The IOC should cancel their contract with NBC for their awful Olympics coverage

Every 2 years, Americans come together to try to watch the Olympics and support Team USA, only to be confounded by botched NBC broadcasts.

This isn’t about commercials that are part of all US television, or tape delays that, to a certain extent, are inevitable with covering events in much different time zones. (Although simulcast for east and west coasts, and everything between, should be standard.)

This is about decade after decade of completely asinine coverage by NBC. I understand and appreciate that the Olympics are about more than play-by-play sports commentary. The Olympics should also feature narratives and the human side of the events. We want to know the athletes’ stories.

But NBC has time and again failed as journalists by relying on Disney-caricatures instead of research and reporting. They lack sufficient respect for the truth and their obligation to verify the truth.

/end rant

I know it’s not actually realistic for this to happen, but it’s about the sentiment

**edit: TL;DR** – There’s a big difference between well-done human narratives and refusing to verify facts or the random stream-of-consciousness babbling. This is a cultural problem though out NBC (ie Peter Jennings.)

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72 thoughts on “The IOC should cancel their contract with NBC for their awful Olympics coverage

  1. scotch_on_the_rocks February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    The IOC doesn’t care about gouging taxpayers in hosting nations you think they give a shit about nbc insulting them?

  2. all4reddit February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    The corrupt IOC saying no to the highest bidder, even when the highest bidder offends the host nation and international viewers?

    Fat chance.

  3. Desikiki February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I heard on French TV that NBC has payed more for rights than every other broadcaster in the world combined. Not going to happen.

    I can’t verify the previous statement but I have the NBC number : 7.75 Billion USD for Olympics until 2032.

  4. JoeXM February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    IOC: “You guys suck! We’re canceling your contract!”
    NBC: “Here, have a bag of money.”
    IOC: “What were we talking about?”

  5. Mazon_Del February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    This year I set up my VPN and streamed the CBC broadcasting. No regrets.

  6. 44problems February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Their coverage of the opening ceremony is always disastrous. Closing is even worse, if they show it at all instead of a new sitcom about a talking dog. (Yeah, that really happened, Google “Animal Practice”)

    Though, they’ve made some changes which are helping a little bit. **They are simulcasting on both coasts,** which is a long time coming. The daytime coverage on the network and cable networks is a matter of fact sports show. The prime time show is a lot of live events, which is also good. And the I think the skating coverage so far has been pretty fair, though some smaller competitors are being condensed.

    Of course they’re going to talk about Americans more. It’s what the Olympics are.

    I get CBC on my cable, and there’s tons of hockey and curling, because that’s what Canadians want and Canada is good at them.

    It’s tough because we don’t have another commercial network to compare NBC coverage too. The last time it wasn’t them was so long ago, I think maybe 1998. And everyone compares NBC with CBC and BBC, both public service broadcasters that pay a lot less, depend less or not at all on advertisers, and have tax/fee revenue to rely on.

    Edit: sorry, Animal Practice was the one with a monkey as one of the stars.

  7. Millwall_Fan February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    The BBC coverage has always been great

  8. robibler February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    They should cover it like they cover golf events.

  9. surroundedbywolves February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    All I ever hear them talk about is “Olympic ice” and how much pressure the athletes are under. But maybe that’s because all I manage to catch is **fucking figure skating omg it’s like gymnastics during the summer games**.

  10. nevergofullcommie February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Just let c-span do it. They know how to shut up and just film the entire thing. Also how to show things live.

  11. Flatlandcavalry February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Hating NBC for their Olympic coverage is the new hating Joe Buck for whatever reason.

    They have like 7 channels plus online streaming. If you put in the slightest effort, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

    Also, if you live in the United States you’re going to get a lot of US team coverage because no fucking shit.

    Stop fucking whining about this.

  12. m_b_b_1027 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I’m pretty sure you mean eg not ie. And Peter Jennings was on ABC.

  13. RobertTheBob82 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I’m not coming together with anyone in this, the Olympics are terrible.

  14. yakadoodle February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    My biggest complaint is commentators who feel the need to chatter like monkeys while telling me how wonderful the music is that goes along with the skating.

    …while I can’t hear the music because the commentators are chattering like monkeys.

  15. Texas_Coy0te February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I completely agree. I couldn’t bare watching NBC it was absolutely awful. They ruined the opening ceremony by commenting on everything. I had enough. Luckily I found that CBC has less interruptions and annoyance.

  16. captars February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Today, NBC interrupted a speed skating race to ask skaters if they think wearing the color blue makes them faster. I shit you not.

  17. oldfatlazy February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Personally, I don’t give a rats ass about the profiles of the athletes, show the competitions.

  18. ElectricAlan February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    There’s similar issues with the olympic coverage in AUS. Our TV broadcasters don’t appear to actually care about the sport that much, just nationalism. When you’re choosing to show a bunch of people on a panel talk about an Australian who will be competing in a day or two instead of showing some non-Australians competing right now, your priorities are messed up.

