Ok, all you Americans, today is the day we start our quadrennial airing of grievances over the pathetic coverage we get of the Olympic games. It doesn’t matter if it’s ABC or NBC, what we are subjected to is a 2 week commentator gabfest with up-close-and-personal special interest stories about some AMERICAN athlete overcoming adversity to get to the games. That athlete might not even make it to the top ten in his sport but we must follow him or her.
If there is an event covered, it will be chopped into bite sized pieces, we’ll cut away during some other country’s athlete’s turn and the events we might actually want to see will be overridden by the network’s decision to feature Apollo Ohno winning his zillionth gold medal. I like the kayaking events and the jumping equestrian events and even the weightlifting stuff. I can’t remember the last time the commies in charge of NBC or ABC let us see those things.
And we can’t see the games anywhere else. If we want to catch another country’s coverage, we have to go there. I envy the Americans who are close enough to the Canadian border to be able to catch the CBC coverage. The internet is hermetically sealed for our protection. No other coverage can get through without NBC’s approval. It makes me feel like I’m living in the old Soviet Union under Breshnev.
Complaining to the network doesn’t help. Back in 2004, I was able to get an Olympics premium package from my satellite provider. At least I had a choice of several channels. In 2008, no package. It was NBC’s coverage on one channel or nothing. I’m going to guess it was a marketing plan put together to return shareholder value. Those sucker Americans, where else are they going to go? It’s NBC or nothing. Let’s just phone it in.
This year, I don’t have satellite. I have a cable modem for my wifi. That means I’m probably going to have to install silverlight on my mac and watch whatever it is NBC provides in even more truncated form. Is it any wonder why I haven’t been a regular Olympics watcher since 2004?
BTW, this site tells you how to watch the Olympics coverage from the BBC on your iPad or other devices. I doubt it will work in the US but maybe the other freer people of the world can see it. Let those of us behind the NBC iron curtain know if anything good happens.