Are the Olympics Too Broken to Fix?

Spikefan

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1,884
More about how the Olympics are broken but focusing on what a crappy job NBC is doing with the televising of them:

I gave up on Peacock coverage very quickly and have no clue why Adam, Tara or Johnny are there. I appreciate what Adam had to say about Simone but he could have done that from home. All I have seen of Johnny and Tara was them eating ramen in their Hilton Hotel (and they really didn’t eat). For Beijing they just need to show all the high profile events live (regardless of when) and in full. No Ninja Warrior commentary. And the paid for replays need to be of the full event, not the choppy NBC evening telecast.
 

Tesla

Whippet Good
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2,808
NBC is too locked into the cable model. They should've loaded Peacock with coverage, though I am happy with some of the replays. You need a cable sign-in for the NBC sports app.
I gave up on Peacock coverage very quickly and have no clue why Adam, Tara or Johnny are there. I appreciate what Adam had to say about Simone but he could have done that from home. All I have seen of Johnny and Tara was them eating ramen in their Hilton Hotel (and they really didn’t eat). For Beijing they just need to show all the high profile events live (regardless of when) and in full. No Ninja Warrior commentary. And the paid for replays need to be of the full event, not the choppy NBC evening telecast.
Peacock has some good replays. I've been able to watch most of the diving on replay, and other than the men's AA, they have good replays of the gymnastics.
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
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I have been thinking about this very thing. IMO The Olympics should be put to rest. It started out as a rather noble venture. It has strayed so, so far away. It is certainly no longer noble. It is no longer, IMO, the best athlete wins. No, there are 47 different ways to win, 47 ways to cheat the system.

I think though the real harbinger of its demise is Social Media. You can catch what you want on YouTube, FaceBook....whatever. There are half-truths, lies, positioning. And people can say things on Social Media that they think might be true (well, they read it on so and so's page) and then after 1,000,000 clicks, it becomes the truth.

The Olympics always lose money. Huge amounts of money. Yet host countries keep applying to host a cavalcade that is going to benefit no one (well except NBC). NBC only shows a snippet of what there is to see. It is like reading a book with 3/4 of the chapters missing.

Think back to Nagano. I watched ALL the skating. It was wonderful, educational, and compelling.
IIRC you could purchase one of several feeds, and watch it all, or the sports you were passionate about.

The World has finite resources. I do not think that the Olympics is a place those resources should be used.
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
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AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
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While I think that some of Bokat-Lindell's points may be well taken, I have an immediate response to this one:

It is possible to stage the Olympics with no new permanent construction or at least no white elephants. AFAIK, there will be no permanent construction for the 2028 Los Angeles Games. The only new permanent construction for the 2024 Paris Games will be the Olympic Village, which will thereafter be used for housing. IINM, no new venues are being constructed specifically for 2026 Winter Games in Milan, but there will be some modernization, and some venues were already being developed before the bid was submitted.

And surely one way of ensuring that human rights are protected is by not allowing places like Sochi and Beijing to host the Olympics. :shuffle:
It may be possible, but that is not what is happening in LA.

AN
"In reality, L.A. 2028 will not be possible without the completion of several key initiatives, namely, the ongoing expansion of Los Angeles County’s mass transportation network and the planned expansion and renovation of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)."

Los Angeles Homeless.


"In 2020, more than 66,000 people in the Greater Los Angeles area were experiencing homelessness. In the past year, there was a 12.7% increase in the rate of people experiencing homelessness countywide, LAHSA data shows."

Los Angeles is a mess. And it is getting worse, not better.


What are some of the common health problems that homeless people have?
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Lung diseases, including bronchitis, tuberculosis, and pneumonia.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Mental health problems.
  • Substance use problems.
  • Wounds and skin infection
LA should take the money they are spending on the '28 Olympics and help it's people.
 

clairecloutier

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12,554
I've been pretty happy with the NBC coverage, but that's because I have cable. Because of that, I can watch entire events live or on replay with the nbcolympics.com streaming app (or service). I can even watch the regular nighttime show on streaming. I've barely watched anything on live TV, it's all been streaming. But it's there, so I'm happy.

