4 reasons NBC sucks at covering the Olympics
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; NBC sucks at covering the Olympics. They can’t help it; it’s partly their awful ideas and partly the fact that they’re trying to run a business. Let’s put on a Breaking Bad hazmat suit and dive into this putrid pile of puke.
I was kinda relentless regarding the opening ceremony on Twitter:
Best part of #OpeningCeremony was when those white horses brought in Sauron of Mordor
— CreativeJamie.com (@CreativeJamieDC) February 8, 2014
But that was probably unfair of me. After we experience all the joy and excitement of watching people walk slowly in circles, I should be prepared for modern dance and stage spectacle the likes of which will strain my intelligence and concentration. I can handle maybe an hour of this sort of thing, but like all opening ceremonies, the Sochi 2014 show seem to stretch out into eternity. Sure, that projection stuff was cool, but at some point, I just can’t watch people twirl anymore. Again, it’s my fault for watching it; we all know what we’re getting here.
“It’s my fault for watching it” really ought to be tattooed on my face when it comes to the Olympics; I know NBC can’t get it right, but maybe I just need to see how they’re going to screw it up. So far, here are the biggest offenses:
So… many… commercials!
I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of ads. I know broadcasting the Olympics isn’t free for NBC, but the flood of ads is overwhelming. The tape delay gives them even more opportunities to edit in more breaks and then, they’ll do sneaky stuff like include entire segments that feature no competition content. Meaning, the schedule will go: competition content, commercial, nonsense segment, commercial, competition content. And the commercial breaks are LOOOOOOOOOOONG. You absolutely must DVR the Olympics and then come back an hour later so you can fast forward through the BS – otherwise, the games are completely unwatchable.
Camera choice/Camera work
When you’re shooting the same thing with multiple cameras, it’s the director’s job to choose which camera is being sent out to the feed and this year, NBC’s team is making some bizarre choices. My favorites include when they barely use that track camera on the speed skating rink and the totally bizarre “You like watching figure skating from the rafters?” crane shot we were treated to last night. I can’t imagine anything that needs less wide shots than figure skating, but my hat is off to you, NBC: figure skating and crane shots. What an awful combination!
Interviews – really, the Miracle on Ice?
Remember before when I mentioned the entire segments that feature no competition content? Yeah, the interviewed the Russian hockey coach for an entire segment and spent half the time on the 1980 Miracle on Ice. Give. Me. A. Break. I know we had to go all nuts during the 20th anniversary, but stop sucking, NBC! Leave the poor man alone! I’m sure that was one of the biggest humiliations of his life, not to mention the consequences he probably had to face from his Soviet government. And they broke up the Women’s Biathlon into two segments for this? That’s right, they were showing the Biathlon, went to commercial, did the interview, went back to commercial and then finally came back to the Biathlon. I was afraid they forgot about it!
Medal Counts on days 1 and 2
Holy crap, the damn Olympics just started! I don’t need a medal count yet! When the winning team has 7 medals… well, that’s just a clue that you might be jumping the gun, NBC!