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Well, it's time for the biannual gripe fest over the NBC mis-handling of the Olympic broadcast. This year, NBC gets to make our lives difficult regarding the Winter Olympics.

In case you haven't seen the full schedule, you can view it several different ways (by network, by event, by date) at http://www.nbcolympics.com

I'll start the ball rolling with two observations.

-- While I have a passing interest in most of the sports (except figure skating), the only Winter Olympic sport I'm actually passionate about is curling. And while I am thankful that the NBC "family" of networks has taken note of the increased interest in the sport, I find it stunning that given the 16 days and countless hours of coverage that NBC will have, there will not be any curling events on NBC itself. Even on a weekend afternoon, they couldn't carve out an hour or two for an abbreviated game, like the USA vs. Canada men's match that's likely to draw a crowd.

-- It appears that the USA network will be carrying most of the live overnight coverage from Torino. Similar to previous years, NBC has grouped several events into larger program 'blocks' on certain days, and will be switching back-and-forth during these larger blocks between various venues for live and tape-delayed events to balance out the coverage. These blocks can vary from as short as three hours to as long as eight hours. (This has been the case in previous years, and your TiVo will list these blocks of time as single 'programs'.)

However, on Friday, Feb. 17, NBC has outdone itself. Starting at 4 AM Eastern that morning, USA will have a block of various Olympic events running non-stop for nine and a half hours. This means that if an event that you are interested in is scheduled for that morning, you will have to make sure you have 9 1/2 hours of room on your TiVo (and, that recording that large of a block doesn't cause other shows to be deleted earlier than intended). Thanks, NBC!
 

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Tivoless
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Rosenkavalier said:
the only Winter Olympic sport I'm actually passionate about is curling.
Wow, my first spit-take! I'm probably too sheltered, but I didn't think that sentence would end with curling! :)
 

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I think they're doing a much better job this year. The only thing I'd gripe about is that all of the alternate coverage is in SD (for me anyway being a DirecTv user.) That's not NBC's fault, but once you've watched this stuff in HD its almost excrutiating to watch it any other way.

My only other (very minor) gripe is that they are calling the city "Torino". Every other English-speaking media outlet is referring to the city by its English name "Turin". Why NBC chose to use the Italian spelling makes no sense.
 

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I heard that
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appleye1 said:
I think they're doing a much better job this year. The only thing I'd gripe about is that all of the alternate coverage is in SD (for me anyway being a DirecTv user.) That's not NBC's fault, but once you've watched this stuff in HD its almost excrutiating to watch it any other way.
Let me just jog your memory.

Hey Todd, whatcha doin?

Now that was excrustiating.
 

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Don't stop believin'
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Rosenkavalier said:
-- While I have a passing interest in most of the sports (except figure skating), the only Winter Olympic sport I'm actually passionate about is curling.
Gee, thanks so much for going out of your way to slam my favorite Winter Olympic sport. :p

As a figure skating fan, I can assure you, you are better off NOT having any curling coverage on NBC. If the coverage is on any of the other networks, you might actually see some curling. If the coverage were on NBC itself, you're more likely to see:

1) shots of the curling team 'behind the scenes'
2) mini bio-pics of how so-and-so got started in curling
3) ditto for the coach of the team
4) close-up features on the equipment used for curling

in short, anything they can think of besides showing the actual competition.

And you'd have to endure teasers about how "if you are waiting to see the curling, don't go away, it's coming up soon" for hours, only to get maybe, what, 30 second long snippets of highlights.

My recommendation for the nine hour long blocks? Set up 9 or 10 1-hour long manual repeating recordings, which you can watch and discard as you go, thus freeing up space for later recordings.

And quit making with the negative waves. Curling -- figure skating -- they're not so different. Both involve ice, and physics. :D

Jan
 

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I heard that
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Back in the old pre-cable days I was watching curling on TV. It was early on a Sunday morning and it was either that or religious programs. My wife woke up and walked into the room and asked me what I was watching. I told her it was the Good Housekeeping Olympics. 30 years later she still calls it that.
 

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Agree on Torino vs. Turin. It's not consistent.

I got a new 80 hour DVR hooked up this week, specifically for the Olympics coverage. It tends to hog up hours and hours of space, and I figured the easiest thing to do this year was to simply dedicate a full dual-tuner DirecTV Tivo to the event.
 

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I think if you want to see Olympic curling, your cheapest option is to visit Canada for two weeks. I'm SURE CBC will be carrying plenty of it.
 

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Being a curler as well, I'll be watching. I think they are doing a pretty good job getting it on the air. One of the stations will pretty much be the "curling channel" throughout the Olympics. If there isn't any on the main NBC broadcast, they usually promote what's on their other stations anyways so I don't see it as a problem. Curling's a growing sport in the US so I think it's pretty good that it will be getting so much air time even if it's not on the main channel.
 

