Dear NBC

Dear NBC:

The 2012 London Olympics recently concluded, and I’m a little sad. Every day for the nearly two and a half weeks, our family tuned in to NBC’s primetime coverage. We discovered that our toddler is nearly as fascinated by track and field as we are. After a week of mostly ignoring swimming, gymnastics, and beach volleyball, kiddo came alive and began mimicking sprinters, throwers, and distance runners. His shot put “grunt”? Eerily accurate.

With that said, I have a few suggestions for the next time you televise the Olympics:

  • Show more Olympics. The Olympics to commercial ratio is…disappointing. I know it’s too much to ask, but if there’s any way that a distance race could be televised uninterrupted, it’d be a dream come true. The men’s 5k, for example? As you went to commercial break, the eventual winner Mo Farah began making his move. Before the commercial? Last. After the commercial? Fourth and moving up.
  • Show more Olympics. Touching stories of Olympic triumph during the “Olympic Zone”? Meh. Recaps of Olympic triumph from 20 or 30 years ago? Yeah, I’d rather see what’s going on NOW than relive the “Fabulous 7” or whatever they’re called. Any random story whatsoever led by Mary Carillo, the most memorable of which from this Olympics had her reaching into a Scotsman’s sporran — gads. NO. No, no, no. Oh, and do I really need to mention that the hour-long WWII documentary really had no place whatsoever during a sporting event that supposedly brings the whole world together in a spirit of peace and harmony? That’s right, I do. NO ONE WANTS TO WATCH A WWII DOCUMENTARY DURING THE OLYMPICS!
  • Show less Olympics. I mean, c’mon people. I work from home, so I could TECHNICALLY watch events live and no one would be the wiser, but Husband works in Corporate Firewall Land and doesn’t have that luxury. Rather than spoil every single event for him, I opted to wait for things to show on prime time. This meant staying the heck away from Twitter, where the Internet-savvy were alternately rejoicing or griping about various performances. All would have been well, except that I would be unsuspectingly watching the evening news, waiting for the Olympics to come back on, and then out of nowhere would come: “Usain Bolt wins the men’s 100m…was Phelps able to win an event? You’ll find out tonight, but…NO! NOT THIS TIME!” How much money did you spend on the rights to televise these games? Why set aside 4 hours of prime time every night if you’re just going to spoil the whole thing?

Those are my suggestions. Please take it under advisement, or next time I’ll follow the advice of the Internet and watch the Rio games on BBC or Canadian television. I hear they have no commercials, no spoilers, and show events in their entirety.

That’s the dream.



One response

  1. Another suggestion for NBC: For Track and Field coverage, use announcers who are knowledgable – preferably the coverage team that announces for the Diamond League meets. Track fans will love having announcers who make intelligent comments/analysis and provide background information about each runner and their strengths and do not make asinine remarks such as, “With half the race gone there is still half the race to go.” Non-track fans would enjoy a British accent. I mean, almost everyone likes a British accent.

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