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NBC skips tribute piece in Olympics Opening Ceremony


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#141 OFFLINE   anleva

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:25 PM

Don't forget, NBC has changed some things since the last Olympics. Online streaming of all the competition. Heavy increases in cable coverage. The primetime show is pretty similar to Beijing (minus the live events, of course), yet everyone wants you to believe all of a sudden it's now a major travesty. And in the process, they're not realizing that NBC has made positive strides since the last Olympics. There is plenty more room for improvement, no doubt, but the argument has to be made that if they did it another way, more people would watch. If that's not the case, then who is NBC really serving?


NBC serves themselves and their advertisers. Thought we established that already.

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#142 OFFLINE   majikmarker

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:31 PM

How many other countries have 1 exclusive provider for the Olympics though. Isn't that what Canada has? NBC paid for that exclusivity. Are they abusing it somewhat in an effort to make money? Absolutely they are. But they're a business and it's not like they're breaking any laws. And they wouldn't be the first country or the first industry to profit off of people's misery. In no way does that make it right, but your/my/everyone's wants and desires are not a priority for them unless they need to be.

And no, people don't have to shut up about it. But people need to give NBC a reason to change the formula in order for them to change the formula. Where the message is "we hate this coverage, it sucks" and 40 million viewers are tuning in, the message gets lost. But that's a big difference from "we have this coverage, it sucks, and we're not watching.. give us something better and we'll watch." If that was the message, NBC would be responding in kind to the situation.


Count me as someone who has been extremely fed up with how NBC covers the Olympics (and really all sports) for many years and yet begrudgingly watch during primetime.

Most of the other networks pull their programs during the Olympics so viewing choices are more limited (even more so than the regular Summertime schedule of reruns). Also, NBC has a "monopoly" on the Olympics. Its not like I can "vote with my remote" and watch on another channel. I'd love to see ABC and ESPN go head to head with NBC and offer an alternative. I think it is a mistake by NBC and other critics to just point at the ratings and assume everything is great and there is no compelling reason to change or update the way they broadcast.

NBC produces the Games like a reality show. It heavily edits the premiere events, showing only those teams or athletes that finish in the top 3-4, showing routines and outcomes out of order, omitting entire routines, etc, to help build a false sense of drama. I want to see a sporting event not the "Kardashian's".

For the most part, other countries (like Canada) will take an event like diving and show live, all the dives from all of the competitors, for all of the medal round, on TV (I don't want to watch it on a glitchy website on a small screen).

Lastly, the number of commercials are oppresive. Without a DVR and the ability to time shift through the primetime coverage, I would be watching way less (if I would watch at all). I have found I need to start watching at least 90 minutes into the evening coverage in order to catch up to "live" TV by the end of the night.

#143 OFFLINE   Quaker2001

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:34 PM

NBC serves themselves and their advertisers. Thought we established that already.


They increased streaming and added a lot of cable coverage from Beijing. Certainly there has to be an element of that where they're doing something good for the viewers and not just serving themselves.
"This is television, that's all it is. It has nothing to do with people, it's to do with ratings! For fifty years, we've told them what to eat, what to drink, what to wear... for Christ's sake, don't you understand? Americans love television. They wean their kids on it. Listen. They love game shows, they love wrestling, they love sports and violence. So what do we do? We give 'em what they want! We're number one, that's all that counts, believe me. I've been in the business for thirty years."

#144 OFFLINE   anleva

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:42 PM

They increased streaming and added a lot of cable coverage from Beijing. Certainly there has to be an element of that where they're doing something good for the viewers and not just serving themselves.


Yes, that is certainly a step in the right direction, though the execution left a lot to be desired.

#145 OFFLINE   Quaker2001

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:48 PM

Yes, that is certainly a step in the right direction, though the execution left a lot to be desired.


