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NBC olympic ski coverage

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
NBC 's coverage of skiing in Torino is beneath contempt,here I'm waiting for the second run of the womens Gs watching the skating gala! Unbelievable how bad this is,I hope NBC loses the next games and in fact goes out of buisness ,and Bob Costas who dosen't know a hocky puck from a curling stone should be buggered to death on camera in Torino.
And this is a kind assesment of the NBC garbage that passes for the Torino winter olympics
post #2 of 25
At least he was funny in Baseketball.

NBC may single handedly destroy any interest in the Olympics.
post #3 of 25
good god. figure skating is bad enough, but the figure skating extravaganza that they are airing is just soooo bad. what a bizarre sport. can you imagine all the skiers lining up and doing a bit of a line dancing routine to delight a crowd after the races conclude? bode doing the high kick and smiling at the camera?
post #4 of 25
:repost:
post #5 of 25
and I'm reading this forum waiting for the second run ... this is sick!
post #6 of 25
Wouldn't it be nice if each network did the Olympics, splitting up the events? All the slide down a tube things -- bobsled, luge, skeleton, etc. -- could be ABC, all the skating could be CBS, all the skiing anyone-but-NBC, all the "games" (hockey, curling) could be WB. That way they each could give us more coverage of the events. I mean all the networks other than NBC are just running reruns, so why not split up the Olympics and give every sport a lot more room?
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
Wouldn't it be nice if each network did the Olympics, splitting up the events? All the slide down a tube things -- bobsled, luge, skeleton, etc. -- could be ABC, all the skating could be CBS, all the skiing anyone-but-NBC, all the "games" (hockey, curling) could be WB. That way they each could give us more coverage of the events. I mean all the networks other than NBC are just running reruns, so why not split up the Olympics and give every sport a lot more room?
I thought the same thing just the other day. They all have reporters and camera crews there, anyway, so why not sell exclusive rights to sports package A to one network, package B to another, package C to another. Each *package* would have one or two *hot* sports and then would require showing a couple other not-so-hot sports. Might make people actually LIKE the Olympics, instead of the re-runs getting more viewership than the sports.
post #8 of 25
Unfortunatly NBC has exclusive rights to the Olympics till something like 2016 and I don't see any reason they won't continue paying through the roof for them. It's not like the NFL that gets good ratings. The Olympics has lost in the ratings like 11 of the 15 nights it's been on. Networks aren't showing re-runs. In fact FOX is kicking the Olympics butt with 24, House, and American Idol. Dancing with the stars is even beating the Olympics. I wouldn't be suprised if Skating with Celebrities is beating out he Olympic Coverage. If that isn't hilarious I don't know what is.

Anyway I can't wait for the Olympics to be over so people will stop posting a new thread about the Olympics/NBC sucking in here every day. Seriously this has got to be like the 9th or 10th thread since the games started.
post #9 of 25
Agreed NBC is abysmal . Luckily CBC coverage of the GS yesterday was i timely .

Costas et al with the drivel they have been airing would drive any normal person to watch anything else
post #10 of 25
I watched the 1st run of the men's slalom live on CBC this morning. NBC was showing cartoons.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by btvski
I watched the 1st run of the men's slalom live on CBC this morning. NBC was showing cartoons.
That's the whole thing!! I know that men's slalom was going on this morning, yet I cannot see it until it's all edited, intertwined with figure skating or something!!!: There is something very wrong with not being able to see the olympics live . I feel manipulated.
post #12 of 25
Comparing NBC's to CBC's Olympic Coverage:

What's on Each Channel? A day-by-day journey through the Olympics...

DAY1...
NBC: Opening Ceremony
CBC: Opening Ceremony

After that...