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murgatroyd said:
As a figure skating fan, I can assure you, you are better off NOT having any curling coverage on NBC. If the coverage is on any of the other networks, you might actually see some curling. If the coverage were on NBC itself, you're more likely to see:

1) shots of the curling team 'behind the scenes'
2) mini bio-pics of how so-and-so got started in curling
3) ditto for the coach of the team
4) close-up features on the equipment used for curling

in short, anything they can think of besides showing the actual competition.
My understanding is that this is done to appeal to female viewers, who are presumed to like that sort of thing more than actual competition, or "hard" sports like speed skating (my favorite).
 

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appleye1 said:
My only other (very minor) gripe is that they are calling the city "Torino". Every other English-speaking media outlet is referring to the city by its English name "Turin". Why NBC chose to use the Italian spelling makes no sense.
I've got the opposite gripe. I could never understand why a name that is perfectly pronounceable and spellable in English like Torino has a different name in the English language than in its native language. Ditto for Roma (Rome), Venezia (Venice), Lisboa (Lisbon), Milano (Milan), Moskva (Moscow), Napoli (Naples), Pompei (Pompeii ! - where'd that extra 'i' come from?), Praha (Prague), etc. etc.

Who was this guy who came back from Italy and said "nope, 'Roma' is just too hard to say .... we better just make it 'Rome'?"

A few I can almost understand - e.g., changing Munchen to Munich because English has no umlaut to put over the u. Still, why not just drop the umlaut instead of changing the spelling?
 

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LOAD"*",8,1
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Well, the official "emblem" for the games refers to the city as Torino. They probably felt that having the emblem (which will be heavily used in marketing the television coverage of the games) with one name and referring to it on air with another name would be confusing to the viewer.
 

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Bananfish said:
I've got the opposite gripe. I could never understand why a name that is perfectly pronounceable and spellable in English like Torino has a different name in the English language than in its native language. Ditto for Roma (Rome), Venezia (Venice), Lisboa (Lisbon), Milano (Milan), Moskva (Moscow), Napoli (Naples), Pompei (Pompeii ! - where'd that extra 'i' come from?), Praha (Prague), etc. etc.

Who was this guy who came back from Italy and said "nope, 'Roma' is just too hard to say .... we better just make it 'Rome'?"

A few I can almost understand - e.g., changing Munchen to Munich because English has no umlaut to put over the u. Still, why not just drop the umlaut instead of changing the spelling?
I agree, and I was trying to figure out how to say exactly this. :)
 

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The Jerkstore called
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I think the spanish speaking world should call us United States instead of Estados Unidos.

That, or everyone should learn the same universal language from day 1. Like math, and the metric system. :p
 

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tivogurl said:
My understanding is that this is done to appeal to female viewers, who are presumed to like that sort of thing more than actual competition, or "hard" sports like speed skating (my favorite).
Yes, but they are wrong.

I'd much rather 'get to know' an athlete by actually watching them compete.

With every stupid puff-piece that they show during the Olympics (the sportscasters shopping for jackets in Seoul -- Martha Stewart in the kimono shop in Nagano -- oh the horror of it) a little clock keeps ticking in my head, and I think: "three minutes wasted, I could have seen someone's short program in that same amount of time".

What's so 'hard' about speed skating?

long track: make like sleek streamlined aircraft, go as fast as possible. Same strategy as other track sports (cycling, long-distance running) can apply.

short track: ditto but add great dollops of controlled mayhem (see comments on cycling and track sports above)

Jan
 

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murgatroyd said:
What's so 'hard' about speed skating?

long track: make like sleek streamlined aircraft, go as fast as possible. Same strategy as other track sports (cycling, long-distance running) can apply.

short track: ditto but add great dollops of controlled mayhem (see comments on cycling and track sports above)
I assumed that the term "hard" sport was meant much that same way as hard science. Not that it is difficult, but that it doesn't look to subjective elements.

Speed skating is all about fastest time. There are no points for gracefulness or style unlike, for example, figure skating.
 

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OK, I am not a curling fan but I will defend and promote it. There are quite a number of fans and players in the northern states. I suspect they are fortunate because they can get the Canadian channels. I wonder if Canada is providing better coverage of the Olympics.

I have watched it and it is a great mystery to me. :)
 

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murgatroyd said:
Yes, but they are wrong.

I'd much rather 'get to know' an athlete by actually watching them compete.

With every stupid puff-piece that they show during the Olympics (the sportscasters shopping for jackets in Seoul -- Martha Stewart in the kimono shop in Nagano -- oh the horror of it) a little clock keeps ticking in my head, and I think: "three minutes wasted, I could have seen someone's short program in that same amount of time".
I agree with you, but I wasn't asked to attend their focus groups and if I had they likely would have ignored my opinion.
murgatroyd said:
What's so 'hard' about speed skating?
It has an objective performance measure (time). Sports like gymnastics and figure skating that appeal to, or are supposed to appeal to, women all have subjective performance measures.
 
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