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NBC Olympics coverage may be improving

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

  1. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    No argument from me, I'm the same way. When Tim McCarver first started doing games (and I know for most people here, he's a dirty word), he was probably the best at teaching the finer points of the game. And he could do it in an entertaining way (and in many respects, he's uniquely qualified for doing it, because as a catcher he was a hitter, a fielder who could see the whole field from his position and knew the mechanics of pitching. And he had the personality to explain it so a layman could understand it. John Madden was the same way. Except once Madden became immensely popular, there were lots of imitators, who lacked his skills as a commentator, but tried to emulate his personality. And then it just went over the top most of the time. For sports that I don't completely understand all the nuances and technical aspects, it's even more important, as you point out that they explain it to me so I can understand. It's hard to find someone who can do that well without sounding either boring, or being an over the top fan. (Button who you mention had one annoying habit, he went over the top with his exclamations, Scott Hamilton has the same problem).

    Anyway, I think that for sports fans, we want to know the nuts and bolts, but we're going to watch anyway. They try and bring in those who want to be entertained, not us junkies.
     
  2. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Active Member

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    I also watch movies and stuff on Netflix and others. They are typically okay. I have not seen any sports yet that stands up to real HD. That includes MLB, ESPN3 et al.

    I shouldn't have to want to watch it bad enough. This isn't my little sister's third grade volleyball game. This is the Olympics. And there is so much waste of real HD bandwidth.
     
  3. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Active Member

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    Ick. You just complimented Tim McCarver. One of the absolute worst announcers ever. His "fine points" consist of making jokes about 2-2 pitches with two on and two outs. Or this gem: players consider being down 1-0 no different than 0-0 because they need to score anyway. He's an idiot. I know baseball and I know a lot of players. His fine points are just nonsense. But he had you fooled.
     
  4. mrdbdigital

    mrdbdigital The TBS Archives TCF Club

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    Back when I was with TBS in Atlanta, the Nation Cable Television folks had their national convention in town, and a friend and I just managed to get in at the close on the last day. After wondering around a while, we came upon the USA Network booth, which had one of those large brandy snifters on the table, over half filled with USA Network pins. The guy running the booth was quickly packing and obviously wanted to get out of there. We asked him if we could have more than one pin, as there was a sign on the glass saying "one to a customer". His reply, "You can have the entire lot of them. That's one last thing I have to pack. Help yourself!"

    Well, we ended up with over 200 pins. They came in very handy for years as trading stock. :)
     
  5. murgatroyd

    murgatroyd Don't stop believin'

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    Button has many annoying habits, but when he is talking about technical stuff, he knows his stuff. Which is why it was genius putting Kurt Browning in the booth with him. It gave Button an audience, someone he could talk to who would understand anything he said. So then he started to really talk technique.

    Of course Button can be incredibly annoying, as can Scott Hamilton. But the thing that has annoyed me even more this season is Tom Hammond. I realize it's probably some producer asking him to do this, but he's trying to cram the entire contents of the media guide down the throat of the viewer in the 20 seconds or less that they're showing a skater taking a position before each program. FFS, this is TV, not radio. The world won't come to an end if there is a moment of 'dead air'.

    The same thing happens on the horse racing broadcasts, too. Interviews, puff pieces, celebrity shots in the crowd, pre-race analysis blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah and then all of a sudden it's post time and BLAM they switch away from all their other crap and show you the last horse being loaded into the gate before the start of the race. You barely see the horses warm up; you don't get any of the atmosphere of being at the event. There's no chance for the dramatic tension to build. The game/race/event is almost an afterthought. I hate it.
     
  6. That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

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    It was worse in the days of the 6.0 scoring system (and with pretty much every commentator). In order to make sure all of the judges had their acts together, after the first skater performed, they were each told the average of their first marks, and the average of their second marks, and could modify them accordingly, which made the gap between the performance and the announcement of scores even longer.
     
  7. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    Don't judge him now working with Joe Buck, a horrible PxP announcer who brings out the worst in whoever he works with. Buck tries to make the game into one big running gag of one liners only he thinks is funny and McCarver plays along. McCarver in the days covering the Mets in NY was an excellent color guy, considered the John Madden of baseball. His book is considered a go to for teaching novices about baseball. I think you're just going along with the consensus here who don't like the guy. Playing the game is a lot different than "knowing a few baseball players". I know baseball, probably as well as you, and I think in the day, he was a great announcer. Is he great now? No. Who do you think it a great baseball announcer today?
     
