I love the Olympics. Summer, winter, team sports or individual, I love it all.
However, I’ve had it with the NBC coverage on the West coast. Vancouver is in OUR TIME ZONE, for Pete’s sake.
In 2008, Dick Ebersol gave the following explanation for the tape delay (via Tim Goodman):
It’s live on the East Coast and in the Central time zone, which is roughly 81 to 82 percent of all the households in the United States. Historically, we have always shown the Olympics on tape on the West Coast. We have repeatedly done significant testing or polling, if you want to call it that, on the West Coast. And they have told us – the viewers have repeatedly told us that the vast majority of them, well in excess of 80 percent, want to see the Olympics when they’re available to see the Olympics. They don’t want to see the key events of the day happening at 4 or 5 o’clock their time. They want to get home and watch them, and that’s why there’s a delay on the West Coast. And you know what? Strangely enough, in every Olympics that I have done, going back to 1992, every Olympics, the audience on the West Coast over-indexes against all the other regions in the United States. They love sports so much, and they know when they want to watch it, and that’s in primetime.
I would argue that we have never been given a choice, Mr. Ebersol. I would watch beginning at 6 p.m., if I had the chance, actually even earlier than that. My children would love to watch, but I’m a responsible parent and enforce bed times during the week. My boys adore Shaun White, but guess when his events will air?
My money is on the medal round at 10 p.m., medal ceremony at 10:59.
One could argue that one has a DVR for that reason. Well, sure, but when exactly do you suppose we watch the taped stuff? Spring break is looking like the only time that we’ll have enough time to go through minute by minute to see the things that we want to see, and even then that’s only one week when we’ll end up with 2-plus weeks of coverage. That is if we have that much recordable space on the machine.
The only reason that the Olympics kill in prime time is that it’s our only option. It’s a monopoly, not a preference.
Not to mention local news coverage, Twitter, and any number of other sources that seem to screw up the ‘results’ for those of us in the west. Are we supposed to live under a rock for two weeks?
I would bet dollars to donuts that there are millions of viewers in LA alone who would forgo the HOUR we get of Extra and Access Hollywood between 7 and 8 pm to have Olympic coverage start at 7 p.m. instead.
For two measly weeks, every two years, could we please get a schedule that doesn’t put us West coasters at a disadvantage? That’s all I’m asking.