NBC: Ciao! In "Italia" they have a different word for Everything!
CBC: Women's Speed Skating

NBC: Shop Torino with Katie Couric!
CBC: Men's Hockey

NBC: The nutty side of the Winter Olympics!
CBC: Short-Track Speed-Skating

NBC: Snowboard lingo: Isn't it "rad"?!
CBC: Biathlon

NBC: "Turin" or "Torino"? ...And how to pronounce them!
CBC: Ski Jumping; Women's Giant Slalom

NBC: An in-depth look at Athlete X's childhood struggle with dyslexia!
CBC: Men's Cross-Country Skiing

NBC: Fancy & Fun: An Inside Look at Olympic Figure-Skating Costumes!
CBC: Women's Aerials

NBC: Athlete Y's struggle with (loneliness/shoe-tying/shaving/whatever) will make you cry!
CBC: Men's Downhill

NBC: Those Crazy Olympic Medals: Do they look more like CD's or bagels?
CBC: Women's Cross-Country Skiing

NBC: Italian Culture: There's a cool cell-phone store on every corner!
CBC: Women's Skeleton

NBC: Our favourite Italian desserts: An Inside Look at Tiramisu!
CBC: Men's Giant Slalom

NBC: Italian Culture: 10 Great Tips for Bargain-shopping in Italy!
CBC: Women's Short-Track Speed Skating

NBC: The tomato: an Italian classic!
CBC: Men's Bobsleigh

NBC: Athlete W's family and friends outline his climb out of depression after losing his lucky hat in 2003
CBC: Men's Aerials

NBC: The Greatest Italian Artists: A Look at current Italian models and fashion designers!
CBC: Women's Slalom

NBC: Closing Ceremony
CBC: Closing Ceremony
post #13 of 25
OS : NICE summary , kinda says it all !

THAT PLUS KAREN LEE GARTNER WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT THE SPORT

OUR Canadian neighbors put on a quality coverage schedule , focusing on performance not puff . Anf BTW their Olmpic team did a remarkable job and will actually meet or exceed their medal expectations ---A CLASS ACT indeed
post #14 of 25
Good one, OS!
post #15 of 25
Watched the 1st week in Austria... 2nd week back home on NBC...
Still a stretch but I have to say NBC have been doing better than they used to, at least in my book. Even so - if there's something ON, like hockey, right, they better get on the ball and kick out morning TV or some local affiliate. WTF some seven11 got robbed.
post #16 of 25

Coverage Bad - Ski Team Management Worse

Bad juju was working on Bode Miller. Darren Ralves and Lindsey Kildow suffered some kind of bad luck, too. This had to have an effect on the entire the US Olympic Alpine Ski Team. From the sports press, a story emerged that went something like something like, “Bode Miller is a jerk and he brought the ski team down.” I don’t buy it.

Most elite sports journalists probably do not understand ski racing. The ski industry, USSA and Team management do not seem to understand that, with alpine ski racing not exactly commanding star ratings, prospects for growth depend on how well the sport can represent itself on the media stage. The US Olympic Alpine Ski Team and its managers have responsibility to represent the sport. Perception is everything, and the perception is negative. If steps are not taken, by next Winter Olympics who knows what the story will be?

I think everyone would agree that our Team needs to do a lot better in representing itself. Media strategy is not a black art. Proactive messaging, worst case scenario planning, all that stuff is orchestrated every day by everyone from movie stars to public companies. In past Olympiads, skiing has had the luxury of not getting enough publicity and attention. It was still one of those sports where the US wasn’t really expected to excel, and so any mediocre result, or any quirky story, was OK. This year, was different. There was a breakthrough and a huge opportunity lost.

In this Winter Olympic build-up media focus was fully on the Team primarily because they declared themselves to be the best. This must have been a move calculated at the top. And it worked; the media took the bait. Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Men’s Journal put the story on their covers in one form or another. Then, Bode made that little mistake. 60 Minutes set out to destroy him. Team management—deer in the headlights—acted as if they hoped it would all go away. Maybe they thought they’d best lie low and let results speak for themselves. If so, that was a naïve gamble.

By the time of the men’s downhill, the stage was set. The stories were already written in the alternative: triumph or, if not, the athletes let us down. In other words, by gaining the spotlight in these Winter Olympic Games, American ski racing reached a high water mark. For the first time, American ski racing as a sport, now in the national spotlight, became subject to the irony of stardom. I would have to guess that the American ski scene was very ill equipped to deal with post modern journalism.

Fundamentally, elite media and the viewing public will never truly appreciate elite ski racing. It’s hard to understand that if you fall once in a ski race you’re out, but you can fall twice in figure skating and get a silver medal. Political media strategist Dick Morris said media has to have a certain portion of meat every day. If that is true, the Team operators fed the team to the lions in large doses. The Team operators left messages choices to the imagination of sports journalist. They didn’t have a plan. We know the Team in the past has not been seriously challenged to execute on this level, and it was apparent they were unprepared. Going forward, they need to figure out what to do. For starters, it was possible to convey positive messages and images. It’s not difficult to imagine press conferences with team, coaches and supporters telling people what ski racing is all about.

