Coming Out of Left Field

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Olympics analysis

There's a good New Yorker column this week about NBC's coverage of the Olympics, which despite the network's best efforts fell flat:

"Ratings for these winter exertions were down from the previous two, and "American Idol" -- Fox piled on two episodes during the first week of the Games and three in the second week -- beat the snowpants off NBC's broadcasts. Something does need to be said about a singing contest with dubious standards being more popular than the glorious athleticism on display in Turin -- but it practically says itself."

While I disagree with her about the snowboarding -- I don't care if halfpipe isn't a real winter sport, I liked it -- I think she's dead-on about everything else. I mostly watched the Olympics on the weekend, and didn't feel compelled to watch it any other time, especially with the radio, CNN and Internet sites reporting results during the day. And the more I heard about athletes misbehaving (Bode, Chad vs. Shani, etc.), the less inclined I was to tune in at all. Maybe NBC could've done a better job with their coverage, but given the time difference and other stuff, the network didn't have a whole lot to work with.

Side note: RIP Don Knotts, aka Barney Fife, Henry Limpet, and Ralph Furley. You'll be missed.


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