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NBC Olympics coverage may be improving

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Marco, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. murgatroyd

    murgatroyd Don't stop believin'

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    I agree, Lori. But apparently it is too much. Even experienced fans can benefit from a quick recap like that, because in some of these sports, the rules change every year, and if you only see the sport televised at the Olympics, you may not know about the rule change. And that's not even counting the cases where the rules for Olympic competitions are NOT THE SAME as the ordinary elite competitions. NBC really needs to do better in Primetime.

    Even viewers who do know what they are watching appreciate having someone else pointing out what they should be looking for.

    I saw someone mess up a jump landing. So what went wrong? I wondered if he had landed with his weight too far back on his blade. Then Johnny Weir explained that the skater had landed with his weight too far back on his blade. So now I know I've gotten better about seeing what is happening.

    In snowboarding, I may also see that someone has landed with his weight too far back on the board, but I appreciate hearing from the expert about why that happened (e.g the timing was off because he opened up from the twist/somersault at the wrong moment).

    Snowboarding, figure skating, skiing, ski jumping, even curling -- so many of these sports are all about physics. But the basic principles you need to know are easy to understand, as long as you have someone who can explain them properly. Athletes are a mass moving themselves through space, or in curling and hockey, causing a mass to move through space. It's all about how you set that mass into motion, and how you keep it on the optimum path to go longer/faster/higher or to go where you want it to be.

    As Lori said, the basic rules / scoring should be given at the outset; after that, the more complicated parts like tiebreakers can be explained if they come up.

    There are some things that don't show up well when you are watching on TV. For figure skating, a TV-only viewer is not going to pick up the visual cues about how fast someone is moving across the ice as well as someone who has actually been at the rink and can translate their fixed-point experience of fast and slow skating to the TV-camera perspective. Ice dancing is one discipline that suffers especially from this -- it's difficult for the casual viewer to appreciate the difference in basic skating quality only from watching on TV.
     
  2. DancnDude

    DancnDude Thrice as nice TCF Club

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    During the snowboarding the other day, one of the commentators mentioned how one of the athletes was using their non-dominant leg in some of their jumps and how much harder it was to do something like that. That's one of the things I really appreciate hearing as it's not obvious at all and would make a big difference in terms of difficulty, and makes the jumps much more impressive to watch.
     
  3. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    I wonder if this is because of us being in such a connected world were so many of us have access to "second screens" where we could look up things like rules (which might bore viewers...I disagree, but maybe that's their thinking). Of course we could also see the human interest stories on the web as well and just leave the viewing to the actual contests :)
     
  4. Lori

    Lori Social Defective TCF Club

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    I was shocked and horrified and amused at how many of the slopestyle terms I remembered from my near-obsession with CoolBoarders3. :) :D

    Of course, I still don't know how THAT was scored. There were just some numbers. :(
     
  5. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    Who was doing the color commentary with Al Trautwig on Cross Country skiing. The guy was SCREAMING at us, he was so excited. If felt VERY unprofessional.
     
  6. zordude

    zordude WDW Fan TCF Club

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    Ha. my comment to my wife: "This guy is VERY excited about what is going on here"
     
  7. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    A broadcast should never assume that the viewers know much about the sport or that they'll be motivated to go find additional information on their own. If the broadcaster is expecting the viewer to go get additional info, then the commentator should mention that and they should post a URL where people can learn more. But aside from that, the commentators should provide all the information that a neophyte viewer would need in order to watch and enjoy that event. And with the Olympics, that's especially true, since most of these events are things that the average viewer knows nothing about and likely has never seen, or if they have, it was four years ago at the previous Olympics.
     
  8. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    I'm not disagreeing, but they have been mentioning their URL quite a bit. I think there is too much on the screen as it is, but, it wouldn't be a bad thing, that, when they move to a sport they haven't covered yet, they flash on the screen something like "Want to know more about <fill in the sport> go to <insert URL> It's a different world than it was even 10 years ago. The younger generation is more inclined to look things up on the web without thinking of it as a cumbersome task. Even 50 something me does it quite often when I'm watching shows. And for the networks it's another revenue stream to get you to go their sites for information.
     
  9. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    There's a limit to that. Could you imagine if football announcers spent the beginning of every game talking about how there are 4 downs and you have to get 10 yards, etc.? Even in the Super Bowl they don't start with that.

    You have to assume some level of knowledge on the part of the audience. But it varies widely depending on the sport and other context. In the Olympics it's a lot lower than most other places.
     
  10. Azlen

    Azlen Active Member

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    You only really get that in the Summer Olympics when they are playing water polo... ;)
     
  11. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    At this point, the vast majority of what you see for both television and the internet is provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services, the "host broadcaster." They provide what is called the International Signal, which is video, natural audio, and graphics providing results/scores/timing/etc. It's generally very good and is enough to cover the event.

    Rights-holding broadcasters have the option to supplement the International Feed with video of their own, usually for stuff like interviews and the like.

    I watched in Chrome with the AdBlock extension, and don't remember seeing any ads (banner or interstitials).
     
