Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hating NBC is the New Olympic Sport for America

The Virago is not a sports fan, generally speaking. In fact, the only time she ever cares about sports is the Olympics. It's supposed to celebrate the best of humanity, to show that nations can come together in a spirit of peaceful competition and inspire the rest of the world to dream bigger, work harder, and appreciate one another's accomplishments.

Unfortunately, the London 2012 games are being spoiled for Americans by NBC's terrible coverage, from the botched, edited, and delayed airing of the Opening Ceremonies forward. If you missed any part of the opening ceremonies, tough luck, because NBC won't let you see it on video. The Virago missed seeing Kenneth Branagh do THE TEMPEST scene and will NEVER forgive NBC for withholding that footage. Do you hear me, NBC? Never! The Virago does not need lowbrow, garrulous TODAY SHOW hosts to explain Shakespeare to her. For that matter, she doesn't need NBC execs to decide what portions of the program she wanted to see, like the 7/7 tribute.

The coverage of the actual events has been no better. Like many disgruntled Americans, the Virago has taken to Twitter and other realms of the internet to keep up with events as they occur. The TV coverage during the day is completely useless, never mind that the biggest events are happening then and could be broadcast live. No, six hours later we get cut up coverage that pushes more ads than Ryan Lochte does tires when he's training. Missy Franklin's heroic back-to-back swims lost a lot of their drama when NBC chose to insert another event in between them and break the whole experience up for viewers. Women's gymnastics tonight will be another glutton-fest of ad time, dribbling out the footage until the latest possible moment even though millions of kids are huge fans of the sport and could have watched the whole thing live earlier in the day if NBC wasn't determined to squeeze every last viewer out of this opportunity and seriously tick them all off at the same time.

The Virago does not usually watch television at all. The Virago watches the Oscars, the Olympics, and local tornado coverage (which is serious business here in North Alabama). That's it. NBC is doing an awfully good job proving why people like the Virago are leaving television behind.


  1. While NBC's coverage has been porous at best and poor overall, they did show Branagh reciting Caliban's speech from _The Tempest_. They over-explained it (yet never explained he represented Brunel or named any of Brunel's accomplishments. I was far more frustrated with the repeated "We don't know who that is" comments. They cut the opening badly, but my affiliate did include the lines from Shakespeare.

    1. Sorry to be unclear - I meant that I missed it when they showed it, and now I can't see it anywhere on video. We tuned in late because the ceremonies started during dinner in Central Time.

  2. I actually recorded them--it's much easier to watch when I can fast forward through Matt Lauer and Co. You can find bits of it on Youtube, but I didn't realize NBC didn't offer it on their own sites. Sigh.