This is my open and public plea to NBC… PLEASE, NBC… stop the spoilers. Apparently, NBC thinks they should be able to decide whether the fans of the Olympics know what’s going on in other games if we’re recording them.
For those who don’t already know, I watch every bit of the Olympics NBC sees fit to air on TV and right now I’m more than two days behind in everything but the Olympics (I’m almost 12 hours behind in that from when it aired on the east coast). I’m keeping up with hockey, since so many people in Pittsburgh love hockey and getting everyone to cooperate (which they did well) for one day is mean enough. I know everyone will be talking about the men’s hockey USA vs. Slovakia game tomorrow and since we’re in Pittsburgh, many will discuss the games where their other stars are playing (Russia, Canada, etc.), so I’ve chosen to watch no pregame, intermission, or postgame reports and JUST watch the games. I’m watching the USA game first, since I care more about spoilers in that than anything else, but I SHOULD be able to just watch the game safely.
Sadly, this was not the case. I’ve skipped when they were showing clips from the other game, but when Doc Emrick mentions some of the players scoring in the other game WHILE doing the play by play, it gives me two options. 1. Not listen to Doc (which would have the advantage of not having to listen to some of the other stuff, but is not preferred for me) by completely muting the game and avoiding the stick sounds, cheering, etc. and 2. Alternate every minute or so in order to find out what happens in the other game before Doc gets the notification and decides to share it. Neither of these options leave me with a good experience of the games I most want to watch in the Sochi Olympics.
NBC clearly thinks fans don’t care about spoilers. Anyone who has ever watched a sporting event they love when they’ve already known the score or who scores certain goals or runs knows that it is not as exciting when they know the outcome. (In fact, my boyfriend was unsuccessful in avoiding the score and simply isn’t as interested in the game now as he was a few hours ago…) NBC should give the fans the option. They should say and show spoiler alerts before sharing information about other games and events when they are aired concurrently. They should not share any of this information while calling the game they are broadcasting. They need to respect their fans. Without their fans, NBC would not be making any money off of broadcasting the Olympics and it’s always about the money.
If a fan decides to watch games out of order (say watching USA vs. Slovakia before Finland vs. Austria) and an announcer mentions the earlier game without saying it’s a spoiler alert, it’s partially their fault for choosing to watch out of order (always risky). If someone is choosing to watch one game and then another when both air at the same time, they should be allowed to fully enjoy both of those games. Please, NBC… Let your fans fully enjoy all the Olympics you’re choosing to show. We can’t watch everything even if we have several TV’s in one room, quit our jobs, stop sleeping, and watch all the online coverage somehow; but we should be allowed to enjoy the Olympics at our own pace and enjoy everything they own when we finally get to the broadcasts – free of spoilers.
Because of NBC’s choices, I’ve decided to switch to the Slovenia/Russia men’s hockey game when I’m about halfway through the USA game. I’ll watch it until I get to about the same time on the recording (not in the game) and go back to the USA game. I shouldn’t have to do this, but I want to know as little as possible. I haven’t heard any USA/Slovakia updates yet in the play-by-play, but I won’t be surprised if I do.
I love sports and the Olympics are one of my favorite times of the year every other year. I work very hard to avoid scores and information. One of my friends mentioned an article (I have yet to read) saying that fans don’t care about spoilers. Every fan (casual and serious) I’ve discussed this with thinks the idea is ridiculous. Every single one of them cares about spoilers and would love to be able to avoid them. Some of these people can’t for one reason or another (can’t give up their sports talk radio for that long, etc.), but if they COULD enjoy the games they most want to see without the spoilers, they would do it.
Side note: I feel sorry for everyone calling the Slovenian games. Those neon numbers on the white are pretty hard to read even on a 60” LED HDTV with better than perfect vision. I don’t know where the press boxes are located in Sochi, but I’m guessing they’re not super close. I’m a huge fan of Anze Kopitar (and long for a day when most of the the national media broadcasting hockey will finally be able to universally correctly pronounce Anze), but yikes! Those jerseys are loud. Of course, all of Slovenia’s uniforms are bright, but these are also difficult to read…
Enjoy the Olympics! Go USA!