Late Friday afternoon I had a meeting near my apartment, so when it finished I decided to head home and do my remaining work from there. I figured I could work while watching the Opening Ceremony for Olympics in the background. Much to my surprise, the Olympics were nowhere to be found on television.
I realized that NBC must be using a time delay and airing the ceremony later that night. Clearly they didn’t want their viewership split between a live broadcast and the time delay later that night. While I understand NBC’s rationale, it seemed very un-21st century to me and left a bad taste in my mouth.
With my TV viewing attempt thwarted, I turned to the place we all do it times of great strife and uncertainty, the Internet. I went to the NBC Olympic site figuring that if its not on TV, then surely they have to stream it online. Wrong. I went from unhappy to incensed. How could NBC think that this was at all acceptable in today’s day in age?!?
So not only did they not offer live streaming during the opening ceremonies, but even worse, if you want to use the service for viewing of the actual Olympic games you need to prove you are already an NBC customer. That is complete bullshit in my opinion, for two reasons: first I am lazy and so I don’t want to go through the hassle of proving that I am a cable subscriber. Secondly, these games should be available for anyone in the US, whether or not you are an NBC customer. NBC should make access to their online live streaming services as easy as clicking a “Watch Now” button. Throw some online ads into the mix and monetize the online viewership that way.
NBC has been largely criticized, not only for their handling of the opening ceremonies, but for their coverage in general. I personally hadn’t experienced just how much it sucked (outside the opening ceremonies) until last night. I have been very busy, so I have had little time in front of the TV to watch the games, and I am boycotting the use of their online services on principal. However, I managed to find some time to tune in late last night. As if on cue, NBC found a way to ruin the experience yet again … this time by spoiling who won the Women’s 100m backstroke with this debacle.
NBC needs to get with the times or the IOC needs to find a company that will! It is completely unacceptable to botch the coverage of an event as important as the Olympics and NBC thus far has proven they’re not up to the task.
Let me know what you’ve thought of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics thus far, or any other thoughts you might have in the comments.