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Another TV flame!!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
OK, watching the Womens Downhill last night on the BBC. 15 competitors go down then we get an announcement that the Olympics have stopped so that the American networks can show commercials.

No racers for a couple of minutes so that a bunch of TLAs can make money.
OK, I'm naive, but I thought the Olympics was a sporting event, not a TV show!
Yes, all those fat cats have to make their precious $$$, but if you stop the sport for the sake of TV, then it proves that the TV is more important than the sport.
And from what I gather, most of the major US stations aren't even showing these event live!

That's really p!ssed me off about the Olympics. It's turned into a US soap opera.

Flame over, player one.

post #2 of 19
Here, here!

If it annoys us, can you imagine the impact it has on the racers waiting at the top?

Is this normal practice with televised sporting events in the US?

Please advise!
post #3 of 19
International Ski History Association has a recent article (not on their web site yet) about the first four winter Olympics. Great article!

When the winter sports started, the Scandinavian countries already had their events, and were afraid the Olympics would become commercial. They were told...nah, never happen.

By the time Lake Placid (the first time) came around...money was there!!!!!!

No political comment is necessary, because the German Olympics took care of that! :
post #4 of 19
I agree it is a perversion of all the Olympics stand for to hold it hostage to TV companies. It disgusts me seeing things like that. Same happened in the Mens DH.

Of course Americans are used to it - why else do you think a 1 hour game of hockey, football or basketball consumes 3 hours of coverage?

It just confirms that the money derived from the sport is more important than the sport itslef, and the fact that the IOC are all in the backpockets of the commercial entities incolved in the Olympics doesn't help, bunch of corrupt old-timers.
post #5 of 19
To answer a question about whether this is common practice in the US the answer is -- OH yeah.

TV timeouts are as American as apple pie and baseball. Ironically Baseball has built in TV timeouts - hmmmm. Think of all those Euro events you get to see live. Football (soccer) and cycling which continue continuous action (at least continuous play - sometimes there is'nt any real action). Here we have football, and basketball where play is routinely stopped (even on the college level) for TV timeouts. During our superbowl game the commercials are as anticipated as the game. Not a bad deal if you are there live (for the guys) because they bring out the cheerleaders or the kids becasue they bring out various people dressed in goofy costumes to perform various stunts.

Hockey is the worst. Nothing more annoying than a TV timeout during a hockey game.

But as far as the Olymics go. The Olympics is'nt a charity event and all these sponsors are really putting on the games. It's just one giant commercial. Sure it's a high profile event for the atheletes, but it's such a circus for them it's hard to beleive they are even capable of putting out their best performances.

The cameras and coverage of events is being done by ISB a big international sports braodcasting company. They then rent or sell their feeds to various networks. I'm not sure how it all works. But basically everyone all over the world sees the same event coverage in terms of camera angles.

To blame US networks for pausing the action during the Olympics is'nt totally fair because the corporations sponsoring the commercials are not necessarily US.

Anyway, those pauses should give you a chance to fill those pints of Guinness (sp?). Here in the US we just pop a can of Bud and guzzle - no standing required.
post #6 of 19
Yes, the commercials are annoying.. but without them you wouldn't get to see the events at all. How do you think the TV studios pay to bring you something you are basically watching for free (or whatever your cable bill is)?
post #7 of 19
Fudman and LLama have it right. SOMEONE has to pay for these Olympics. It costs something like $2 Billion to put these on. NBC paid a huge amount to televise them. They took a BIG risk, hoping they can sell enough advertising to cover their costs. Your BBC paid NBC a tiny fraction. The BBC is basically a leech paying a tiny amount and taking no risk.

That's the thing about capitalism here in the US. We put up huge dollars and take risk. And when we put up huge dollars we expect a little consideration in return. Holding the race for three minutes seems like a small price to pay to be able to see them at all.

I would much rather they hold the racers so we can see them all rather than miss the potentially winning run.

Your statement:
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Yes, all those fat cats have to make their precious $$$ <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

shows you are quite naive. Just because you take in some revenue (e.g. sell advertising) DOES NOT MEAN you are going to earn a profit.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 13, 2002 05:50 AM: Message edited 1 time, by WVSkier ]</font>
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WVSkier:
It costs something like $2 Billion to put these on.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, more naivety on my part:
Why is it costing so much?
How much of it is being paid for by the ticket sales?
Where is all the money going?

post #9 of 19
Does anyone know how TV worked it at previous Olympics? At Nagano, for example? Or any of the European ones?
post #10 of 19
And I will add my questions to Mr Never Question The Might Of Giant Commercial Entities Because They Must Be Right(aka WVSkier).