My husband has been wanting to drop cable for some time (well, actually we have DirecTV, but same diff), but I have held firm and refused to give it up, almost entirely because of the Olympics. It's a lot to pay every month, but right now it's worth it. I would be really frustrated if we didn't have it. And I can't imagine not having it for Beijing.

Haven't watched Peacock at all. It seems superfluous if you can access the nbcolympics.com streaming.
 

Theatregirl1122

Needs a nap
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26,095
Interesting that they mentioned the use of VPN for people to watch on BBC or CBC. VPN has been around for a while now, but it's definitely become more common for people to have it & much easier to use in the past five years since everything is streamed somewhere now. It seems like a strange decision, given all the options for people to get around their broadcast rights, that they wouldn't have provided streaming of all events when they happen.

NBC does provide live streaming of all events.


And the paid for replays need to be of the full event, not the choppy NBC evening telecast.

What do you mean by paid for replays?
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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31,717
Paid-for replays of an entire event is something I would happily pay for, and that is long overdue IMO. The Olympic Broadcasting System is covering every event start-to-finish, with commentary, so that it can feed content to each country's host broadcaster to use whatever that broadcaster wants to air. If someone wants to watch, say, modern pentathlon while the on-air coverage is showing beach volleyball, why not make a couple of $ from that person by letting them watch the event they want to see?
 

skatingguy

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NBC does provide live streaming of all events.
Are the replays readily available? One of the NBC complaints is the lack of context, and focus on American athletes to the detriment of overall event, so I'm not sure why people are still watching the NBC broadcast when we all know were going to get a carefully curated version of the events that make it look like the US competed by itself.
 

Theatregirl1122

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Are the replays readily available? One of the NBC complaints is the lack of context, and focus on American athletes to the detriment of overall event, so I'm not sure why people are still watching the NBC broadcast when we all know were going to get a carefully curated version of the events that make it look like the US competed by itself.

The are available to anyone with cable, including youtube tv or sling and yes, they are readily available and they all remain available. If you know what you want to see and you want to see a specific thing, you can find it and see all of it. That's why I don't get complaining about NBC Gymnastics coverage too much. As a Gymnastics fan, that's not how I'm going to watch it.

However the point of the NBC Prime Time Broadcast isn't to be the main source for viewers to see things that they are big fans of and know they want to watch. It's for people to get the flavor of the Olympics as a whole and to get a birds eye view around the games. It should feature a variety of sports, tell a competent story, and give viewers a taste of the whole games. The idea is that, if you only have time to watch the Prime Time coverage ever night, it should feel like you got a good chance to watch a bunch of the games.

Instead they have failed to feature too many sports, shown lots of heats and semi finals for heats and athletics, when they do feature a sport, it's often with very little context (for example, an American won in fencing, and instead of giving some set up and showing the last bout with some narrative tension, they just were like YAY AMERICA! Here's two shots of her hitting someone), and they've shown a lot of fluff pieces on athletes we already know. It's one thing to say "we're going to introduce Canoe Slalom because that's cool and we're going to show some fluff on a top canoe slalom contender so they have someone to root for" and anther thing to show like 8 straight days of fluff on Caleb Dressel.

And this is true of 90% of the mixed coverage. Often you can just turn on USA and see rowing or sailing or whatever. This year it feels like it's mostly volleyball and soccer. I've been trying to get people to recommend things to watch to me so I have things to watch during the day because the mixed coverage is so pedestrian.
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
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4,809
I think of the NBC prime time broadcast as being the equivalent of the Ed Sullivan Show, basically sports vaudeville. No one can possibly show all the events and there's no real reason to try. I, for one, loathe all sports whose goal is for one person to hurt another, so I have no problem with NBC prime time not showing judo, wrestling and other comparable sports. Other people have the same dislike for tennis or golf or dressage.

