I have now made up my mind that NBC's coverage of the 2000 Sydney Olympics is the worst I have ever seen of any major sporting event. The fact that they delay the events 17 hours is bad enough; I think that the world could stand to lose Jay Leno for a few weeks in order for some of the main events to be broadcast live or even delayed for an hour or two. But 17 hours in stupid. That doesn't mean that the events shouldn't be broadcast at a time that is accessible to most Americans, it just means that some of the more popular events should be shown live so fans can watch them without all the scripted comments of the sportscaster.
What I hate most though is the dramatization. At least every 15 minutes there is this one or two minute special on an Olympic athlete and what he or she went through to go to Sydney-- that is not too bad. But when the commentators do nothing but try and sensationalize the events on camera from a point of view that blatantly shows that the narrator knows the outcome of the event...that is what gets to me. A perfect example is the running part of the Men's Triathalon, shown here on NBC last night America time. All throughout the race, whenever the camera centered on a contestant, a short special-effects-enhanced shots file shots were shown, and the commentators went into a brief, overly dramtized description of the contestant. There was literally no prose in this event. All of it was scripted statements. Anyway, the race was nearing the finish, and a French runner (Marceau or someone) dropped back into 4th place. There was still a good mile or two to go, but right after he was passed by another runner and relegated to 4th, the commentator said: "And his chance for a medal was gone." This is prepostorous!! If this was a live event no commentator would dare say that for fear of being wrong!!! There was no feeling of excitement from the commentators like one hears in a soccer match or even an American Football game.
I am severely dissapointed in the way NBC is covering the Olympics. They are paying for it, however: Viewership compared to the 1996 games is down over 25%.
On a lighter note, listen to Harry Shearer's satire on National Public Radio of one of the NBC short specials that regularly air about the atheletes in the Games. The sad thing is that he does not sound that different from NBC.
The link is:
(scroll down about halfway until you see it).