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.