  19. HarryRedknappsRover February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    You know what? I was watching men’s louge this morning and when the American dude won silver, I was genuinely happy for him and felt a rush of emotion. Why? Because NBC gave a backstory on him. Watching obscure sports with people we’ve never heard of isn’t nearly as entertaining as you might think. There’s a reason nobody watches these sports outside of the Olympics.

  20. Goldenarmz23 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    They don’t do any research and just go on live TV and talk out their asshole

  21. Demderdemden February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Oh yay, our hourly rant about NBC’s coverage of the Olympics thread. I was jonesing for one!

  22. flfolks February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Can we just get a megathread for all the people who want to whine about the Olympics? I am sure the IOC is going to read this thread and cancel their multi billion dollar contract with NBC. Yup, that is likely.

  23. Greentacosmut February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    All nbc has done is make me not give a shit about the olympics.

  24. call_shawn February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Whatever it takes to get this shit off of TV

  25. Human_Robot February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    NBC is Comcast. Comcast is NBC. Quality will never be a part of their lexicon.

  26. Mexagon February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    You mean you don’t want to hear Katie gush about shirtless athletes for 20 minutes? Wow, sexism much?

  27. Eskwire February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    This is bussines. If NBC pay more they will keep covering the olimpic how ever they want.

  28. Richard_U_Pickman February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Peter Jennings died of throat cancer in 2005. So you mean Brian Williams?

  29. Wissix February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    At this point, I think the NBC model is so ingrained that even if another broadcast company took over coverage they’d end up following the same model.

  30. Raedek February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I might be the odd one out but I don’t mind the commentary during sports. What I fucking hate though is that NBC’s website for the Olympics blows. Why can’t I watch just one event all the way through instead of shitty highlights? How come there is a live stream of three sports, but to watch the hockey I need to sit through an hour of cross country. Like come on.

  31. UncleDan2017 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Oh please. As if international bodies of “amateur” athletics care about much of anything other than how corrupt can they be, and how much can they enrich themselves. Look up Juan Samaranch, FIFA or any other international body, and there is a pretty clear pattern.

    Given how much money NBC is paying, I’m pretty sure the IOC could care less.

  32. TadaceAce February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    We just watched 30+ minutes of Olympics during dinner. We saw 1 figure skating routine, a whole lot of garbage, and six+ commercial breaks.

    What the fuck. Fuck. You. Nbc.

    Where can we watch Olympics elsewhere. Boycott this bullshit. We are considering spending $40 for hulu live but I’m not sold its better.

  33. cyclops274 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Whats wrong with American broadcasters talking about American athletes. How dare they have more coverage about American athlete more than Indian athletes.

  34. USAFoodTruck February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Who the fuck has a problem with NBC covering Team USA….in the USA???

  35. mike_gainor February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Jesus, enough with the fucking whining about the Olympics. Every time.

  36. gwoz8881 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Well NBC single handedly pays for over 20% of the entire IOC revenue, so I doubt they would drop them. Deal with it

  37. jz68 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    For fucks sake, this meme needs to die. Go back to bitching about Nickleback or Paris Hilton or something else.

  38. JefferyGoldberg February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    The older I get, the more I hate the Olympics. I used to think it was about countries coming together and showcasing their best athletes, but I’ve realized it’s just politics combined with sports that mostly only privileged people play.

    I have heard that actually attending the Olympics results in some wild parties though.

  39. im53whocares February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    NBC makes its money off of sports and reality t.v. The reason behind the back stories, the endless babbling and zoning in on one athlete’s life story is because it draws women viewers in and in turn draws money from commercials .. They admit it, they stated that to women, the journey is as important as the destination. That might sound sexist but it is a fact. NBC does not guess around on social data , it simply collects and conforms to where the most money comes in. So the reason they suck ? Females. Sorry, it is what it is…. I dont know any men that are keeping up with the Kardashians .

  40. dmcdd February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Skating slating and more skating…. and when we come back from this break, we’ll have more skating followed by skating.

  41. yeahcomeon- February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I would really like the coverage to be more encouraging of all the athlete’s achievements instead of just America’s. That said, I don’t think that they have worked so hard and prepared so much footage to do a bad job. I think everyone is doing the best they can. I watched curling with no commentary and was lost. We need the commentary, but it just needs to be less “USA IS THE BEST!” And more “These athletes are amazing!”

  42. JeffTennis February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Be thankful that NBC is one of the few networks that can broadcast on multiple channels. During the Summer Olympics it’s really useful. What really boggles my mind though, is that the former UniversalHD Channel that changed to the Olympic Channel, doesn’t actually show any live olympic competitions. Everything on the listing is strictly highlight shows and analysis with some replays.

  43. ryanguxx February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Maybe if they give it to ABC/Disney ESPN will stop acting like the NBA is the best and only thing to exist for 2 months every 2 years with would be a +. The broadcasting wouldn’t be better though.

