By Calvin Palmer
I am beginning to think NBC stands for No Bloody Coverage when it comes to watching the 2012 Olympic Games on TV.
Already we have had the farce of the Opening Ceremony not being broadcast live in America and it appears that decision has set the tone for the entire coverage from London.
The women’s team gymnastics event was scheduled to start at 11:30 am ET. I switched on my TV, only to find that NBC was showing women’s rowing instead. To watch the women’s team gymnastics in HDTV, I have to wait until 8:00 pm ET and then it will be the edited highlights, which basically means America, America and America to the virtual exclusion of everyone else taking part.
As far as NBC is concerned it appears that if Americans are not competing in an event or have no chance of winning, the event simply doesn’t exist, at least on HDTV.
NBC is providing a livestream of events and what a treat it is to view that on the computer.
I was forced to switch to the NBC livestream of the women’s team gymnastics when BBC One’s coverage, I have found a web site that gives an excellent livestream, ended prematurely for the BBC Six O’Clock News.
The BBC coverage showed the women gymnasts from the USA, Russia, China, Romania, Japan, Canada and, of course, Great Britain. I did wonder why no Italian competitor was shown in action. I guess that was payback for England’s defeat at the hands of Italy in the Euro 2012 Championships.
Watching the NBC livestream coverage you would be forgiven for thinking that Great Britain was not even taking part. In America it is all about winners, so the focus was only on those teams in contention for the medals, although they did feature a couple of the Canadian competitors, I suppose as a sop to its northern neighbour.
Any notion of a special relationship existing between the USA and Great Britain apparently does not exist in the minds of TV executives at NBC. I am not even sure it exists in the minds of many Americans.
And whereas the BBC’s coverage was uninterrupted, the NBC livestream was punctuated every couple of minutes with an adverts for Chevrolet cars – the same two adverts repeated ad nauseum.
In his speech at the Opening Ceremony, Lord Coe said:
“There is a truth to sport … a purity , a drama, an intensity.”
NBC is tarnishing and manipulating that truth and purity with its blatant pursuit of maximizing its advertising revenue. In America, it is all about money; truth and purity were sold off during the Nixon era, perhaps even before.
The Los Angeles bureau chief of The Independent, Guy Adams, has been banned from Twitter for voicing his criticism of NBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games in London. Whatever happened to America, land of the free? America, land where nothing is free would be more apt.
Will my criticisms of the broadcasting company result in me being banned from WordPress? We shall see.