Then you have to deal with the fact that for the continental United States most of the events are happening in the middle of the night. If swimming and track are getting a lot of airtime, that's in part because they can be shown live for at least some of the U.S.

Then throw in sports that take a lot of time, basketball, baseball, etc. Basketball is a very popular sport in many countries including the U.S. But if a game was given the prime time slot, there would be hardly any time left for any other sport.

If you want to make an argument that the summer Olympics have too many sports then do, but be aware one reason for the seemingly ridiculous number is because there's been a real movement for gender parity. In addition there are a lot more countries with athletes worthy of international competition.

So the Olympics are big and messy and guaranteed not to please everyone. But you know, sports are a distraction, a form of entertainment just like the Ed Sullivan Show or vaudeville.
 

manhn

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13,852
Is there an industry not rife without abuse? Is the Olympics the pinnacle for a sport like cycling? I’d argue it’s the Tour de France. Drug use would still run rampant if cycling was not an Olympic sport.

Are the newer sports worse now that they are under the Olympic umbrella? I don’t know the answer. I don’t enjoy any of the new sports.

Are ratings down all over the world? You can’t blame NBC if ratings are down in Canada or New Zealand.

I expect the women soccer to be a big draw in Canada this coming Thursday evening, especially on the west coast. It will be live 7pm our time, so ideal.

As a resident of an Olympic Host City, I wanted it here and I was happy with how it was run and the benefits we derived from the Games. Do I want it back? Hmm….
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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31,717
Instead they have failed to feature too many sports, shown lots of heats and semi finals for heats and athletics, when they do feature a sport, it's often with very little context (for example, an American won in fencing, and instead of giving some set up and showing the last bout with some narrative tension, they just were like YAY AMERICA! Here's two shots of her hitting someone), and they've shown a lot of fluff pieces on athletes we already know. It's one thing to say "we're going to introduce Canoe Slalom because that's cool and we're going to show some fluff on a top canoe slalom contender so they have someone to root for" and anther thing to show like 8 straight days of fluff on Caleb Dressel.

Totally this. I started switching channels a few nights ago when the US women's beach volleyball team beat the team from Kenya, in the preliminary round, in 26 minutes - the score was something horribly lopsided like 42-12. Not only did NBC do a big post-match interview with the US team, but they got their parents on FaceTime or whatever to say "yay USA we're so proud of you" etc etc. It was ridiculously over the top for such an easy win, and that time could have been used to show some other sports.
 

Theatregirl1122

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26,095
I think of the NBC prime time broadcast as being the equivalent of the Ed Sullivan Show, basically sports vaudeville. No one can possibly show all the events and there's no real reason to try. I, for one, loathe all sports whose goal is for one person to hurt another, so I have no problem with NBC prime time not showing judo, wrestling and other comparable sports. Other people have the same dislike for tennis or golf or dressage.

My problem with NBC prime, especially this year, is I think they are doing a bad, and fairly incoherent job at being the Ed Sullivan of the Olympics? I don't get the complaint that they don't show every single gymnastics routine. They shouldn't. But they also could be showing more flavor and more variety. And throwing less time away by showing things with no context.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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70,024
I've been pretty happy with the NBC coverage, but that's because I have cable. Because of that, I can watch entire events live or on replay with the nbcolympics.com streaming app (or service). I can even watch the regular nighttime show on streaming. I've barely watched anything on live TV, it's all been streaming. But it's there, so I'm happy.

My husband has been wanting to drop cable for some time (well, actually we have DirecTV, but same diff), but I have held firm and refused to give it up, almost entirely because of the Olympics. It's a lot to pay every month, but right now it's worth it. I would be really frustrated if we didn't have it. And I can't imagine not having it for Beijing.

Haven't watched Peacock at all. It seems superfluous if you can access the nbcolympics.com streaming.
Me too. I have xfinity and my voice remote has been excellent. I just ask for what I want to see and get the options to watch it. I will definitely keep it through 2022. After that, I suspect something different will come along. I've watched everything I wanted to see.
 

millyskate

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The IAAF no longer exists. It’s called World Athletics. As to your question, authorised Russian athletes compete at World Athletics competitions as Authorised Neutral Athletes. However, they will compete in Tokyo as part of the ROC Team.