  44. night_breed February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I can live with shitty coverage. It is the internet spoilers that chap my ass. I was watching Norway/Canada curling and googled “curling” (I dont fully understand the way it is scored) and sure as shit the very first thing that pops up is the result of the very match I am watching.

  45. rainbirdmelody February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I’ve been mostly watching the live stream of events on the NBC Sports app and haven’t been bothered.
    The prime time coverage is all over the place because they are trying to play catch up with things that happened day outside of prime time.

  46. IL2Bomber February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    At least we don’t have to listen to that disgusting hypocrite ”Rat” Lauer in the NBC coverage anymore.

  47. Reali5t February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    The IOC is a criminal organization and doesn’t give a shit what others do so long they pay.

  48. MaestroPendejo February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I hate sports, but my wife loves them, and LOVES the Olympics. I have had to watch them this year, and even she was agreeing with me that this time is abnormally shitty and dreadful to hear.

  49. mts12 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    TV has utterly desensitized me to any kind of “human story” about the people I’m watching. Every single show does this. One of the worst examples is American Ninja Warrior, which I think is pretty fun to watch. The only problem with the show is EVERY single person has a sob story. They had cancer. Their wife or husband died. Their parents died. Their dog died. Their kids died. I SERIOUSLY DON’T CARE. I tuned in to watch the people do the obstacle course, not care about your sob stories. Seriously it could be the saddest, most heart wrenching story and I just roll my eyes and fast forward. I’m not an insensitive person. If I met one of these people in real life and heard their story I would be moved by it. But after years and years and YEARS of shows copying this exact same format in an attempt to try to force viewers to have an emotional connection to people on the show it has had the exact opposite effect. Just show the fucking competition.

    Same with the Olympics. I seriously don’t care about the story. If the color commentator can’t give me the person’s story in between the action while the event is happening, just cut it. I don’t want to hear about it. I was watching women’s slopestyle snowboarding last night and literally put my tv on mute several times to avoid hearing about the competitors stories.

  50. coatrack68 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Pretty sure they don’t give a shit…

  51. Indianamontoya February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I thought John Tesh grew into the role after a rough start. Its basically an impossible job for a single celebrity

  52. RoiderOrtiz February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    uh… then don’t watch. and get everyone else to boycott. I don’t know why you think ioc would give a fuck at all as long as nbc pays up.

  53. twat_and_spam February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    > The Olympics should also feature narratives and the human side of the events. We want to know the athletes’ stories.

    Why the fuck? Would you also want a calming side channel with live stream of puppies playing and various olympians visiting every 15 minutes to pet them against a checklist of media obligations?

    Olympics is a powertripping cash-grab by IOC, rarely represents the best in any particular sport (that’s what corresponding world championships tend to be), is a political minefield and has about as much to do with sport as your mother has with athletics.

    The pitiful thing is that they get any coverage at all, not the fact that they are not covered with sufficient sop stories content.

  54. TrialAndAaron February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    All I have seen is backstories tied into the sports. I have no idea what events people are watching. I know where everyone trains, about their family, who is there rooting them on, etc.

  55. Hado88 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    It’s Comcast NBC since a few years back.

  56. liamemsa February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Want them to cancel their contact? **Then stop watching.**

    Plummeting ratings, headlines like “Lowest ratings ever for NBC,” will convince both of them to stop it. Advertisers will back out. NBC will stop wasting money on it. Just stop watching. You have the control here.

  57. abbzug February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    At this point I’d take back the Snoreville circlejerks over these shitposts.

  58. mixx1john February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I used to care about the athletes backgrounds in sports but really now I just wanna see a good game or event and even more so in the Olympics I just want to watch the events that’s it

  59. schitz240sx February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Just air the games. I dont need a background story. I can Google it if I care.

  60. kanhawk February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Anymore, I can’t even tell who the Americans or other countries athletes are because the uniforms are almost generic and meant to hide what country they represent.

    I still watch it some, but my interest in it isn’t what it used to be.

  61. Ksieba7 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    The IOC is a shitty corrupt organization. Stop watching and supporting this trash.

  62. Okilokijoki February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    FYI NBC also made figure skating start at 9am in the morning (meaning athletes had to get up at 5 am ) just so NBC can show figure skating at American prime time.

  63. photog09 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    “Just the latest example” is from the opening ceremonies two days ago?

  64. Habanero_Eyeball February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    So many rage inducing moments from the NBC coverage rants are inevitable.

    Then there’s a whole bunch of others that haven’t experienced the same and therefore condemn the ranters.

    And round and round it goes

  65. photog09 February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Any specific examples of “unverified” information? Or are we all cool with unsupported wild accusations?

  66. piaband February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Anyone else sick of 5 million posts about the commentating? I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT.

  67. CommenceTheWentz February 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Yes they should. And weed should be legal, rent should be free, and Ariana Grande should give me a blowjob. It honestly sucks to see pretty much everyone I know absolutely hate the coverage, and be completely powerless to affect it in any way

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