Overheard on CNN.com: 'We aren't in the loop for anything' with Olympics tape delay
Readers have lots to say about TV coverage of the Olympics. What do you think?
July 31st, 2012
06:25 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'We aren't in the loop for anything' with Olympics tape delay

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Earlier on this very blog, we posed a question about the NBC Olympics coverage that some have deemed an #NBCFail. Would you prefer to watch the Olympics in real time, or do you prefer the tape delay in prime time? We got a passionate response from our readership, and we posted some on the daily Mash-Up  on Monday. We also wanted to share a few more of the posts that caught our eye.

Live or later: What's your ideal Olympics coverage?

The people preferring a live broadcast seemed to have the edge in the comments, and they totally dominated the very unscientific poll at the bottom of the post.

AmerGrill: "I'd rather have it live. The controversies are late, too. Ye Shiwen story just broke in the U.S. and the race was days ago. Even anti-American Drudge who is always on top of news is only now just twisting the story to make America look bad when the committee, coaches and other swimmers have been questioning this race for days. So far for Americans the whole coverage has been a disaster. We aren't in the loop for anything and there are mixed stories coming in from a variety of sources."

Pebbles Flintstone: "The time difference is not that big. In an age when most work break areas have a TV, there is no reason why it can't be streamed live. Folks can watch during their lunch break and/or catch the rest of it in a prime time recap. Based on the fact that most of us work and can't watch TV all day long – most companies put out TVs for big events anyway. It can be worked around. Not rocket science for NBC."

JayL: "U.S. television always wants to make things fit into their TV schedule ... it has even modified the rules of major games in order to better "present" sports on TV. That's why soccer will never make it in the U.S., guess what, the world doesn't work that way ... other countries show games as they should be, LIVE. So, NBC, do what you have to do and show us the games live."

Ed Bark, former longtime TV critic of The Dallas Morning News, writes in an opinion piece that he believes NBC is being "unfairly eviscerated" about its coverage.

He posits that it's impossible to find a perfect watching time for everyone, and blasts an "ever-cranky" blogosphere that is "aflame like the Olympic torch." Many of our readers had a few bones to pick, while others said people need to chill out.

Is it really #NBCFail?

The opening ceremony has left an open wound for some.

Bzybee: "Not airing the opening event live was a disgrace. The endless comments by the commentators and insults to other countries was horrid. The ads and cuts made it all so horrible. Shame on NBC for not allowing Americans to enjoy the opening event live with the rest of the world."

Many readers requested online coverage.

atannerr: "NBC is seriously going to lose money if they keep failing to take opportunities. So many people have said they would have paid decent money to have been able to watch the Olympics online, me for one. I just don't watch TV on a regular basis so it is pointless for me to pay a cable subscription just to watch it for two weeks and then not watch it again for the rest of the year. Oh maybe I would use it for the Super Bowl and Daytona 500 but still not worth it. NBC is alienating the people who are not interested in a ton of TV, just two weeks of it."

Other people critiqued the coverage itself.

BlackBeltAuntie: "NBC is being eviscerated for good reason, and they would do well to heed complaints. Cable TV is sinking rapidly - if I could watch the Olympics with no commentary at all I would do it. These people need to shut their yaps, they have nothing of value to add to the events, so NBC could have saved millions by just sending a camera crew and keeping the expensive mouths at home. This whole thing could easily be a SNL skit about bad Olympics coverage."

Does the BBC do a better job? Readers have varying views.

paul321: "Perhaps NBC should have just contracted to pull the BBC's coverage ... far superior in every regard."

messhy: "Nah ... I'm not even a yank but the BBC coverage has been horrible and all they focus on is Great Britain athletes. NBC is definitely not doing as good a job as they should be but are far superior than the BBC coverage. BBC has received even more complaints then NBC and any other broadcast station ... difference is, BBC will never write an article on it because that would be honest news."

joespivey: "The BBC has not only provided 24 channels to cover all events live (in both HD and SD), but has also provided 24 perfectly functioning online streams of those channels. The BBC has also provided 3D highlights and large 8k resolution screens to watch events on. The BBC had more comprehensive coverage of the Olympics in Athens than NBC have of London – and NBC have double the number of staff to cover it!"

Is something greater afoot?