While the state sponsored doping programme by Russia is deplorable, those in privately run doping programme glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones. :p
Thank you - I’m really struggling with the self-righteous criticism of ROC athletes. Of course, in individualistic cultures doping isn’t state-organised, just enabled, ignored and in some cases indirectly financed. :wall:
 

millyskate

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I, for one, loathe all sports whose goal is for one person to hurt another
This! The ultimate worst to me is boxing. I cannot fathom how people can watch that, much less participate. I have more time for the more technical disciplines like taekwondo or judo but still… Wrestling seems less brutal / damaging than boxing but I know little about it.
 
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pat c

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12,952
I like the olympics. I watch them, not all sports but the ones that interest me.
Is the coverage annoying when there is a huge time difference? Absolutely.
Is it annoying when the broadcasters show only what they think will draw ratings? Yes.
Do I see performances that are absolutely jaw dropping like Hassan from NED who won the 5000 and is also running the 1500? OMG the woman is amazing.
Do I think some events are over rated? Yep
Should some events not even be in the olympics? umhmm
Should the olympics have a permanent location. I've thought about this one many times, and my SO and I have hammered it to death. In theory, yes. In practise? I don't think so for a million commercial reasons.
Are the olympics broken? Yes and have been for a very long time.
Is it fixable? Time will tell, and all we can do is root for the athletes. They are human, they love their sport and there are cheaters and scoundrels everywhere.
 

allezfred

Lipinski Stole My Catchphrase
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With regard to boxing, in Ireland certainly it is an important outlet for a lot of young people in socially disadvantaged areas.
 

millyskate

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Things that for me damage the Olympics:
-the IOC selling rights to private cable networks at extortionate prices for money they don't need, preventing fair coverage in pretty much every country.

It doesn't have to be that way: when the BBC was allowed to cover, we had all events streamed with wonderful commentary (mostly) and 0 fluff. It was amazing.
I've taken a fraction of the pleasure watching the Olympics this time because of the awful Discovery deal but I can't even imagine what it's like in many African countries right now as I read that the cable deal there was pretty much excluding everyone from watching.

-Cable TV companies with money able to skew event schedules in their favour - I find it iniquitous that NBC for instance is allowed to have a say in the timing of events. The events should be timed as per most suitable for the athletes performing in the host nation timezone.
And things like no touch warmup shouldn't exist.

-Cable TV companies with money being allowed to organise who athletes speak to post event.
Basically, money of media should have 0 impact on their access in the Olympic context, IMO.

-Selective anti-doping policies. Policies designed to target specific kinds of doping by athletes for certain geographical zones and equally cleverly designed to allow others to dope in all impunity. Also, inconsistency with heavy biases, IMO, regarding which products are considered doping agents.

-The IOC behaving like entitled brats when it comes to visiting host cities, expecting stupidly unnecessary privileged treatment.

-The deification / hero-worship of top athletes

-The complexities of categorisation with the Paralympics. So many scandals and loopholes making it hard to provide athletes with an even playing field. Not to mention the almost open exploitation of athlete categorisation by some of the most powerful nations (not least GB).


Things that I love about the Olympics:

-the display of excellence across so many disciplines
-the variety of events on display
-getting to learn more about nations I know little about
-the escapism
-the atmosphere when stadiums are packed (obviously not this time)


And in London, there has been a great legacy for the city. The Olympic park is used a lot and very cool and many of the venues such as Lee Valley for canoeing or the Aquatic Centre have become magnets for the general public as well as providing high-quality training facilities.
Hosting the Olympics was a positive experience for the population.



@allezfred it's true that boxing is always presented as the outlet of choice for people of disadvantaged backgrounds. And every time I wonder, is such a choice of promoted activity not compounding the problem? I must admit I don't get it, and I don't sense a positive, healthy vibe in the boxing world that warrants being hyped as inspirational.
 

