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NBC truly sucks

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Why on earth would anyone want to see the downhill live? I'd rather watch 46 US hockey games (all covered live) and 58 hours of figure skating.
post #2 of 29
I felt like punching Bob Costas in the face during his interview with Shaun White. It seems like NBC is trying extremely hard to perpetuate snowboarder stereotypes.
post #3 of 29
ItsannoyinglisteningtoToddBrooker'swayoverthetopco mmentaryandhowheshoutsamillionwordsaminuteatthetop ofhislungswithouttakingasinglebreath!!
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii
Why on earth would anyone want to see the downhill live? I'd rather watch 46 US hockey games (all covered live) and 58 hours of figure skating.
You expected something different?

The commentators don't really know what they are looking at half the time, at least for the alpine events. They point out obvious stuff like a lousy jump, and that's really it. Anyone familiar with racing could have seen that a big problem for Bode was that his hands were so far outside; they barely mentioned it.
post #5 of 29
I keep trying to convince my roommate to go skiing this weekend, and while he says he 'hates skiing' he said he thoroughly enjoyed watching guys almost bite it at over 80mph. I kind of wish there had actually been a spectacular crash if only to reward him for watching that instead of the pro-bowl.

NBC has no concept of how to market the olympics. Figure Skating is the old boring olympics - Ski jumping, downhill, and curling are the new hotness. My roommate and I stayed up to watch the US team (live) beat the Norwegian team (apparently the best in the world) 11-5 in 8 ends (Domination).
They need to evolve for the new internet generation. I could only immagine how much better this would be if fox got to cover it. Say what you want about their horrible reality shows their sports coverage is top notch (except Tony Saragusa). They would undoubtedly show more live coverage and have better comentators.

America is connected now more than ever with cable/satelite and 24/7 internet on their treo's - I want my olympics now and I don't want to wade through 50% coverage of the history of some obscure cross country skiier from lithuania.
post #6 of 29
The quality of the picture is horrible also. Shaun White actually looked like he had more pimples than usual.

They are trying to show too much in the amount of time they are on TV. You can't show three events in four hours of coverage without hacking it to death. They are using the six hour delay to weed out all the competitors and only show the americans and the top three in each event. But, they are willing to show three boring hours of the womans hockey games. WTF.

There's really no way possible to cover an entire event without missing out on another for the allowed time slots they have. But, they did show three hours of boring one car after a time qualifying at Daytona.

The whole thing sucks and I'd just as soon look at the results on my computer in the morning and then decide what program to watch in the evening.
post #7 of 29

Cbc

We get Canadian broadcast networks on our cable system here in Burlington. What a difference.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
The quality of the picture is horrible also. Shaun White actually looked like he had more pimples than usual.
I don't understand why Fox's picture looks so much better than the other 3 networks. CBS only broadcasts in 1080i (at least for NFL) while Fox is 720p but even for things like the state of the union where there is a centralized feed their feed still looked better. They have better color ballance and it leads to more accurate representation.

My ranking of the networks for broadcast quality of sporting events
FOX - I am going to be accused of being a Joe Buck fanboy but it truely is the superior sports network in America. Every sport they broadcast is better than their competitor - Fox's NASCAR coverage is better than NBC, their NFL coverage is better than CBS and their Baseball coverage is better than both NBC and ABC when they had broadcast deals.
CBS - Only saving grace is the practice they get with college sports and NFL football.
ABC - worst color in the world
NBC - their color may be better than ABC but what they broadcast is the absolute worst.

ESPN is close in picture/audio quality for their 'A' crew but their B and C team is just awful.

I really wish Fox would get the Olympics - if they did that, it really would be the death nell of NBC sports.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
You expected something different?

The commentators don't really know what they are looking at half the time, at least for the alpine events. They point out obvious stuff like a lousy jump, and that's really it. Anyone familiar with racing could have seen that a big problem for Bode was that his hands were so far outside; they barely mentioned it.
And these (commentators) are perturbed that Bode or others have the audacity to not stop and talk to them.... or barely tolerate them.
post #10 of 29
PBS has the best picture and sound - by far! Go figure!: Too bad they don't show any sports.

