not an uplifting Olympic story

you know what would be a heart-tugging, tear-jerking human interest story for the Olympics? a spirited young blogger full of excitement at actually paying a bit of attention to the Olympics for the first time since, oh, early adolescence (back when she followed figure skating, but not hockey, alas. or any other sport), who was ready to...well, not write a whole lot about the Olympics, but a reasonable amount, at least about the teams her favorite NHL players are on, and about watching women's hockey for the first time, and finally learning what curling is, and so forth, and getting lots of screenshots to post randomly, and participating in the nonstop, amusing Twitter discussions of the games, and trying to intelligently comment on whatever controversies there are during the games...and then, tragically, our scrappy heroine (okay, okay, this is as hard for me to write as it is for you to read) discovers...


oh, I've seen a little bit since the opening ceremonies. above is a shot from what sounded like an Australian broadcast I found online. BUT, here's the problem:

1) Most Olympic coverage is on cable TV. I haven't had cable since 2008. It was $100/month here and that didn't include the premium channels! No thanks.

2) Online feeds of the sort I use for watching NHL games are hard to find and if you do find them they will likely vanish when you're watching. NBC's being a bit strict (that wasn't a surprise)

3) NBC online feeds require a software download and, oh, you have to be a cable subscriber. To get NBC. In this economy, everyone has $1000+/yr for cable/satellite service? Really?

4) online feeds require a software download that doesn't do anything no matter how many times I try to open it.

okay, at least some of it's on plain old NBC, right? some point Monday afternoon...

5) the NBC channels completely vanished from my TV, and have not come back. maybe it's the stupid converter box; not long after I got it in June, the CBS station here disappeared for good. yes, the "improved" digital TV means I no longer get major networks.

buying a new digital TV, or even a used one unless it's very cheap, or getting cable, aren't an option right now. I really wish you could subscribe to unlimited online Olympic access; I'd gladly pay...well, less than $50 for that. but no, if you don't pay for cable, you don't get most of the Olympics (such as, nearly all the hockey games). and if you're me (just me, I guess--I posted a lot of frantic messages about my NBC vanishing and it doesn't seem to have suddenly hit anyone else), you don't get NBC AT ALL.

I found this rant via Twitter yesterday, from the blog Fools and Sages, Declaration of Incompetence. it takes on NBC for their Olympic coverage so far, and also gets into issues of their hockey coverage in general, the Conan O'Brien situation, etc. (the Declaration format is a bit over the top, but she did research it well.) I retweeted it...and my NBC vanished a few hours later. so I was even more angry at NBC and tweeted it again. and now I've linked it.

I have plenty of problems with Olympic coverage. and I wasn't expecting to watch that much of it, and I'm not as excited about the hockey as some people are. but still, I wanted to be able to have the CHOICE to see it. (and know what the hell people are talking about elsewhere on the Internet!) and I don't. I got to watch most of the second two men's hockey games today, and I know for the biggest ones I could go watch at a bar (which I was planning to do anyway). but it's a shame fans have so few options.


k of c said...

in case anyone comments, comments about how lousy the NBC coverage is anyway will not go over well. I've grown extremely resentful of all the complaining on Twitter and elsewhere, and the complaining about the cable coverage (although in that case I understand, if people are paying [what to me seems like] a fucking fortune for cable, they expect a certain amount of competency in the coverage), when I CAN'T SEE ANY OF IT (yes, I missed both men's hockey games so far today). I mean the complaints are justified, they're just hard for me to hear.

I wish I could temporarily unfollow all my sports contacts on Twitter. I probably will drop all the ones who didn't add me back...and try again later.

Aubrey said...

I'm so sorry. This sucks! NBC is unbelievable. I'm not sure they have any redeeming qualities as a company or even as human beings. There's no reason not to stream the games online like normal people. Why make it hard to impossible for people to access their coverage? It's like they don't want anyone to watch their network.