I have been an avid Olympics fan for 40 years. That's pretty much longer than I've done anything. It all started with a Russian gymnast with two little pigtails.
Need evidence? May I present Exhibit A. Witness my first grade school photo, 1972:
Four years later came Montreal and a gymnast from Romania scoring perfect 10s. Of course, in the days before the 24-hour news cycle, it was easier to keep those results quiet until prime time.
Back then, ABC and Jim McKay did the Olympics. We loved them both. Now we're got you, and Bob Costas. Matt Lauer and Meredith Vierra and that guy reporting from the indoor volleyball court that the US team has "gotten younger" since Beijing.
I haven't been a fan of NBC since the Today show turned into a rehash of Crazy People You Can See on the Internet. But I am sincerely starting to hate you now. As, it seems, is the rest of the internet. Are you paying any attention at all to what people are saying about you on social media?
My favorite was when Matt would say, "This is the most moving part of the ceremonies..." and then he wouldn't shut up so we could appreciate the significance of the moment.
The twitter hashtag #NBCFail trended in every time zone during the Opening Ceremonies. Which, BTW, were further tape-delayed on the West Coast, begging the question WHY??? For a network that gets its story ideas off the internet, you are sorely out-of-touch with how people use twitter to watch television.
Also, you should probably realize that social media has made us a more global society. If you're following people in the UK, you learn very quickly that NBC cut to Ryan Seacrest interviewing Michel Phelps instead of airing the tribute to the 7/7 terror attacks. And that news then spread very quickly...over social media.
You've...heard of "social media," right?
As a general rule, I would never preempt ANYTHING for Seacrest. That's how things would be if I were in charge.
And WHAT was with those commercial breaks? I get you have to pay for this but we missed huge chunks of the performance -- which makes absolutely no sense, since you weren't airing it live. For instance, I'm going to go ahead and assume The Clash wasn't omitted from the British music retrospective. I'm going to assume they were covered during one of your many awkwardly timed commercial breaks.
Once the Games began, your broadcasts got worse -- and public opinion has truly plummeted. The immediate complaint has been your insistence to show main events tape-delayed in prime time. That may have worked in Nadia Comaneci's time but we have the internet now.
The worst of it is how you keep acting like we don't know the results. Bob Costas says he's not going to give any spoilers heh heh heh.
We are not idiots, NBC.
And you should probably realize that while you are stoically ignoring the #NBCFail tag -- a PR no-no if there ever was one -- other media outlets are not.
All we want, NBC, is for you to air the Olympics as the grand sporting event that they are, and not some ratings extravaganza grab. You would look less whore-y that way.
I hope you take these complaints seriously, NBC. Now more than ever, companies do not want to turn public opinion against them. You'd be unpleasantly surprised by what a mass of people can accomplish when they come together on the internet for a common cause.