Another great guest commentary from John Tavardian:
I certainly hope the executives at NBC aren’t too surprised by the terrible ratings their coverage of the 2006 Torino Winter Games received. They’ve only themselves to blame. They seem to have gone out of their way to ruin the Olympics for most people and they have voted with their remotes.
It seems that each time the Olympics rolls around there is less and less coverage of the various sports and athletes. Rather, NBC, and CBS prior to that, devote more and more air time to the sports they deem big ticket. This past Olympic games it was Alpine skiing, women’s figure skating, snowboarding, bobsledding. They also seem to focus only on the big name athletes for each event. As a result we only saw small parts of events such as the ski jump. It also seems to me the only competition we saw was at the end of each event when medals were at stake. Speaking of which, where were all the medal ceremonies?? I watched the Olympics coverage almost every night and I can only remember seeing three medal ceremonies.
Factor into the poor coverage that gasbag Bob Costas (has anyone ever loved the sound of his own voice more?) and the pointless Jimmy Roberts and you have a recipe for how to drive viewers away. As I said, I watched the coverage of the games almost every night, and I think this will probably be the last time. I just can’t stand it anymore. The Olympics are simply no fun to watch anymore. I long for the days of the 1976 Olympic coverage with Jim McKay. In my opinion, that’s how to cover the games. I loved that they showed so many of the athletes competing in the various events (not just the top names), I loved that they showed the medal ceremonies for athletes from all countries, I loved that ABC seemed more focused on bringing the games into our homes and less focused on making into an event.
I think it’s telling that when I mention my longing for Jim McKay and the type of coverage we had in 1976 to friends and acquaintances, all of them seem to agree with me.