Won't argue with that, although I've been watching live streaming most of the morning/afternoon and it's been pretty solid (I fully expect it to start crashing any minute now since I've said that)
"This is television, that's all it is. It has nothing to do with people, it's to do with ratings! For fifty years, we've told them what to eat, what to drink, what to wear... for Christ's sake, don't you understand? Americans love television. They wean their kids on it. Listen. They love game shows, they love wrestling, they love sports and violence. So what do we do? We give 'em what they want! We're number one, that's all that counts, believe me. I've been in the business for thirty years."

#146 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:22 PM

Won't argue with that, although I've been watching live streaming most of the morning/afternoon and it's been pretty solid (I fully expect it to start crashing any minute now since I've said that)


As I posted in the other thread, it has improved tremendously.

But, don't give NBC credit. This is an Olympic thing. Many of the events are just the shared Olympic feed. Since they have sponsors (many commercials plus the banner ads on larger displays, even a small citi bank logo on my iPhone), this is not the goodness of their hearts. They get a free feed and got sponors to pay for the transmission and more. Not one whit of that is NBC's initiative or production, really.
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#147 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:34 PM

As I posted in the other thread, it has improved tremendously.

But, don't give NBC credit. This is an Olympic thing. Many of the events are just the shared Olympic feed. Since they have sponsors (many commercials plus the banner ads on larger displays, even a small citi bank logo on my iPhone), this is not the goodness of their hearts. They get a free feed and got sponors to pay for the transmission and more. Not one whit of that is NBC's initiative or production, really.

I wouldn't call it a "free" feed when to be the U.S. network eligible get it they had to pay billions.;)

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#148 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:37 PM

Unless you know something I don't, we can't be sure how much of the payment was for the streaming feeds and how much was for broadcast.

Still, without stepping over the line on forum rules, I'll just say that being rich doesn't make you an innovator.
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#149 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:39 PM

I guess one could say the first second of the first feed cost billions, the rest was "free".:D

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#150 OFFLINE   Quaker2001

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:58 PM

As I posted in the other thread, it has improved tremendously.

But, don't give NBC credit. This is an Olympic thing. Many of the events are just the shared Olympic feed. Since they have sponsors (many commercials plus the banner ads on larger displays, even a small citi bank logo on my iPhone), this is not the goodness of their hearts. They get a free feed and got sponors to pay for the transmission and more. Not one whit of that is NBC's initiative or production, really.


So they were supposed to give all that content away for free? They PAID for the rights to be able to offer that content and then, yes, do whatever they want with it. They could have chosen not to offer all this content which is what happened with Beijing and Vancouver when they held certain events back. So yes.. you kinda need to acknowledge NBC is doing more here than they did before, even if they should have been doing it in the first place.

Unless you know something I don't, we can't be sure how much of the payment was for the streaming feeds and how much was for broadcast.


NBC paid for the rights to air the content, not for what medium to show it in. Media rights deals these day tend to cover all media. Especially in a case like this, it's basically the IOC giving NBC the rights to do whatever they want with that content. That's what the payment was for.. 1 sum giving NBC everything, not a split between TV and live streaming and on demand or whatever else you want to throw out there.
"This is television, that's all it is. It has nothing to do with people, it's to do with ratings! For fifty years, we've told them what to eat, what to drink, what to wear... for Christ's sake, don't you understand? Americans love television. They wean their kids on it. Listen. They love game shows, they love wrestling, they love sports and violence. So what do we do? We give 'em what they want! We're number one, that's all that counts, believe me. I've been in the business for thirty years."

#151 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:14 PM

So ... other than complaints against NBC for not airing the ceremony in it's entirety ... what did the reviewers think of the ceremony itself?

Reviews collected by The Guardian ...

London 2012: Opening ceremony – reviews

Writers, critics and campaigners give their view of Danny Boyle's spectacular curtain-raiser to the sporting spectacular

http://www.guardian....iews?intcmp=239

#152 OFFLINE   Fraaaak

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:42 AM

Incorrect. The clip is available at the beginning of this very thread. It was the BBC's announcers who mentioned the sadness "the very next day" - not the stadium announcers. The stadium announcers followed what was in the media guide ... "people who could not be here tonight".

