Olympic fever?Written by Chris Kozak | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the Winter Olympics are taking place right now. By this time, the executives at NBC had hoped all of America would have Olympic fever, but it’s really been more of an Olympic head cold most American’s have cured with over-the-counter, regularly scheduled programming.
Just last week, the Olympics, where the world comes together in the spirit of competition and good will, was soundly beaten in the ratings by FOX’s ”American Idol,” where a bunch of off-key wanna-be’s come together in the spirit of striking it rich. Choosing ”Idol” over the Olympics is like turning down a date with Elle Macpherson to go on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney.
But can you blame the viewing public? NBC, in the name of ratings, has turned the games into a reality series. The Olympics are no longer about representing your country and winning medals. It’s about a touching 5-minute package introducing an athlete to Middle America before he or she goes out and tries their hardest to secure a place not in our hearts, but on our cereal boxes, shoe stores and magazine covers.
Bode Miller has done such a great job promoting himself at these games we no longer need to introduce him as ”American downhill skier” Bode Miller. He’s done such a great job that we’ll remember him long after we forget he went away empty handed.
The coverage from our brethren north of the border has been far superior. Instead of using the games as a way to get ratings and run endless promos for shows that will be gone before the Torino snow has melted, CBC has a single goal: Show events.
When events happen, they are on the air, regardless of time, participants and majority interest. It’s amazing to see a network present what is offered instead of changing it to fit a schedule.
How do you think America would respond if the Super Bowl had a tape delay? Or the Daytona 500 was cut up so we could see packages about the drivers? The fact that we accept it for the Olympics is testimony to the disgraceful TV coverage these games have received the past 20 years.
Tape delay and repackaging the games is not how I want my sports coverage, and after looking at the ratings, it’s clear Americans feel the same way. Beware, football fans — as part of its new NFL package, NBC has the broadcast rights to the 2009 Super Bowl.