I don’t think the athletes let the fans down. They were having the best season in history and failed to capitalize. Is that the athlete’s fault? (Hint: What happens to a coach when the team has a losing season?) But that is probably beside the point. As a team, we won a lot of medals and came in second. The Alpine Ski Team delivered only two medals, when it might have won ten. But, with credit to Apollo Ono, “that’s ski racing.” Ted Ligety and Julia Mancuso raced brilliantly. Lindsey Kildow sucked it up, as did Caroline Lalive, who missed her last Olympics with a last-minute knee injury. Chip Knight and Jimmy Cochran skied well as did Shlopy, Richardson, McCarthy and the others. There’s no doubt we have a deep and strong team that had earned the opportunity to achieve some remarkable results in these Games. That didn’t happen, but it’s so trivial compared to what these athletes achieved just to get there. Of course, we don’t know much about this because it wasn’t reported.

To me ski racing is all about sucking it up. Several years ago, in her column called “Racer X”, Edith Thys (Ski Magazine contributor and 1992 US Olympic Alpine Team member) used this phrase and it stuck with me. Frankly, I think the US skiers did suck it up as best they could on an individual level, but I think the team management and the coaches let the team down.

So, one could ask if these Games would have been better if the coverage had been better. I think maybe so. Coverage this year created angst. In fact, that was the story: our athletes let America down. Maybe they did let down the reporters (sorry, journalists), who evidently resented hanging out in Italy without a record medal count when they could have been in Baghdad. The Olympics inevitably provide a platform for sports reporters to raise issues bigger than any particular contest. Maybe this explains an article from Bill Pennington of the New York Times, author of The Heisman: Miller’s Last Olympic Stumble Is Final Blow to US Swagger. Or this from Selena Roberts of the Times: No Good-Conduct Medal for Ugly Americans. There, Roberts trashed skiers but defended skater Johnny Weir as a “standup guy who knows that sometimes it’s better not to make excuses.” (Wasn’t he the guy who was flummoxed by transportation woes, blew a medal, and said his “biorhythms were off”?) I don’t even want to get started on Bob Costas.

My personal opinion is that these Games have exposed the crisis in the American ski industry and American ski racing in particular. There may be some serious fall out for Winter Olympic coverage in general, but certainly for ski racing. It is possible that a recovery in both camps is needed in order for the next Winter Games to be a success on American TV. I don’t know the answer, but I would like to see the Winter Olympics covered in some ways similar to the way OLN covers the Tour de France—expert, all day, real-time. I would rather see less prime time coverage and more choices.
post #17 of 25
Um, Alpine skiing will never be a major ratings success. Not enough crashes, one man on the mountain at a time, and long broadcast times make it very unlikely to be on American TV except as part of the Olympics.

It wouldn't matter if Jimmy Carter, Abe Lincoln, and Rosa Parks were racings for the US ski team, Americans as a whole would quickly forget Alpine Skiing a week after the Olympics. I would argue that Bode's bad boy effect helped the US olympic team. Poll 50 Americans, I will bet only one (if that many) remember who Tommy Mo is/was. I guarantee in 5 years at least half will remember who Bode Miller is/was. It's the Howard Stern effect... compelling racing needs a villan - just ask NASCAR. People will watch just to see what the 'bad boy' is doing.

The US Ski team may say the Olympics were a disaster and the media may fuel that or vice versa, but in the grand scheme of things I don't think it really matters. The US will field a team next Olympics and it will be roughly the same as the current one (both in numbers and tallent). You can not continually go up. It is just not possible.

Also, please let the Olympics/Bode miller threads die and stay dead.
post #18 of 25
I think one reason CBC's coverage is so much better is because they actually cover winter sports on a regular basis away from the Olympics. And that's probably because there isn't a single Canadian who doesn't have winter of some sort, even if they live in Vancouver or Victoria. There's no sense pretending winter doesn't exist by focusing entirely on indoor sports. Then again, CBC's summer sports coverage is much better as well, so....:

I also think Canadians may have more of a history of being more open to watching sports that we have no contenders in. Watching sport for its own sake, rather than to see one particular team or individual win. We are doing a lot better these days due to more funding, but when the Games came to Calgary, we didn't win a single gold. Still, most venues at those games were full.

