NBC tape delay coverage is like the airlines: its interest is in giving you the least satisfactory service you will still come back for. – James Poniewozik, Time magazine TV critic
Who is running NBC? It appears to be entering the final for Olympic reputational meltdown in several categories at once. — julia hobsbawm
If we cannot rely on Twitter to protect our free speech, then it is no platform at all. #twitterfail #nbcfail. Prove me wrong, please. — Jeff Jarvis
If there was a gold medal for bad TV coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games then NBC would be the winner.
The delay to viewers is so bad that it is better to get live coverage on twitter.
Why a delay? Well it is all about greed. Slip in a few commercials, well actually quite a lot of commercials, 20 minutes of commercials per hour, and show at peak viewing times not when the events take place, then just to rub the viewers nose in it, announce the results on news bulletins before you show the ‘live’ event.
The opening ceremony was not streamed online.
One blogger had this to say:
I still haven’t seen the opening ceremony from Beijing (same reasons, same perp), and I missed the one last night too. Well, I didn’t miss it exactly. When my tweet stream started lighting up late yesterday afternoon with visions of giant babies and Voldemort and flying bicycles and all the other British trippiness I ran to my TV. Work can wait, I want to see this! But I was blocked at every turn. Like an Iranian dissident I finally managed via a secret proxy to get a glimpse. But it lasted only a moment before some well-compensated gatekeeper sussed it out and blocked my subversive stream. I couldn’t deal with the asymmetry of the commentary without the thing, so I just shut down Twitter. Did you know that the in order to use the official iPhone and iPad apps from NBC to live stream events you have to subscribe to a particular set of cable companies, and furthermore you have to be subscribed to a short list of pay channels? The web is no more an open network. It has been reduced (and diminished) to mere media pipe that connects (only) to your monopoly owned app – It’s like the AT&T of old.
For the opening ceremony, instead of letting viewers sit back and enjoy it, they had to chat over the top. The assumption being the average American is too stupid to know what is going on (possibly true).
Not that the NBC presenters actually knew what they were talking about.
The appearance of Brunel: Oh my God, what is George Washington doing there?
For Tim Berners-Lee: Who is he?
I have paraphrased, but you get the gist and yes, it was this bad.
But the worst gaffe of the opening night was extremely offensive. The day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympic Games, bombs went off in London, on the Tube and on a bus.
I travelled on the affected Tube line not long after and it was like travelling on a ghost train.
NBC edited out a tribute to those who were killed by the 7/7 bombings!
Now imagine had it been the other way around, the Olympics had been held in New York (God forbid) and the BBC had edited out a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 plane crashes.
We know what would have happened. All hell would have broken out.
The focus in the US has mainly been on the atrocious coverage, but for the treatment of the victims of 7/7 all I can express is disgust. It is difficult to see how NBC could have sank so low. And to date they have failed to apologise, merely come out with pathetic excuses.
Such though has been the outcry at their failings there is now a twitter hashtag of #nbcfail for people to use when venting their frustration on NBC.
What has been the reaction of NBC, have they got their act together? No, Instead they have run crying to twitter to have critical accounts blocked and twitter to their shame have acceded to the request.
Guy Adams, Los Angeles bureau chief for The Independent, lost access to his Twitter account because he revealed the corporate email address of an NBC executive Gary Zenkel (Gary.Zenkel@nbcuni.com) on Twitter after complaining about the network’s Olympic coverage, he savaged NBC for making people on the West Coast wait six hours to watch the opening ceremonies and shared NBC Olympics.
People posting hate tweets and using twitter to abuse people is ok, but use your twitter account to highlight that NBC is not up to the job and your account gets blocked.
The same treatment has been meted out by twitter to those critical of the Olympic Games.
So much for twitter promoting free speech and being a neutral platform.
Twitter is now coming under as much fire as NBC. And deservedly so.
What we are seeing once again is the obscenity and all pervasive stench of corporate sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics. The parent company of NBC is one of the corporate sponsors.
Corporate sponsors of London 2012 Games do not own the Games, even though they behave as though they do.
Unlike the backward NBC which has nothing but contempt for its viewers and free speech, the BBC is trialling the broadcast of the future.
The 1948 Olympics saw outside broadcast TV. The 1984 Olympics saw HD which only now is coming into widespread use.
For London 2012 BBC is filming in Super High Vision (16x resolution of HD) and with 22.1 sound channels.
The difference between the BBC was expressed eloquently by Jeff Jarvis:
BBC is supported by its viewers’ fees. So the argument is that the BBC serves viewers because they’re the boss while NBC serves advertisers because they pay the bills.
For one the guiding principle is public service, the other it is greed.
That is why the bandcamp model works so well for musicians. If people listen, share and download music, the musicians do well, if the musicians do well, bandcamp does well.
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