If that isn't enough, why not go to the person responsible for the segment? As noted in the Deadspin article from the first post: Metro reporter Cassandra Garrison told me the segment's choreographer Akram Khan did not mention 7/7 in his press conference on the performance, explaining it instead to be about "mortality."

And as a reminder, from the media guide:

Memorial Wall
Spectators have been invited to present images of loved ones who couldn’t be with us tonight. In a moving moment, those who are absent from us are digitally present.

Akram Khan and Emeli Sandé
Emeli Sandé sings ‘Abide With Me’. Fifty dancers, including the choreographer Akram Khan, dramatise the struggle between life and death using such powerful images of mortality as dust and the setting sun.


Calling this a 7/7 tribute is revisionist, intended to evoke the emotions Americans have for 9/11. "How dare they cut a 7/7 tribute" comes across much stronger than "how dare they cut a tribute to spectator's family who couldn't be here because they died for one reason or another."

When the choreographer doesn't call it a 7/7 tribute before the show and the media guide makes no 7/7 reference it seems odd to call it a 7/7 tribute after the fact. But it makes nice fodder for tabloids.


The FACT is that the pictures of the people displayed on the in stadium video screens and the BBC broadcast WERE the victims of 7/7 along with others - how is calling that a tribute to the victims "revisionist" - it could be that both interpretations of the segment are correct - it can be a tribute to the victims of 7/7 as well as others who could not be there - the two are not mutually exclusive.

Edited by Fraaaak, 02 August 2012 - 09:02 AM.


#153 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 04:21 PM

The FACT is that the pictures of the people displayed on the in stadium video screens and the BBC broadcast WERE the victims of 7/7 along with others - how is calling that a tribute to the victims "revisionist" - it could be that both interpretations of the segment are correct - it can be a tribute to the victims of 7/7 as well as others who could not be there - the two are not mutually exclusive.

But to paint it AS a 7/7 tribute only when they wanted to attack NBC for not airing it? Obscene and insensitive to the real victims of 7/7 and their families.

One site attacking NBC for not airing the tribute noted that two American soldiers who died this year were pictured on the "wall". 7/7 victims? Hardly.

And getting away from the anti-NBC angle of the story ... step back to the reviews I linked a couple of posts back. See what people who saw the whole event wrote about the opening ceremony and what they liked (and disliked). Do you see any mention of the (alleged) "7/7 tribute"? Any mention of the tribute at all? Even by one of the many critics quoted?

It was a tribute to the dead and a dance number dramatizing the struggle between life and death. But it got more press from it's absence than it did from it's presence.

#154 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 05:38 PM

In starting this thread, I partly wanted to keep the discussion of this particular screwup by NBC - and that's what it is in my mind, a screwup - out of the general thread on the Olympics coverage.

What I was ticked about is that even though NBC made a business decision to pay billions for the rights to Olympic coverage in the U.S., sometimes even those running a multibillion dollar business have to think broader than their normal tunnel vision. One just can't always do whatever one wants because it's their money.

In this case, they represented Americans regarding a serious British endeavor. It's ok to delay for the time zone difference to allow more Americans to see it. It is rude to cut elements out - it's like getting up in the middle of a live concert and leaving because you're bored. You can do it, you may have a reason to do it, but if the reason doesn't border on life-or-death you don't do it.

It was worse because it was a tribute to the dead. It was made worse because Bob Costas got to spew on the air about not having a specific moment of silence over the Israeli athletes and coaches who were killed by terrorists 40 years ago. And it was worse because those giving the color commentary hadn't done their homework.

But mostly it was bad because NBC represented me and I just cannot tolerate rude and stupid. I'm now over it and am enjoying the athletes performances.

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