Thursday, September 21, 2000

Non-viewers comments on Olympic TV coverage

Many turned off by taped coverage, "puff pieces", commentary

Sixty of the 126 readers who responded to our question "Are you watching the Olympics on TV?" said they are not. Here's a sampling of their comments:

NBC needs to show at least some of the Olympics live. In a world full of hundreds of TV channels, e-mail, and the Internet; the viewing public will only be interested if it is happening as they watch.

- Scott Sedmak, Burlington, Ky.

Would the masses watch yesterday's Super Bowl or yesterday`s World Series final game already knowing the outcome? No. In this techno-time of live and instant everything, I definitely don`t want to watch yesterday`s games.

- Mark Caudill, Columbus

I WAS watching with my 8-year-old daughter, but the ads and stories NBC were running were too offensive. I got tired of changing channels every time the Nike "chainsaw" ad or one of the Coke ads ran. The worst was the story on the Olympic village that went on for what must have been a minute on condom use among the athletes in the village. I guess the Olympic Games are now PG-13.

- Dan Bohlen, Sharonville

My wife and I were originally watching the Olympics. Then Jim Grey's whiny mug appeared on the screen. It appears that NBC rewards rude behavior. Survivor forever!

- Terrance Laughlin, Sharonville

Watching day-old Olympics, after you know the results, is like waiting for a day to eat bread that you could have had fresh from the oven the day before. Just not the same.

- Marvin Hamilton, Walton, Ky.

The coverage is boring, lackluster, unexciting.

- Arthur Hill, Cincinnati

I'm tired of the "Human Drama" stories. I would watch to see competition, not the life history of participants.

- Chris Smith, Cold Spring, Ky.

NBC doesn't get it. The greatest thing about a sporting event is that you don't know what is going to happen, and the Olympics is a sporting event. Do I have a solution? Yes I do. Show it all live, no matter when it happens. The Olympics run from 8:30 AM to Midnight in Sidney. That is 5:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. in New York. That is at least 8 hours of live broadcasting "while we are awake" (to quote Bob Costas). I believe the Today Show airs from 7 AM to 9 AM, doesn't it? If you are concerned about showing the "fluff", show it in prime time on NBC if you must, but give us a live alternative.

- Patrick Lenihan, Columbus

The whole thing is like watching a highlights clip on TV -- boring. I was also angry at one particular NIKE advertisement which was completely unsuitable for my two young children to see. The commercial involved a masked man with a chain saw bursting through a door and attempting to attack a woman athlete. The commercial was offensive, violent, demeaning and asinine. The people who created it should be ashamed, and NBC should realize that families who want to watch the olympics shouldn't be subjected to such garbage.

- Ken Vincent, Cincinnati

The network coverage is terrible. I want to see the events, not watch TV magazine-type human interest stories about the atheletes. I watched some at the beginning, but was so put off by the coverage of the triathlon that I stopped.

- Mark Weierman, Milford

It's too much like the Oprah show. I'd rather watch 24 hours of Bulgaria vs. Mugabe in sand volleyball or at least watch it live at 2 a.m. than to see one more novocaine-filled 10-minute human-interest story followed by a two-minute highlight from a day-old event.

- Greg Kissel, Cincinnati

I'd rather go online and get real-time results (as they happen). I don't like tape-delay. I want to see it or hear it or read live script. Why is there absolutely no live coverage? I'd stay up to watch it ... at least the sports events I like.

- C. Rinta, Beavercreek, Ohio

NBC has a formula: 10 seconds of an event and then cut to the star's kitchen table. The network's mediating of the competition prevents viewers from appreciating the athletes' achievements. Couple this system with the tape delay and there is little reason to watch.

- David Knutson, Cincinnati

NBC's coverage is absolutely terrible. First off, the concept of "Let's present an Olympics Meets 'The View' & Dateline" is insulting to women and to sports fans; it goes under the assumption that women do not care about sports unless it is presented "warm & fuzzy", and that sports fans will want to see this drek and not care about the competitions, which is what the Olympic Games are all about. I watched Venus Williams take on Martina Hingis in the U.S. Open this summer; there was no cut-away from the action to give us a soft-music view of what Venus' life was like off the court, but rather just the intense competition between two great athletes. Furthermore, NBC wants to present a show; in Barcelona, NBC took bits and pieces of the U.S. Men's Volleyball Tournament and aired them, intersplicing them with commercials, other sports and puff pieces from "COOB Barcelona". In 1996, NBC thought that everyone wanted to know about Hakeem Olajuwon's battle to play in the Olympics, rather than doing a somewhat interesting piece on a guy who had to sell bananas to pay for his airfare to compete in Atlanta. The intersplicing of sports really is a drawback. What type of person believes that someone watching a college football game Wouldn't mind having a NASCAR event come in every 20 minutes? Finally, would anyone watch the Kentucky Derby 16 hours after it happened? NBC insults my intelligence by knowing which Americans won, creating a little puff piece on this person and then cramming it down my throat. CBS had similar time issues for the Nagano games, but they presented the women's hockey team winning the gold LIVE. Sorry, but NBC's coverage has just killed any interest I may have had.

- Steve Stanczak, Indian Hill

I keep my remote in hand and use it the instant the nauseating Jim Grey starts an interview. (Depending on the other programming available, I may or may not return to view additional Olympic coverage. Two nights I did not!)

- Anonymous

The coverage seems to be less than 4 years ago - now that they have all the different NBC's instead of just the one, the coverage is more spread out, and we only get the national feed. Schedule is hard to find too.

- Frankee Banaga, Cincinnati

NBC has a formula: 10 seconds of an event and then cut to the star's kitchen table. The network's mediating of the competition prevents viewers from appreciating the athletes' achievements. Couple this system with the tape delay and there is little reason to watch.

- David Knutson, Cincinnati

What Olympics?

- Todd Laubach, West Chester

Complete Olympics coverage at

Sports Stories
Complete Olympics coverage at
Craig first U.S. boxer to lose
DAUGHERTY: 5th Olympics for 'Mother T'
Results of our Olympic TV survey
Viewers comments on Olympic TV coverage
- Non-viewers comments on Olympic TV coverage
Softball team loses third straight
Track begins Friday
U.S. heavyweight advances to showdown with Cuban
Davenport withdraws with foot injury
XU shooter finishes 35th
Ewing traded to Sonics in four-team deal
Complete prep football coverage at
High School Highlights
Ohio high school results
N. Kentucky high school results

Giants 4, Reds 2
Box, runs
Bonds serves HR bat to McEnroe
Mudville nine now belong to Reds
Arbitration could break the bank
Injured should return Friday
Smith wants harder practices
SULLIVAN: Bengals fans: Why do you take it?
Dillon: Few yards or answers
Braham's absence may be extended
Lewis free, still great