We all saw the ESPN claims that they're going to show everything like if they get theirs hands on the rights for 2014 and 2016, but I'm still not buying it. If the Disney corporation thinks they can impress the IOC by showing alpine skiing at 4 in the morning or figure skating at 1 in the afternoon, I think they are sorely mistaken. The IOC has made it clear over the years that they care much more about how many viewers they have watching than how much money the TV network can provide them. Obviously at the end of the day they're going to accept the largest bid, but all things being equal, I bet you they're hoping that NBC out-bids ESPN for 2014/2016. I am as hardcore an Olympics fan as there is out there and I'm praying for the same thing. The Olympics on ESPN is not a good thing, especially not for the greater good of the Olympic audience here in the US.

Durban, you hit on a couple of other good points. NBC did some things really well in Beijing, others not so much. I like your idea for Podcasts and other mini-highlights packages going forward, especially with what I'm sure will be expanded Internet coverage for Vancouver and then for London. The television presentation for London I'm sure will be similar to what it was for Athens. The marquee events will be taped and shown in primetime while other events (such as team sports) will get shown live whenever they are contested. NBC may have to re-think its 24 hour a day strategy because of the shorter time difference to London, but I can guarantee you the main events will NOT get shown live. As was noted, it's a hard sell to advertisers to pay top dollar for a broadcast that not only isn't live, but is a repeat.

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With ABC/ESPN, I can only name a handful of sportscasters who are capable of not getting silly as they cover the competition: Mike Tirico, Mike Breen, Suzy Kolber, John Saunders, Tommy Smyth among them. The analysts are a much better story; I can honestly see Fran Fraschilla acting as a color commentator for Olympic basketball with his vast knowledge of the international basketball scene, and Stacey Dales-Schuman can certainly do likewise for the women's matches since she donned for the Maple Leaf in Sydney 2000. Julie Foudy and Eric Wynalda are great when it comes to soccer. But for the sports that ESPN (in the US at least) doesn't really cover like fencing and field hockey, they will have to import those from other outlets on loan. I can see Linda Cohn or Hannah Storm acting as host to one the daily sections, maybe the late night segment (Cohn really needs to host a late night talk show) and the Sports Reporters can have a daily Olympic version, if Disney so desires. However, a lot of them on the roster are baseball, football, and basketball-oriented. In fact, Storm has that wealth of Olympic TV experience out of many of them. But there are waaaaaay too many unanswered questions since ABC last ran the show in Calgary 1988 influenced significantly by Disney buying Capital Cities/ABC and the media consolidation that accelerated during the 90s.

Another thing: that ESPN360, though very nice, needs to expand its archival sports footage from beyond just a week after broadcast and then dumping it, nowhere to be seen again.

If NBC decided not to go with Beijing podcasting over the practicalities of the iPod video capacities not really meeting with what NBC Universal offered to do, even archived, I can understandably see that. We're bound to have tenth and even eleventh generation iPods with maybe 400GB storage when Vancouver and London hit, so that will be a great time to discuss an iPod Olympic video strategy. To my knowledge, no other broadcaster that owned the domestic Olympic TV rights in the world did anything with the iPod; if that were the case I can only NBC, CBC/TSN, BBC, Seven, ARD/ZDF, France Television, TVNZ, and Eurosport being capable. In actually, with the iPod firmly entrentched worldwide, that should be a great incentive for Olympic rights broadcasters talk to the IOC on this like the EBU could do. By hopefully 2012, you can perhaps buy or download the various Olympic package you want from the iPod store with full event replays, highlights, sports options, Olympic iPod exclusives, and maybe podcast versions of the calls. Territorial restrictions may apply.

OK, I neglected to add the South Koreans' Olympic TV links on this thread but I got the KBS Beijing 2008 English Version. MBC and SBS, I'm still digging for the Olympic subsites from those networks since they're not as prominent as they previously were. Matter of fact, I just saw MBC covering the CC on the "Beijing, Beijing" song on a clip out on Daily Motion, and I noticed their own graphics. Was it just MBC that covered the CC or was it simulcasted over KBS, MBC, and SBS? Apparently, the IOC didn't get to them much since Daily Motion isn't as well-known as YouTube. But some clips did indeed get removed from there

What other networks outside NBC, MBC, TVNZ One, the ARD/ZDF digital channels, and the Seven Network actually had their own graphics in conjunction to the standard Olympic graphics? That would serve as something to critique over. For many of us here, we've seen more of NBC's than from any other network.

How do you envision the Internet streams expanded at least for NBC? My preliminary thoughts (always subject to change, hence the preliminary) will be one for each sport with the ceremonies together with any non-sports stuff like torch relay ceremony and bid presentations. Maybe we can option the commentary for language like Spanish, French, Korean, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, since CTVglobemedia for example has eyes for multilanguage coverage from the likes of Omni, and NBC may need to compete.

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To our German-speaking friends here: if you had a chance to see on ARD's Waldi und Harry that came on after the day's broadcast late at night. So, who the two had as their guests on the show and how everything was formatted? What do you think about the shows itself? To our Austrians, what you thought of ORF's coverage?

The CBC is a (partially) government funded broadcast entity. Part of their mandate is of course to promote, highlight, and encourage Canadian identity and culture. As a small nation in population (but surely not in area), Canadians like to see themselves as an extended family. When the Olympics were on the CBC, the network treated it as such with a focus on the athletes and didn't treat them as lucrative business like NBC. This is why they create the comforting sight of every family and friend of any Canadian athlete who hails from whatever corner of the province (be it from the Maritimes provinces to the major cities like Ottawa, Regina, Quebec City, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, Calgary, Halifax, Moncton, Victoria) to any small town or farming community in the Prairie provinces/Ontario/Quebec gathering around at the TV to see how they will do. Because of this, I don't mind the CBC bias. The following is an interesting (but not surprising) prespective from an NYT blogger in Buffalo writing his thoughts about CBC's coverage of the Opening Ceremony.

http://olympics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/...n-cbc/#more-412

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