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August 2008 Archives

NBC has no love for the West Coast

So I've been watching my fair share of Olympics, sometimes late at night. First of all, I just realized that most of the coverage, even at like 2 or 3am, isn't live. Huh? If you're going to show stuff at 3am, when stuff is actually happening in Beijing because it's 6pm there, why the hell don't they show what's live?! Okay, so ever now and then, something actually says LIVE, but no. It's not. It's actually only live in the Eastern and Central time zones. Mountain and Pacific get tape-delayed coverage. Here's a great section from this Sports Business Daily article [Google cache]:

An NBC spokesperson responded to claims that NBC is "time stamping West Coast feeds of competition coverage with a 'Live' tag even though the coverage is not live," by indicating that the "constant 'Live' tag is accompanied by twice-per-hour time stamps that inform West Coast viewers that the event was only live on the East Coast," according to James Hibberd of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The spokesperson: "The audience makeup of the Olympics is very much like that of 'American Idol' and 'Dancing with the Stars' which have 'live' season finales presented in much the same way. You assume there's a large amount of intelligence in the viewing audience, so when they see those twice-an-hour time stamps they'll understand what is being presented." But Hibberd wrote, "If a sporting event's feed isn't live, a broadcaster should avoid using an omnipresent 'live' tag" (THRFEED.com, 8/11). CNET.com's Chris Matyszczyk wrote, "If you followed NBC's impeccable commercial logic, then surely [Bob] Costas' favorite event, the World Series, should be on tape delay on the West Coast. Same goes for the Superbowl" (CNET.com, 8/11).

Now, I can understand this to some degree for the primetime stuff on weeknights. When they show stuff 8-11 on the East Coast, that would be 5-8 on the West Coast, and they wouldn't get as many viewers. Okay. But what about tonight, for instance, when the East Coast will be showing Phelps go for his 8th gold in the 400m medley relay live (at 10:58pm EDT, according to the official schedule), but they're still showing it tape-delayed on the West Coast. That's 8pm PDT! Plus, it's Saturday. Prime time doesn't matter so much on Saturdays! Why is it tape-delayed on the West Coast?!

Similarly, they show stuff live on the East Coast only at 5am sometimes. Why can't they show that stuff live on the West Coast? Do they expect a smaller audience at 2am than at 5am? I know I'm going to start just watching stuff online in the wee hours from now on. (They don't put up headliner events like swimming online, though.)

(I do have to grant them credit for putting up footage (of everything except the events that people really care about) online.)

I, for one, am going to go look up the medley relay results tonight when it happens, and try to find some video online from other countries of it.

Scraping up words and water

How did I miss this? I saw the news about the Scrabulous Facebook app coming back as the randomized board Wordscraper, but I somehow missed the news about the Phoenix lander identifying water in a soil sample. I guess the existence of water on Mars is pretty well-established now, so that this isn't considered a big deal?

About August 2008

This page contains all entries posted to the klog in August 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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