How were the Olympics covered in years gone by when there was nowhere near as much commercialism?

Why do the big tv networks invest hundreds of millions if they don't expect to make a profit? Are they stupid?

Whose fault is it that the games cost US$2 billion? I would say Salt Lake City's and the USOC, wouldn't you? Why bid if you don't like the cost? Couldn't they have made them cost a little less? Are they commercially naive?
post #11 of 19
Look, I don't claim to be an expert in why the Olympics cost so much, but it wasn't until the LA Games that they even turned a profit. They used to incur huge losses and the cities would chalk it up to it being a marketing expense. But, the residents of the cities wouldn't stand for it. IMHO THAT'S why the commercialism. That's the only way the games would survive.

The SLC games were going down the tubes financially until Mitt Romney stepped in and figured out how to do it and make a small profit. I read recently that they actually planned to make a profit of about $40 million.

The word I used was RISK. Of course, no one goes into a business deal to lose money, but it is a risky proposition. They took a chance. I, for one, admire people who take risk, yes, even if it's a corporation.

post #12 of 19
We have to be primarily concerned as to whether these costs are sustainable, internationally.
It's necessary that all the nations which have historically hosted the Winter Olympics - France, Austria, Germany, former Yugoslavia, USA, Canada, Japan (apologies if I've left any out) - can afford them.
I agree that delaying a race for a couple minutes so that ice cream (or was it steroids?) can be advertised is not very important!
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
OK, my original comments about the commercial breaks have been explained by NBC:

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Advertising, sponsorships, endorsements
... NBC is charging an average of $600,000 for a 30-second commercial. The network brought in an estimated $748 million in advertising revenue for the Winter Games. The Winter Games are expected to return a profit for NBC, projected at $75 million.
Taken from MSNBC News

Why do I doubt that this profit will be poured back into the sport?

post #14 of 19
Well researched...and well summed up.
post #15 of 19
I'm more than a little confused.

Regarding the discussion of the cost of the Olympics, WVSkier is right about the high cost and lack of profit. Much of the cost is covered by selling the broadcast rights to the various world networks. Cost and lack of marketing was the main reason Denver was forced to back out of the '76 winter games after being selected. Voters refused to take on the debt. Take a look at the still unfinished facilities in Montreal.

But my confusion comes from: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Olympics have stopped so that the American networks can show commercials. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This statement implies some live coverage in the US and our coverage is ALL delayed. You don't have to interrupt the race wghen you're going to totally edit and package the tape before you show it anyway. From the coverage I finally got to see late last night there were only about 10 racers in the entire race and 4 of them were from the US.
post #16 of 19
The movie channels here charge higher subscriptions and DON'T show ads during the movies. Why do we have to stop the sport to show ads? OK, show a highlights programme & put ads in the middle at suitable points but why is it so hard to run an event without pauses every few minutes?

They don't stop the Olympic marathon in the middle to allow ads. They don't stop the relay races to show ads.
post #17 of 19
Somebody has to pay for you to watch it on TV. These people don't volunteer their time and equipment to our enjoyment, they wanna get paid.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WVSkier:
Your BBC paid NBC a tiny fraction. The BBC is basically a leech paying a tiny amount and taking no risk.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry to correct you on this one, but my BBC has paid $0 to NBC as far as I'm aware. They have paid ISB a reasonable sum for the privilege (haven't found out how much yet)

PowderJunkie, you've hit the nail on the head with your comment: "This statement implies some live coverage in the US and our coverage is ALL delayed."

We were watching procedings LIVE on the BBC, but the race was still stopped about every 10-15 racers for 1 minute, which, according to the BBC was for the US stations to show commercials, and as you say, it wasn't being shown live in the US!

So, of all the stations worldwide that were showing it live, who paid the extra to to stop the races?

post #19 of 19
Apologies graciously accepted, David.
Don't make the mistake again, though.
Rome and Cortina (not to say Turin 2006)would not take it so graciously, next time.
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