CRAWFORD: Monday Meeting -- Talking NBC's Olympics coverage - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD: Monday Meeting -- Talking NBC's Olympics coverage

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Rick Bozich is traveling to Big East Football Media Days in Rhode Island this morning, which makes the two-man morning meeting with me difficult. So I'm nominating a proxy -- you, via Twitter and email.

It turns out, the Olympic viewing experience -- while perhaps more popular than ever -- also has been as frustrating as ever with many of you, judging from feedback I've gotten on Facebook (you can follow me by clicking here or by "Liking" the WDRB Sports page here) and on Twitter (click here to follow me and contribute to my effort to catch up with Bozich).

It's even been a bit awkward for NBC, which is devoting segments to tracking fan reaction to the 2012 London Games by looking at Twitter "hashtags," only to see that one of the more popular hashtags has been #nbcfail.

Anyway, to get on with the meeting and respond to your thoughts:

Q: Why won't NBC show at least the big events on live TV? I just found out that Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps through an email alert, but I was watching NBC live and saw nothing.

A: That's an easy, one-word answer. Money. And sometimes it isn't entirely NBC's call. For instance, the Opening Ceremonies were worth double in prime time what they would have been worth live, in ad rates. So the U.S. got them delayed, which, I understand, was as much the International Olympic Committee's call as NBC's. Other events, like Phelps vs. Lochte, are the same. I guess the reasoning is that to show it early would hurt the prime time audience, which is where the big commercial money is being made.

One thing NBC is doing is pushing all of its live coverage online. Its reporters are live-Tweeting from events, and you can watch EVERY Olympic event in every sport live on NBC's live-streaming web page, which is how I've been keeping up with events I want to see. Frankly, keeping up with what they're televising on what channel, and when, is difficult. The live stream page is far easier.

Note: You must be a cable television subscriber to access that page. Which, I'll admit, is lame.

In the meantime, viewers are having fun with it, with mock NBC updates like: "American colonists announce independence. King to respond."

Q: Why is NBC cutting off coverage parts of events to go to commercials? They went to commercial right before the U.S. Team came out during the parade of nations.

A: See my easy, one-word answer above. Money. Huge audiences mean big revenues for the network.

Q: Why doesn't someone just broadcast the Opening Ceremonies without announcers saying stupid things over the top of everything?

A: What, you didn't like Bob Costas bringing up "Borat" when Kazakhstan walked out? Maybe my favorite moment -- when NBC cut away from the Opening Ceremony tribute to terrorist victims for a Ryan Seacrest interview of Michael Phelps.

Q: How are you handling talking about Olympics results when many people are waiting until that night to watch them?

A: It's easy for me, because I'm not over at the Olympics providing real-time coverage, and my deal is mostly commentary. I wait for the tape delay to air before talking about anything on social media. You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter pretty much without spoilers, because what I write about the games, I'll just write from the perspective of someone who is watching them over here like anyone else. I'm picking my spots.

I'll say this. The IOC is as much about maximizing revenue as anyone. It, and NBC, are in this to make money, and NBC's prime time Olympic ratings appear to be booming, so what they are doing, from a traditional commercial sense, is working.

The biggest problem for NBC is that it is trying to preserve an old media model in a new media world. And, perhaps, that its audience is no longer just an audience, but a participant.

That's how following #nbcfail on Twitter has become at least as entertaining as some of the coverage. But stay off Twitter if you don't want to see live results. It's the ultimate spoiler.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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