Lifeslittleironies: "It's a great debate and we're on the edge of a fundamental change in the way people consume media. In the past, it was TV controllers packaging and filtering content for consumption at a time that they determined. Social Media, however, is biased toward real-time, raw, unfiltered and uncontrolled content. Networks are going to have to adapt to an on demand world and stop feeding us the same TV schedules they have given us for the past 40 years or more."

There were other readers who found humor in the situation.

darwinrules: "Oh, the HORROR! Where is the NBC coverage of the Olympic SYNCHRONIZED PUB ELBOW BENDING, BADMINTON, CROQUET, HOT DOG EATING, Olympic MUD WRESTLING, WATER PISTOL...??? Why isn't "Politician mud-slinging" an Olympic sport!?"

What's your take? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Olympics • Overheard on CNN.com • Sports
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. ljwitch

    I'm no longer watching the NBC coverage. I think it's been terrible and I just refuse to funnel these people anymore money. I'm going to be shutting off my cable in a couple of months anyway and we don't even watch television. I was horrified to find out about the 7/7 tribute being cut from the footage NBC decided to show us. You know, we here in the U.S. sure do like to criticize other countries for filtering what their residents can and can not see and hear on television from the outside world. We always talk about how horrible that kind of thing is. Some even make jokes about how that could never happen here because they just can't accept that it ever could.

    It sure isn't funny anymore when it's happening inside your own country.....is it?

    July 31, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Wendy

    I am so upset about the fact that in the United States we are not watching the Olympic games LIVE. I missed seeing history today in swimming, I can't believe how poorly and greedy NBC is. How can they do this to us, ahh I know why, you don't care.

    July 31, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Plb

    The NBC live app is garbage as well. The goal is not to provide "live" (note that the live broadcast is actually delayed as well) but to provide yet another medium for advertisers. God forbid you should be disconnected mid event; upon restart you' ll need to sit through a 30 second car commercial before being reconnected to the event, which, of course by that time, is already history. And speaking of history, previous events are not available for viewing.

    I am thankful that I have access to a Canadian feed.

    Total fail NBC.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jimbo Thai

    And here I, an American expat, sit in an obscure little town in the backwaters of Northeast Thailand with my satellite company carrying seven (7) ESPN HD channels with round the clock coverage, including live events in their entirety, along with many replays and summaries during the day. Are you folks in the USA aware that ESPN worldwide has seven channels devoted to Olympic coverage? It's great to be living in Thailand.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • tpaguy

      Very Jealous Jimbo! I just started working on a simliar plan myself. Did you find it easy to move as far as finding work, visa, etc..?

      August 1, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. *Christine richards

    My biggest problem with the CBS coverage has been the waste of time. With most events having been completed long before primetime, they can easily arrange and edit footage to show more events and in a more timely manner. Instead, we have to listen to people like John McEnroe or Ryan seacrest, neithet of whom should even be there. The olympic athletes have trained their entire lives for these few moments so show THEM! NBC is very out of touch if they think people would rather listen to hired celebrity commentators.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mickey1313

    The olympics are just a money grubbing scam. After china, the worst human rights violator in history, was given the games, I lost all respect for the olympics, it's commission, and it's athletes.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Clarice

    I really like the delay. We watched gymnastics last night and it was better because we knew the US would win. It is just better. NBC rules.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. d_unreal1

    Luckily, I'm watching the Olympics in Mexico. Mexico has precious few Olympians so they focus on the Americans and show everything LIVE and then air it AGAIN in primetime for those who might have been at work during the live showing. It would irritate the snot out of me to watch a race six hours after it happened and has been reported by every major news outlet via the internet.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mikeh3775

    I have watched ZERO of the NBC coverage. I watched BBC feeds so far, so I get to see them LIVE when they happened. I even got to see the tribute to a terrorist attack during the opening ceremonies, not some NBC fluff piece with a person who doesn't deserve his name to be mentioned.

    Congratulations NBC, when you get a reporters twitter taken away, tape delay events that could easily be shown live, refuse to show THE ENTIRE opening ceremony, it shows you are owned by Comcrap.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Michael

    I have 2 HD dual tuner TiVo's, each driving an HD screen and I run everything through my amplifier so by muting the amp and monitoring four HD NBC-related channels, I can get a pretty good overview of what's going on. I'm not interested in the commentary at all. What NBC is doing is still far superior to having only one channel on a grainy 13" B&W tube with rabbit ears and aluminum foil ...

    August 4, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
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