How about the commentary during the women's moguls? Apparently all of those women are hitting every one of those jumps at between 30 and 35 mph!: I guess the men will be hitting them at 60mph.

Actually, the one thing they have done that was good, is that they showed a couple of the training runs and for the runs that they showed, they showed the entire run, not just the first 10 seconds and last 20 seconds. The commentary is expectedly pathetic.
post #11 of 29
I was also struck by how incredibly bad the picture was for the downhill and the snowboarding. It looked like the cameras, or something in the signal chain, couldn't deal with the contrast between figures and the sun-hit snow.

Maybe it has something to do with shooting for HD, then converting to ordinary video? I don't know.
post #12 of 29
I will give NBC props for the one side camera on the top jump
Men's DH.
Yes, FoxSports, that would be the ticket. Though it would
probably be hard to discern (even harder than with NBC)
that there were other nations aside from the $USA participating
in the Games.
post #13 of 29
CBC for comprehensie coverage and commentery . when compared Costas and NBC's DH commentators are bozos
post #14 of 29
I believe you guys are fairing much better than the Aussies (TV coverage I mean).

Here, channel 7 has been touting the coverage for the last 12 months and go on to explain about their comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive? Apart from the opening ceremony, I only seen glimpses of some events and coverage starts at 9.40pm for 3.3 hours. To make matters worse, the same channel thinks nothing of announcing the medal winners during the 6.00pm news -- 3½ hours before their coverage begins.
post #15 of 29
American TV is a good reason to visit the alps.
post #16 of 29
One thing to keep in mind: all TV coverage of competition for the Olympics, regardless of which network is carrying said coverage, is provided by a single provider, the International Broadcasting Pool (or something very similar in terminology). They provide feeds from myriad cameras, all at the same quality. It allows the IOC to closley control the footage that gets out into the public realm, and keeps the amount of video equipment at the venues to a minimum.

What the individual networks do with this feed is up to them. In the case of NBC, that means pruning the bejeezus out of it and sanitizing it for viewers it assumes are rank idiots. When I was working the 2002 Games at Snowbasin, it was great to get the raw feed in the warm-up tents at the base of the hill - and it made you sad when you watched the cut-and-paste hackery that was broadcast in the evening. Even when the Games were in a compatible time zone, NBC still didn't trust that its viewers might just enjoy watching the sport for the sport, rather than for the sob story.

Sorry for the rant, but I long for a better feed here in Washington, DC.
post #17 of 29
So in an age of satellite tv, digital tv, on demand viewing and DVRs, do you think we can get to a point where all the ads are "placement" ads (no regular commercials) or commercials constantly running in the corners or across banners, and be able to see decent coverage of the stuff we want, when we want?

For the last games, didn't they have different events on all their affiliate networks, with a lot of coverage? What happened to that? Now, the only other coverage they have is hocky on Oxygen (or whatever that channel is) and CNBC. Where's all the other coverage?

For as much as technology in tv has gone up over the past 5-10 years, the tv networks ability to adapt to it has been completly non-existant.
post #18 of 29
While they get one signal from the broadcast pool, the same as happens for the State of the Union or any other multinational broadcast, they still run it through their equalizers and amps and everything else. It is my firm belief that NBC's quality and settings for this equipment is so far behind Fox's that you would see a serious differance if they broadcast the olympics.

All this being said, if they ever got the olympics they would probably just go for the NBC model and mess it up just as bad. We need a producer and director for the olympics who are young, bold, and willing to buck the trend of the last 25+ years.

