The Olympics are always amazing television, as for two weeks we get to see the world’s top athletes compete for glory that will last a lifetime. It’s not just great for sports, it’s great for all of humanity. It’s a wonderful event. Unfortunately, NBC is ruining the viewing experience for millions.
It’s really not surprising that a network as screwed up as NBC is doing something moronic, but it’s current tape-delay policy for the Rio games takes the freaking cake.
For those of us on the West Coast, the action is long over before NBC’s primetime coverage even comes on. I’ve got news for the executives over at “The Peacock” who are apparently still stuck in the 90s when they had the No. 1 network: you know that Internet thing Al Gore just “invented,” well it’s made tape-delaying things completely meaningless. We know who won, by how much and where the drama came from before Bob Costas even opens your nightly coverage you mindless twits.
I get that NBC wants to pump up ratings and all but by tape-delaying the primetime coverage, the network is giving me (and millions of other viewers) zero reason to watch every night. I have Twitter. And Facebook. And YouTube. And LinkedIn (not that this one matters, I just wanted to plead with people to stop adding and messaging me on there). Viewers can watch events live if they download the NBC Olympics app, but the streaming on it sucks, there’s a delay and not everyone has a Smart TV to watch it on a big screen. Additionally, the commentators on the app’s streams are not the voices Americans have become accustomed to. Instead it’s the international feed.
Here’s a novel solution for NBC: why not broadcast your primetime coverage live on the West Coast, but relegate it to one of the dozen otherwise irrelevant channels you own? Then rebroadcast it tape-delayed on NBC like usual. Those of us who can watch it live on another channel will, then those who can’t can tune in to NBC.
I mean, does America really need whatever garbage you have programmed on CNBC over the next two weeks? That’s a perfect spot for live coverage. CNBC is showing some Olympic events, but when Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos were creating one of the indelible moments of the 2016 Olympics Monday night, one of cable’s lowest-rated channels was in the midst of a Shark Tank marathon. Really? That’s what we’re doing here? Shark Tank. You’ve chosen to broadcast several hours of a show that somehow managed to make eccentric, megalomaniac billionaire Mark Cuban completely uninteresting instead of giving us Phelps vs. le Clos or Lilly King become America’s new favorite badass live?
That is a decision someone at NBC actually approved. Whoever is running things over there needs a swift Ryan Lochte dolphin kick in the ass.
I’m a sports writer. This is what I do for a living and I haven’t watched a single second of NBC’s West Coast primetime coverage. I also haven’t missed any stories or somehow been out of the loop. That should tell everyone how ridiculous the tape-delay system is.