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Home » Life in America, Television » NBC’s Poor Coverage of the Vancouver Olympics

NBC’s Poor Coverage of the Vancouver Olympics

Posted on Monday, February 15th, 2010 at 10:58 pm CET

Rant alert! NBC is doing an awful job covering the Vancouver Winter Olympics to the American people. The TV channel shows mostly recaps, commercials, profiles of athletes, talking heads, reruns of the fatal luge accident and things like “the history of snowboarding” … but hardly any live sporting events. I’m really amazed by how poor the coverage is. Tonight I wanted to watch the 500m speed skating race but at the time of the event NBC was showing a travel show about Vancouver. When I returned some time later they had a piece about polar bears in Manitoba (I’m not kidding). The speed skating event is now long over but highlights will be shown later tonight. No thanks, I’ve already seen the results.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they allowed us to watch live feeds online, but the only live video on are hockey and curling. No other sports are shown live here! The website does offer a lot of replays, but they are only available for people with a TV subscription. That’s right, you have to log in to Comcast, AT&T or whatever your TV provider is to watch NBC’s Olympic videos online. That is wrong on so many levels. NBC is a free broadcast station! I’ve read of people who tried to log in with their cable account only to be shown a message that they don’t have the premium package. At least it works for us, and we have the smallest Comcast package.

My family in the Netherlands (and I’m sure in most other countries in the world) can watch the games on multiple stations on TV and multiple feeds online. Unfortunately these live videos on foreign websites are blocked for people outside these countries, because of rights issues. It’s unfortunate that there are no alternatives for us here. In Holland I used to be able to switch to Euronews, BBC, Belgian, German or French TV … but here it’s just NBC.

It isn’t even so bad for us here in the Chicago area. On the west coast NBC is apparently showing everything on tape-delay! People in California and Seattle are in the same timezone as the actual Olympics in Vancouver and they are seeing everything 2 or 3 hours late. Even the opening ceremony on Friday was shown 2 hours late. That’s just unacceptable in a time when everyone’s on Twitter and Facebook sharing things. It’s just impossible for people on the west coast to see anything without first hearing the results somewhere. Local NBC affiliates have started to apologize about the matter.

For more people complaining about NBC poor coverage see #nbcfail on Twitter or the NBC Olympics Coverage Sucks group on Facebook.


Feb 16, 2010
12:31 am
#1 bjarne bjornsson wrote:

Don’t get me started….too late I’m too angry and waaay disappointed with the coverage. Let’s start with Bob Costas. His commentary is B O R I N G and ice cold, he’s disrepectful towards other nations, and his hair is a complete joke. Will someone who loves him please tell him so??? It’s way too dark for his pasty white complexion. Isn’t he a millionaire by now?? you’d think he would have a decent stylist…nope.

Now on to the spotty coverage. I live on the west coast yet everything is tape delayed and watered down. NBC leaves it up to Costas, Mary C. and Chris C. to spruce it up with weak attempts of drama and feel good stories. That formula is soooo old and makes the Olympics real hard to watch or take seriously. The mens downhill was on tonight…I think they showed 5 total runs…that’s it..could have been 6 but isn’t this supposed to be a marquis event?? I could go on and on but I’ll finish my rant with ‘The last great Olympic coverage was Lillehammer period. EVERYTHING since has S U C K E D. NBC YOU SUCK and please get rid of Jay Leno…and half of your primetime lineup

May 13, 2010
3:54 am

I heard about this as well & empathize for those like you who enjoy watching the Olympic games. It is sad how NBC is the only network to hold the reigns over the games in American coverage. I enjoyed the coverage I could watch here in the Netherlands, as it was just like you said: full & everywhere.

Jul 25, 2021
5:22 pm
#3 Jenna Hilson wrote:

I didn’t watch the Vancouver Olympics but they’re sure doing a poor job covering the Tokyo one. From horrible aerial angles to random camera action and movement choices etc. The media blames covid for the low ratings but the ratings are greatly in part because of the poor job NBC is doing… Plus this Olympics are pretty underwhelming as a whole. Not impressed by Japan’s work. So much technology and they didn’t know how to put it to use.

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