  12. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    And NBC does so, obviously, for many events. So why, on their own website do they not host videos of their own production for an event they aired on TV?

    That's a good tip if true. You watched full screen on a 16:9 screen and the video filled the screen? (Apologies for using the same word 3 times in the same sentence). I had black borders on 3 sides and a banner ad bar across the top. I used Safari.
     
  13. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    My XL4 is doing well with the XXII Olympics. I can't imagine how I watched them before without 4 tuners and two terabytes of disk space. My only complaint is how slow the menus are when the thing is recording on two or three tuners, with several wishlists and SPs for Olympic events.

    I'm currently in the mid-40's percent, and I'm currently scheduled to run out of disk space on Friday. Obviously I'll have to delete some stuff by then. I've found that I can run through anywhere between 6 and 10+ hours of coverage in 3-4 hours with TiVo.

    The coverage is a bit better, but it's still fluffed to all get out with feature crap, most of which, is, well, crap. There is also clearly less stuff being broadcast than the summer olympics, which are a lot harder to keep up with than the winter. Although it's not as bad as in the summer, where there are many sports that they don't cover at all, I wish that they would give more prime time attention to curling, biathlon, and the cross country. The summer olympics are way worse, where there are tons of cool sports that never get shown, with only a few sports being played over and over during primetime.

    The one annoying thing about the live coverage is that they put commercials in, so in curling, you miss the first few rocks of every end. Soooo annoying. We pay every month for USA, which is basically a total crap channel, and use it once every two years for Olympics, you'd think they could broadcast without any freaking commercials when they are live.

    They are auto-detecting based on IP address, so they know you're on Comcast's HSI network. WatchESPN does the same thing, which got really trippy when I brought my laptop, which is logged into my XFinity account to a friend's house who has Charter, and it said something like "Provided by Charter".
     
  14. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    There's a lot fewer sports / events in the Winter than Summer. I think that's part of the reason we're seeing a lot of the live stuff repeated during prime time. I actually think the fluff has been mostly kept to a minimum, at least during prime time (although some of the stories are a joke). In the summer, since there are SO many sports to cover, they tend to show the sports that are considered most popular during prime time (track and field, swimming, gymnastics being the core summer sports). The problem with showing sports like Curling and X-country is they take hours to complete. So they will show short segments of those sports. But there's one channel almost designated to Curling, and I've seen quite a bit of X-Country on NBCSN over the weekend.

    You want to watch the Olympics right? Well someone has to pay NBC so they can show them to you. So you get commercials. We don't notice it as much during our normal sports viewing because of the agreements between the sports leagues and TV to build in breaks for commercials so we don't miss the action. The IOC doesn't have such an agreement. I'm fine with commercials, but yeah, I've missed a goal or two in hockey and it annoyed me, but I'm not going to complain about it. Last thing I want is for NBC to go PPV again for Olympic coverage.
     
  15. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Active Member

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    The part of NBC coverage that's been annoying me is how many events seem to get aired multiple times; and not just during prime time.

    I understand that the prime time block is going to be repeats or edited versions of the overnight live (or less delayed) blocks; so I'm expecting that during prime time. But you get, for example, early morning coverage that re-airs events I'd watched the day before.

    I don't want to have to constantly by trying to think whether I've seen this exact event before, or if that was training or semis or something and this is actually the next round.
     
  16. laria

    laria Librocubicularist

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    Yeah, I noticed that yesterday for the first time. I started watching some skiing thinking it was new, then I realized it was the same skiing I'd seen on Sunday.
     
  17. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    I guess they are trying to cover the west coast, so they are repeating stuff. Makes sense in a way. if they show X-Country live at 9AM, eastern and have no plans to show it prime time, then why not show them again for the West Coast folks?
     
  18. laria

    laria Librocubicularist

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    Well in particular this was the men's downhill coverage that had been in the Sunday primetime coverage, being re-shown in the Monday morning stuff.
     
  19. eddyj

    eddyj SeƱor Member TCF Club

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    The repeats are so annoying that now I am trying to have the Gold Zone thing on my iPad during the day, and just FFing through most of the coverage that has recorded throughout the day.
     
  20. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Correct, there are about 1/4 the number of athletes and far fewer events. They may have reduced the fluff over previous Olympics, but there are still tons of it in there.

    For the summer olympics, they should balance it more, and edit it to get more action. There are many sports they show absolutely nothing of in the primetime summer coverage, like fencing, canoeing, kayaking, some of the marathon and cycling events, and many more. And they don't broadcast sailing at all. It would be horribly boring to watch in real time, but a 10-minute, well-edited recap of the day's sailing with some infographics could be really good. But instead they show absurd amounts of gymnastics, track and field, and swimming.

    I get that on NBC, but USA is a cable channel. I pay them every single month, and they just show old re-runs except for once every two years they do Olympics stuff. At least for the live events, they could lose the commercials. I wouldn't mind some on-screen commercials at the bottom of the screen or something. Either that, or just tape delay it and make it that much longer than it really is. It's so annoying to not see the first few rocks of every end. Or do both.
     

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