Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Commentary

9 comments
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Anonymous
2018-02-17 11:28:00

I'm in the UK and the BBC does a pretty good Winter Olympics job too. Much of it is live spread across 2-3 channels (despite events airing from midnight UK time onwards!) - no ad breaks (we pay 147 pounds TV licence fee and this is where it arns its money) - and, yes, the opening ceremony was live. GB just won a gold and bronze in the skeleton so coverage has gone bananas over that :-) BTW for the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the UK coverage was unbelievably huge - as well as 4 regular ad-free BBC channels, they had a further *24* ad-free HD channels showing the events!

Anonymous
2018-02-17 13:11:05

Great to hear from you. Thank you very much for letting us know.
A friend of mine, in an email to me this week, wondered what kind of coverage the people in GB were getting. Now he know it's very good too. Thank you!

Grant

Anonymous
2018-02-14 14:48:44

I'm an American and I can speak from experience here because I've seen Canadian coverage and American coverage side by side. You're right that Canadian coverage overall is much better, but for all of NBC's flaws, CBC is not without a few of the same flaws. NBC has long been accused of only showing Americans. I remember very well when Ross Rebagliati was initially stripped of his medal in Nagano before it was re-instated. Brian Williams gave no appearance of objectivity there. I'm sure it was the same with Sale/Pelletier in 2002.
Here's the big difference though and you pointed it out briefly.. Canada is a country of around 36 million people. Like you said, it's a smaller audience that is much more interested in the Olympics. The United States has a population 9 times the size and is far less enthusiastic about the Olympics as they are in Canada. The business of television and media works a lot differently in the United States which has often led to many of the issues in the past. Believe me, I wish I had Olympic coverage that there is in Canada. But I think NBC gets a bad reputation and that their coverage isn't quite as bad as some would make it out to be.

Anonymous
2018-02-14 15:27:30

Great points. Thank you for making them. You are so right.

It's hard for commentators not to be cheerleaders, especially during the Olympics. Yesterday morning when the female South Korean speed skater missed the gold by 22 cms. but then was bumped all the way down to 5th place, the CBC announcers barely mentioned it because they were falling all over themselves to point out the Canadian won the bronze through the backdoor. I understand them doing that, but the DQ of the South Korean was a very small footnote to them and it should not have been that way.

You are 100% correct on the size of the country playing a role too.

Grant

Anonymous
2018-02-18 16:08:55

I realize that we are dealing with a 14 hours time difference but neverthelss the CBC coverage of the winter Olympics is abysmal. So many repeats of sports - too much curling and too many advertisements and athlete biographies. I've been tuning in to NBC and TSN for more up to date and in depth coverage. It was 2 days before I found out who won the Canada/US hockey game - I get better results from our local newspaper and TV news station. Still haven't one rendition of Oh Canada when we won gold, and no leader board with medal standings. And I doubt they will get their act together by the end of the games.


Anonymous
2018-02-14 10:10:18

I have been disappointed that the bulk of the sports are happening while I am sleeping, but I can definitely wake up to see some highlights of what I missed. I love the commentators that we get here in Canada - they do a fabulous job covering the sports!

Anonymous
2018-02-14 15:23:12

Yes it's tricky to figure out when the coverage is live and what's going to be on. I think CBC could do a better job at finding ways to let viewers know when certain events will be on. They obviously do that during their broadcasts, but if you're not watching them it's hard to know when the good stuff will be shown. I follow the schedule on the CBC website but that can be hit or miss too.

Anonymous
2018-02-14 09:06:57

Take it from this American, you are dead on, Grant. My wife and I moved in December and for the first time in 30 years, we do not get CBC from our cable service in suburban Detroit. WHAT???? Well, we do get it sort-of ... a shrunken down, low-quality version that does not fill up the screen. Fidelity is awful. It was bad enough not getting Hockey Night, but we have always watched the CBC Olympics Coverage. It is just better, period. Yes, we have complained emphatically to our cable company. I guarantee you that many metro Detroiters feel the same.

Anonymous
2018-02-14 09:10:54

Good to hear that the difference is being noticed. Hopefully there are more Americans like you that know where the good stuff is.
I heard somebody on NBC say the reason the Netherlands does so well in speed skating is because everyone skates to work. WTF????

Grant