  8. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    The thing is for these sports, Olympic sports, horse racing and some others, they have to present the sport to an audience that probably don't know the competitors, don't know the finer points of the sport (and especially the technical aspects), and in most cases couldn't care less. They need to be entertaining first. That probably pisses off the die hard fans, and some of us who enjoy some of the the technical aspects. But those people are already tuning in. So how do you balance that? I didn't see the skating competition you mentioned with Kurt and Button, so I can't speak to it, but for a large chunk of the audience, two analysts going back and forth on technical minutia can be a colossal bore. The good one (John Madden for NFL football for example) can make the technical stuff sound interesting. Maybe that was the case with Kurt and Button. It's a problem I have with this trend in baseball, especially ESPN's coverage where they fill the screen with a million stats and speak to them as if everyone understands them.

    So if your NBC, who do go after as an audience? Do you go after the core fans who understand everything about the sport and you can go into all the technical aspect, or do you go after the casual fan who might be bored to tears if you get too technical and turn to something else? You most certainly already have the core fan as an audience, so you need to target the rest to get ratings up. Sorry, but that's the TV business in this country.
     
  9. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    So what do you suggest? NBC already has 4 or 5 networks dedicated to the Olympics. There's no way they could show EVERYTHING. So they stream.

    It's nice to complain but unless you have a better solution....
     
  10. murgatroyd

    murgatroyd Don't stop believin'

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    These days we hear a lot of talk about how the program will rack up points under the new judging system, and not much else. So NBC is getting pretty good now at boring both the casual and experienced fans at the same time.

    (Disclaimer: I just watched the European championships over the weekend -- often a huge snooze-fest for me, especially when they only show singles skating.)
     
  11. Feb 2, 2014 #151 of 391
    humbb

    humbb Member

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    Was setting up for recording the Olympics with a "XXII Winter Olympics" Wishlist on my 6-Tuner Roamio using an HD-only filter. Noticed that USA, MSNBC, and CNBC weren't being auto-recorded because the HD flag wasn't set on those channels. Only NBC and NBC Sports were recording. Ended up creating 5 Season Passes for each of the HD channels carrying the Games.
     
  12. Feb 2, 2014 #152 of 391
    laria

    laria Librocubicularist

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    I never bother setting up the HD-only flag on wishlists anymore. We just delete all the non-HD channels from our channel list.
     
  13. Feb 6, 2014 #153 of 391
    Marco

    Marco Loyal Little

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    A little comparison chart of national Olympic TV packages.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Feb 6, 2014 #154 of 391
    TIVO_GUY_HERE

    TIVO_GUY_HERE I miss the ocean

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    I didn't even know there was a filter :)

    only SD channels I have are like TVLAND or such, that we don't have HD.
     
  15. Feb 6, 2014 #155 of 391
    That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

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    To be fair, of course the three European countries are going to be showing a lot of things live. Notice that they are all starting live coverage at pretty much the same time - Friday, at 7:30 PM Sochi time (GMT+4), just before the Opening Ceremony begins.
     
  16. Feb 6, 2014 #156 of 391
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    Canada is covering a lot of hours, but it's interesting in that they have THREE separate English speaking networks covering the Olympics, so it's non exclusive (or maybe they have separate deals by sport). The US has one family of networks (NBC Universal).
     
  17. Feb 6, 2014 #157 of 391
    jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    Coverage starts TONIGHT.


    I had thought that the TEAM skating competition was simply taking scores from the other competitions (men, women, pairs, dance) and then using that to give an award to a team (country). But it seems like it's a totally separate competition? I.e. performances specifically for the TEAM competition that are not connected to the other performances for men, women, pairs, and dance?
     
  18. Feb 6, 2014 #158 of 391
    murgatroyd

    murgatroyd Don't stop believin'

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    It's a totally separate competition. I watched some of it (men's short program and pairs short program) via streaming this morning.
     
  19. Feb 6, 2014 #159 of 391
    Jeeters

    Jeeters Registered Snoozer

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    I tuned in at 8pm and one of the first things Bob Costas mentioned was that later in the evening, as part of the primetime coverage, there'll be some discussion, along with some talking head expert, on some of the issues that have been surrounding the games: security, how ready is Russia, terror threats, political something-or-other, blah blah blah.

    Really? Can't they just have their prime time coverage of the games - I don't know - just stick to the games?
     
  20. Feb 6, 2014 #160 of 391
    That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

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    Correct. Ten countries qualified based on performances in 2013 competitions; each one has one entry in each discipline (men, ladies, pairs, dance) perform a short program; each discipline scores 10 team points for first, 9 for second, and so on. The top five in points after the short programs then do a free skate (the new name for "long program") in each discipline, again with the 10-down-to-1 points for places; the most points (combining the short and free rounds) wins the gold. Note that each country may make two changes (changing either or both skaters in pairs or dance counts as one change) between the short and free rounds. Also, each entry has to have qualified in an individual event, except in the case where a country didn't qualify anybody in a particular discipline (so, for example, USA couldn't add Mirai Nagasu to the Olympic team to compete in just the team competition).
     

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