Edit: Also from someone who knows a thing or two about broadcasting the easiest signal to broadcast is a pure black background, and the toughest is a pure white. White takes somewhere near 6 times the bandwidth of black. If you are broadcasting a highly white picture you will start to see artifacts on lower quality signals. It is also the hardest for a CRT tube to draw. Some older model TV's as they start to wear out have a problem with highly white scenes... it introduces large artifacts near the contrast boundry line. If your TV isn't newer, it may be your fault.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii
Why on earth would anyone want to see the downhill live? ...

Did you actually mean to say the opposite since NBC shows all the events delayed? I do have some more critisms though.

Sportscasters of course prepare for sporting events by making lists of interesting details and quotes of participants. Then when someone becomes the center of focus they blurt out whatever to the audience. Howard Cosell of course used to drone on in that way endlessly. For somethings like ski racing that type of announcing drives me nuts. Those NBC guys were doing just that at times. Me I'm focused on watching what they are doing going down the course. I want the expert to give me terse play-by-play commentary of things he is seeing the performer do on their way down and not blabber all the way down about how some guy said this and that last week about the Olympic pressure.

The second critism all networks are guilty of. Since all the stuff they are going to be playing over their 3 or 4 hours is taped they can play given segments whenever they wish. So what they do is manipulate the sequences by just showing parts of given events across the whole 4 hours. In other words instead of say showing the whole downhill during the second hour, they put some teasers in during the first hour, then before every station break show more downhill is coming up, then show the qualifying runs, then keep teasing till the end of the 4 hours to show the finals. The persons in charge up there of course are thinking if they show all the snowboard stuff during the first hour then the many that are only interested in watching that event are going to immediately switch channels when it is over. Of course they would too. But now what we have are the audience having to keep checking back to the NBC channel to see if whatever event one is interested in is now being shown. This all sucks. Yes it does you network bozos. If these events were live like I prefer none of that could happen.

...dave
post #20 of 29

My peeves.

They should really figure out what a double push looks like before they go on and on about the Chad.

Not a single comment on Wust's exceptionally clean glide and weight transfer.
post #21 of 29
Manipulating the audience became moot with the advent of the remote control and even more so with the DVR. People don't care about something they are going to move on. And especially if they don't show back to back events (either side of the commercials) they are far less likely to stay for the comercials.

Myself, if I know it's a figure skating night, like tonight, I will tune away as soon as it goes to commercial. I am going to watch 24 tonight and DVR the olympics and fastforward through all the figure skating.

I realize it's hard to show live coverage in prime time... but at least show live coverage on the weekend. At 12:00pm it's 6:00pm and you could show live coverage in the afternoon. But no, we had to show the NASCAR QUALIFYING for the daytona 500. Seriously!?! WTF!? Pawn that crap off on TNT and get to the OLYMPICS.

Next time in Beijing at 8:00pm for live coverage you could show 10:00am events. So anything happening in the morning in Beijing could be shown live. However the Vancouver Olympics should be awesome for live coverage. A +3 timezone differance for the Eastern & Central Timezones (where 60% of the USA lives - Central in almost every case gets what Eastern gets - especially in sports) should give some much better coverage opportunities.
post #22 of 29
I resent the way that the Olympics is edited.:

Didn't it used to be that during the time the Olympics was on, they would broadcast all sorts of events all day long on different channels?

There are something like 80 countries participating. How are the Mongolians doing, for instance? They have made a truly International event into something that is not!!
post #23 of 29

Advertising not technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
So in an age of satellite tv, digital tv, on demand viewing and DVRs, do you think we can get to a point where all the ads are "placement" ads (no regular commercials) or commercials constantly running in the corners or across banners, and be able to see decent coverage of the stuff we want, when we want?...

...For as much as technology in tv has gone up over the past 5-10 years, the tv networks ability to adapt to it has been completly non-existant.
The technology is there, but the bidding rights for television coverage is a substantial chunk of change for the organizing committee and the IOC. No one wants to dilute their "exclusive" coverage by putting out the signal in a format that can be accessed without the commercials sold by the winning bidder. From what one poster said in another thread it looks like we could access streaming video on the internet right now if we had a European IP address because of the way the BBC and the European provider have chosen to market the games. The CBC has entered into an agreement with one cable provider to market video on demand of all events with a 24 hour delay (unfortunately not the cable provider in my market: ).