I think the guy who does Bobsled for NBC is really good though, probably because unlike a lot of other commentators, he has a vested interest in Bobsled away from the Olympics with the coverage his organization provides at the Speed Channel.
post #19 of 25
One contrary note: Karen Lee Gartner is pretty bad. She certainly knows about ski racing, but she almost never says anything of any value. Though it's a common problem, she has the most glaring tendency to say somone is fast who then turns out to be slow, and vice versa. Admittedly, I'm basing this more on CBC's World Cup coverage in general, rather than the Olympics. Todd Brooker is better.

But, in the commentator teams, the pro broadcaster is generally better than the skier (aka color commentator, I guess it would be called for other sports). Brian Williams is the better CBC commentator; Tim Ryan was the better NBC commentator.

Steve Porino, in his roving reporter role, actually had some good stuff, but they didn't put him on the air much. Some of it was (perhaps still is) on the NBC website.

The primary positive of CBC, to my mind, is simply that they devote more screen time to ski racing. The mix of what they do with the time isn't really remarkably better than NBC, indeed it's pretty similar. They also have a penchant for inserting long (really long) personality pieces. If anything, compared to NBC, they are more poorly produced and home-team-centric, though I suspect they deserve some leeway since the reason has probably more to do with money than anything else.
post #20 of 25
The fundamental problem with the US TV situation is that NBC (and, previously, other networks) bought the rights for the sole purpose of delivering prime-time ratings.

Sell them to HBO, and the coverage would be entirely different.

But NBC pays the most money, by far. Withdraw the NBC money, and you may fundamentally change the Olympics in other ways, since it's a substantially percentage of the money the Olympics earns.
post #21 of 25
As long as NBC pays so much for the Olympics, we will have to suffer with liitle coverage, much hype and pseudo psycho-analytic commentary, too much figure skating and way too many commercials. Someone from GE (NBC's parent co) told me that some years ago NBC gave up football in order to bet heavily on the Olympics. Thus, we are stuck with these jerks!
post #22 of 25
oldschool: brilliant, and sadly, right on the money.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
One contrary note: Karen Lee Gartner is pretty bad. She certainly knows about ski racing, but she almost never says anything of any value. Though it's a common problem, she has the most glaring tendency to say somone is fast who then turns out to be slow, and vice versa. Admittedly, I'm basing this more on CBC's World Cup coverage in general, rather than the Olympics. Todd Brooker is better.


Steve Porino, in his roving reporter role, actually had some good stuff, but they didn't put him on the air much. Some of it was (perhaps still is) on the NBC website.
I agree Lee Gartner isn't too good, and yet she has improved immensely over the past ten years. Her main advantage is that she gets some insider knowledge from her husband, Canadian Team head coach Max Gartner.

But CBC should have put former Canuck downhiller Brian Stemmle in as the fulltime color man, as opposed to just using him merely for after-race analysis in the studio during the Olympics(he works for cable sports network Rogers SportsNet the rest of the season). Stemmle really knows his stuff, uses the telestrater as well as Madden, and when he gets into it, is quite funny and entertaining as well. (On a side note, though I suppose it's good that more than one Canadian network is interested in covering World Cup Racing, I'm tired of hunting through the TV Guide to see who, if anyone, is covering the races from week to week).

I agree the Steve Porino stuff was excellent, and NBC really under-used him and his embedded in the trenches style of reporting.
post #24 of 25
I believe Kerrin Lee-Gartner is much better than Todd Brooker. I think her insight in speed events are much more to the point than Brooker's. Brooker hung around Beattie too long. I also believe that Brooker does commentary on tape after-the-fact rather than live. Sure seemed like that to me when I was watching NBC after having seen it on CBC. He also has difficulties seeing the difference between a flush and a hairpin. Agree that Porino had some good segments, but far too few. Porino knows many of the American racers well and can get close to them.

Stemmle really had some good commentaries. He did not pull any punches. I thought his reasoning was very solid. Hope to hear from him more in the future.
post #25 of 25
See my post in this other thread in order to get link to email NBC with what you think of their presentation:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=38062&page=2
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