Brenda_Bottems

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I think though the real harbinger of its demise is Social Media. You can catch what you want on YouTube, FaceBook....whatever. There are half-truths, lies, positioning. And people can say things on Social Media that they think might be true (well, they read it on so and so's page) and then after 1,000,000 clicks, it becomes the truth.
Amen. The Olympics were far superior before cable television and social media came along. Mr. Weir and Lipinski are no substitute for Jim McKay.

-BB
 

MacMadame

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45,689
I’m really struggling with the self-righteous criticism of ROC athletes.
No one is criticizing the athletes. We are gobsmacked by the ROC running a state-sponsored program.

With regard to boxing, in Ireland certainly it is an important outlet for a lot of young people in socially disadvantaged areas.
Other countries too though in the US we have other sports that don't involve wailing on another person that also do that, like basketball.

And then there is American Football which has a lot of aspects of people wailing on each other just more disguised.

-Selective anti-doping policies. Policies designed to target specific kinds of doping by athletes for certain geographical zones and equally cleverly designed to allow others to dope in all impunity. Also, inconsistency with heavy biases, IMO, regarding which products are considered doping agents.
I agree about the inconsistency in what is considered doping. But please explain to me how a system where all the athletes are tested according to the same rules is designed to favor some over others.

What I see is that two countries have state-sponsored doping and one got caught only because of a whistleblower. We have seen state-sponsored doping in the past but it was never proven just like the athletes certain people like to bring up at every opportunity never got caught.

What I see is that most sports turn a blind eye to doping regardless of how it is done as long as their athletes are winning.
 

Doggygirl

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I've been pretty happy with the NBC coverage, but that's because I have cable. Because of that, I can watch entire events live or on replay with the nbcolympics.com streaming app (or service). I can even watch the regular nighttime show on streaming. I've barely watched anything on live TV, it's all been streaming. But it's there, so I'm happy.

My husband has been wanting to drop cable for some time (well, actually we have DirecTV, but same diff), but I have held firm and refused to give it up, almost entirely because of the Olympics. It's a lot to pay every month, but right now it's worth it. I would be really frustrated if we didn't have it. And I can't imagine not having it for Beijing.

Haven't watched Peacock at all. It seems superfluous if you can access the nbcolympics.com streaming.
I'm glad to know I'm not alone in hanging onto cable (by a thread, admittedly!) just so I can access nbcolympics.com live streaming when the Olympics roll around....

The burr under my saddle this time around is the fact that we now have a small weekend cabin in addition to our main house. We have Comcast internet service at both, but cable service only at the main house. Because we don't pay for cable service at both houses, I was blocked from accessing live events through nbcolympics.com at the river cabin. Tech Hubby figured out the workaround, but with the amount of money we spend with Comcast every month, I was not happy that we had to find a workaround. I would love so much to cut the cord..... but can't bring myself to do it! :mad: :mad: :mad:
 
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Judy

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I gave up on Peacock coverage very quickly and have no clue why Adam, Tara or Johnny are there. I appreciate what Adam had to say about Simone but he could have done that from home. All I have seen of Johnny and Tara was them eating ramen in their Hilton Hotel (and they really didn’t eat). For Beijing they just need to show all the high profile events live (regardless of when) and in full. No Ninja Warrior commentary. And the paid for replays need to be of the full event, not the choppy NBC evening telecast.
I don’t know about NBC coverage but I think the networks are kind of limited with the ********* rules there. I don’t think that CBC even has their commentators in the country but I could be wrong.
 

Parsley Sage

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I don’t know about NBC coverage but I think the networks are kind of limited with the ********* rules there. I don’t think that CBC even has their commentators in the country but I could be wrong.
Some of the CBC commentators are in Tokyo and others are in Toronto. I know Swimming and Track and Field are in Tokyo and Gymnastics are in Toronto.
 

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