Since the networks have the rights for the next several olympics already wrapped up, I doubt you'll see anything innovative regarding coverage from NBC. Competition only exists at the bidding process and the viewer has no choice of what to watch unless they live close to the border (our friends in Bellingham) or have access to another national carrier through cable tv (most Canadians).
post #24 of 29
I agree that NBC's coverage is bad and I certainly agree that their downhill picture quality was horrible. I was watching the DH on both NBC and CBC, and just to tolerate the NBC picture I had to turn the TV's "Sharpness" all the way down.

Their packaging of the Olympics is just awful. They seem to think Americans stupid and ignorant and like it that way - like they're marketing it to every negative stereotype of Americans out there.

I also agree with whoever said that they are trying to change the Olympics into something they are not.

Shame on them for that, but mostly shame on them for grossly underestimating the intelligence of the American people.
post #25 of 29
While there is a centralized feed... that's not necessarily true. NBC has a lot of gear there.... how do you explain the short track speed skating mathes that showed solely Apolo Ohno. Or the curling coverage of solely the USA teams. Additionally north america has a different broadcast format than the rest of the world (PAL vs NTSC) they are different sized pictures and frame rates. They each look like ass when they are converted from to the other format.... so to say they have one single central feed at each venue is just not true or logical.
post #26 of 29
Kenny -

Yes, NBC does have a fair amount of equipment in some of the venues that can be tailor-made to fit additional camera arrays. But the IOC does, in fact, have a centralized, common feed that is fed in PAL, NTSC and SECAM. Thanks to the world of digital equipment, it's quite possible to have one set of cameras do the work for all three formats.

Speaking from experience at Salt Lake 2002 (field-of-play, alpine skiing at
Snowbasin), there was one common set of cameras for the venue, on platforms along the course. These were not the properly of NBC, CBC, BBC, or so forth - they were from the common video feed that all broadcast licensees had to use. The same was the case at Park City, Utah Olympic Park, Soldier Hollow, E Center, Speed Skating Oval, Delta Center and the Ice Sheet. NBC and the other official broadcast partners did have smaller camera setups for incidentals, but the international broadcast pool had a lot of pinpoint cameras on athletes during events - it wasn't necessarily NBC's equipment and people doing the shooting.

Where the individual network partners really get to play is with the individual athlete interviews.

Just talking from experience in 2002, as well as from my correspondence with a few techs who worked Athens 2004 and who are working at Torino 2006.
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
I think it was 8 years ago (Lillehammer?) where the downhill was shown live. Maier cartwheeling over two fences. I thought he was dead. No commercial, next racer already on course. The most amazing tv. Quick cuts from non-zoom cameras to show the viewer how fast alpine skiers go.

Also memorable was the ski jump coverage at night. Huge crowd, Norwegian favorite jumping last, great angle from behind his head looking down at the ramp and crowd...
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii
I think it was 8 years ago (Lillehammer?) where the downhill was shown live.
That crash was in Nagano.
Lillehammer was the first olympics after the switch to get off the summer's cycle.

Athens
Salt Lake
Sydney
Nagano
Atlanta
Lillehammer
Barcelona
Albertville

(and that's all I remember as I am only 22)
post #29 of 29
I refuse to sit for 4 hours like a bloody couch potato being spoonfed
commercials and nauseating drivel endlessly about Bodie Miller and
Michelle Kwan.

I simply use a VCR with commercials block to record all of NBC's coverage
for viewing at my liesure the next day. The commercials are gone and
liberal use of the fast forward button removes the banal interviews of how
the lithuanian cross country skier milks cows etc. This allows 4 hours to be
viewed in about 1 1/2 hours.
hth.
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