July 30, 2012
The fact that NBC has been a struggling prime time network since the time Rachel got off the plane is no secret. That's probably the last time more than two of you will admit watching an NBC program.
Now, NBC is showing that it knows how to host the Olympics -- in 1996.
I'm assuming most of you reading this know about this newfangled Internet thing we have. It allows a lot of information sharing pretty instantly, so it makes keeping a big secret very hard. "The Daily Show" has made a lot of money for Comedy Central off many public people not understanding how much stuff is available online.
Sarcasm aside, we really do have the power to learn about everything pretty quickly after events happen. The tragedy in Aurora, Colo., showed this in the worst light. It didn't take an hour for this news to spread like crazy across Twitter and Facebook. Had a news outfit like NBC wanted to hold this story for its big national news telecast, it would have been laughed off the planet for such a stupid move since most everybody with an Internet connection would have known.
But the Peacock is trying to keep that lid on with the Olympics.
It started with the delayed opening ceremony, which we were told needed "context" by NBC's Emmy-winning staff. Translation: NBC wanted Matt Lauer to tell you how creepy some inflatable gigantic baby looked as you sat and watched it at the same time. Must-see, indeed.
We in the United States were treated to a DELIGHTFUL recorded segment with Bob Costas and Michael Phelps instead of the ceremony's tribute to people lost fighting wars and through terrorism. I skipped past this instantly because it was past 3 a.m. and the combination of Phelps and Costas works better than any sleeping aid.
The latest gaffe I read about was NBC running a promo for a Tuesday segment on Missy Franklin winning a gold medal six minutes before the recorded broadcast of that race aired on the same network.
Spoiler alert: NBC apparently hasn't changed its Olympic broadcast techniques since color TV.
This is why the Twitter hashtag #NBCfail has caught on. It's really quite amusing to see the fake headlines and such people come up with using this. I don't know whether "We landed on the moon!" is one of them.
This is not something that every network does with international events. I was up pretty much all night watching the U.S. play Portugal in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. I can't believe I didn't wake anybody in a two-mile radius when the U.S. scored its first goal 10 minutes in. I didn't need any stupid context other than what the announcers provided live. There were plenty of soccer die-hards like me up early watching this game and others later in the tournament. For the less devoted, ABC/ESPN ran a replay in the afternoon when normal people are awake.
NBC has struggled in almost every aspect of television. The purchase of the company by Comcast did nothing to improve things it seems. Perhaps someone who understands our 24/7 world should be in charge of major events like this instead of trying to put up some blockade to prevent us from seeing these events when they happen.
Michael Buckelew is a contributing writer for the Gwinnett Daily Post.