Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Every Four (or five) Years This Happens

 The Olympics coverage is predominately bad. But this rant is good (Guardian):

From NBC proper to NBCSN, the USA channel, the Olympics channel, and the Golf channel, there has been no shortage of options for Olympics viewing on basic cable. But instead of sticking with single events throughout primetime – introducing them, highlighting the stakes and the protagonists, getting the viewer comfortable with the quirks of competition – NBC has deployed this vast arsenal of broadcast resources to spray America’s households with a kind of inescapable Olympic televisual vomit.

Viewers have been able to see everything at any given moment (provided you have the Peacock streaming service) while understanding fundamentally nothing about what’s going on. NBC has never met a night of swimming finals that didn’t need to be spliced up with bizarre human interest segments on Caeleb Dressel’s first ride through the Florida wetlands on an airboat, or a routine on the double bars that couldn’t be improved by a quick jump to an ad break and some random highlights of Denmark and Indonesia in the badminton. We all want to know who the athletes are, of course, if only at a superficial level; and since the whole Olympics is so overwhelming, with so much going on at once, some measure of discombobulation from the host broadcaster is always understandable. But when we switch on the Olympics, I think it’s fair to say that most of us want to witness elite athletes perform spectacular feats with their bodies, not hear a series of driving stories about how they handle their daily commute.

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