Friday, July 27, 2012

XXX Summer Olympics

(Apparently these are the 30th Summer Olympics, and as such, on the DirecTV program guide, Olympic broadcasts appear as the "XXX Summer Olympics".)

The Summer Olympics may not have curling, but I still enjoy them. I'll be watching plenty over the next couple of weeks, and ignoring most other sports in the meantime. (Hopefully, the Washington Nationals will still be in first place by then.)

Much has been made about NBC's approach to televising the Olympics. Since they are often held in a far away time zone from dawn to dusk (and beyond), rather than air everything live, they typically save all of the "good stuff" (swimming, track and field, gymnastics) for primetime in order to maximize their primetime ratings. Fair or foul?

I don't know if they'll be able to keep this up much longer. Thanks to real time social networking types of things like Twitter, I don't think you can effectively tape delay sports anymore. It's not like it's 1968, when there was really no way to find out who won the 200 freestyle until it was broadcast on television several hours later in primetime. But in 2012, you pretty much have to turn off not just Twitter, but the entire internet, to avoid spoiling results, no?

NBC Olympic coverage has always been the poster child for tape-delayed sports, and I think that's because the Olympics might be the most tape-delay friendly sporting event out there. Not only is there a lot of dead time, but nobody can possibly watch the entire Olympics. I think it's more than reasonable to take the most interesting events of the day and, from that, produce a four-hour daily television package to be aired in primetime. Although...as one with an early bedtime, and who typically tape delays his sports anyway (ironically enough), I wish these four-hour broadcasts started earlier in the day.

It should be noted that all events (even the to-be-shown-in-primetime) are airing live online...except the opening ceremonies. Now there's something I really wish was broadcast live. I'll likely be going to bed around the time the NBC broadcast of the parade of nations reaches, say, Denmark.

So to answer my original question...I am completely against the tape delaying of any sporting event on television, except the Olympics. The Olympics are different.

Finally, here's a post from 2008, in which I ranked all of the Summer Olympic sports from "favorite" to "least favorite". I think the only difference in the event lineup for 2012 is that baseball and softball are out. But table tennis? Still #1. Aww yeah. Can't wait!

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