An Open Letter to NBC: Coverage of the Winter Olympics

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

NBC Winter Olympics Fail

NBC Winter Olympics Fail

Sent to:
NBC: [email protected]
IOC Press Office: [email protected]
Olympic Broadcasting Services Vancouver: [email protected]
NBC’s vice president of sports communications: [email protected]
Chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics: [email protected]

I live in Seattle; a little over two hours away from Vancouver, BC. I live in the United States; high definition cable with incredible variety in programming is accessible around the clock. I live in a world where global communication has never been easier and faster. And yet I cannot watch the Winter Olympics live. I have to wait until prime time to catch all the major events. Sure, I could watch curling and ice hockey on USA or MSNBC (both of which I do enjoy), but most events don’t come on until after 8pm. This, to me, is absurd. This clearly shows that NBC doesn’t have any regard for their viewers; you care about advertising spots that you can charge a premium for during prime time. But even that is inconsistent because you are willing to let the Olympics play from midnight to 5am; who is watching then? Wouldn’t more people watch during the day, white the events are actually happening?

What makes this even worse, is that during the selected events you choose to show during prime time, a very large portion of that precious time is filled with commercials or with commentators talking about the sports. If you are going to pack a day’s worth of events into the three or four hours of prime time, I, and I am sure many other countless viewers, would rather be watching the events themselves! (Sports anchors should be briefly talking about sporting events, not being the events; I am not watching to see them!)

Your coverage is completely intolerable and you should be embarrassed for having the worst production in the world (countless other countries not only have live programming of the events, but also live streaming on the web!). You should be ashamed and change they way things are doing. Caring for the viewers of your programs might actually be a worthy policy.

Please reconsider the choices you have made for your Winter (and Summer!) Olympics TV coverage.

Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις Θεῷ
-Matt Jones, Seattle, WA
Matthew James Jones
[email protected]

UPDATE: Here is a great article from CIO: NBC Olympic Coverage: is the Internet the Enemy?

  1. February 19th, 2010 at 09:46 | #1

    Completely agreed! Great letter.

  2. Andy
    February 19th, 2010 at 13:26 | #2

    That sounds terrible. CTV here in Canada is doing a pretty good job of offering many events as they happen. At least its accessible online which is where I’m watching them but it looks like they are showing them on air as well. Go Canada!

  3. February 19th, 2010 at 14:20 | #3

    I have heard that CTV is doing a good job, what is incredibly annoying is that sites outside the US that are streaming are being blocked. When I go to CTV’s website, it doesn’t even look like they have streaming. Lame.

  4. February 19th, 2010 at 14:58 | #4

    Amen. I am so frustrated with the lack of content. I didn’t feel this way as much during the summer games — I wonder what the difference is. I just know that I can’t stay up past about 10 — which gives me 3 minutes of actual Olympics, 24 minutes of commentators, and the rest commercials. Bah.

  5. February 19th, 2010 at 16:04 | #5

    Their choices have been very strange. I think they would have way more viewers even just a few hours before primetime. But they can’t charge full price for their adds at 6pm. It shouldn’t be too much to ask to have events happening in the Pacific Time Zone to be shown live in the Pacific Time Zone! Let’s hope NBC figures it out!

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