NBC has made a big deal of talking about how the coverage of the Beijing Olympics is better than any other. They have over 3600 hours of coverage, but a lot of that coverage is online and since nothing is airing live in the west coast and I am recording more Olympics coverage than one can typically watch in a day, I have not been able to see if what I would like to see is online. I’ll check it out after I’ve finished watching the games, but a couple of my friends who have looked for what I would like to see haven’t been able to find it, so I don’t think NBC is providing the coverage I’d like.
I’m obsessed with the Olympics (to put it mildly). I record as much coverage as my one HD DVR will allow (and a lot of it has to be in standard definition due to the lack of space). Fortunatley, I’ll be back to DirecTV in time for the next Olympics in 2010 and will have two DVRs, enabling me to record more coverage. The Olympics will probably take me longer than 3 weeks to watch again that year – unless the coverage gets worse again.
This year’s coverage is the worst I can remember – even worse (in many respects) than the coverage CBS provided the one year they had the Olympics.
NBC has cameras recording everything at the Olympic games in Beijing, but I couldn’t even see all of the United States men compete in the qualifying competition for gymnastics. If the gymnast wasn’t from China, Japan, or the US, odds are we didn’t see them at all on the first night. In women’s gymnastics, the odd Romanian or German gymnast was shown, but basically the coverage the first night consisted of the American and Chinese women. Although I know they’re not the best, Australia has some really graceful women that I love watching on balance beam and other events. Why didn’t we see any of those?
I think any team making it to the team finals should have a couple gymnasts shown on every event. I think any gymnast making it to the all around competition should be shown on every event (including both vaults) and that every gymnnast not in that group making an event final should be shown competing on the apparatus they will be competing on event finals. I realize most of the US is not interested in all of this coverage, but many of my friends want to see it, so I don’t think it’s that unusual. I know that it doesn’t make sense to put this all on prime time, but why can’t it be available on a clean site (without results, so it’d be safe to look at even if one is a couple days behind, since they’re recording too much coverage) online, so I could watch it. Even if it takes a couple days to get everything online, I would like to see the rest of the competition.
Diving is another sport where they pick and choose what we are allowed to see. We often miss the first few dives and don’t see most competitors. I would like to see more diving available.
For swimming, running, etc. they can’t eliminate the countries that aren’t doing as well, since they compete against Americans and the best countries (if not America for that sport). Other events of track and field which just started are clearly going to be shown in much the same way as gymnastics and diving. We’ll be shown what NBC would like to show us and if we want to see a performer from another country, forget it.
There is a lot more beach volleyball, volleyball, handball, soccer, basketball, and many other team sports this year. NBC even has complete HD channels dedicated to soccer and basketball. Perhaps the answer is a channel dedicated to gymnastics & diving and another dedicated to track & field.