evolgen

News From the Olympics

Do you know of any sporting event, besides the Olympics, that is not shown live? This is not 1975. We have the internet and 24 hour sports news channels — you can’t turn on the TV, surf the net, or walk out your front door without hearing the results of any of the major events. Even though NBC has multiple networks telecasting the games, they still insist on showing almost anything anyone would be interested in watching on a ridiculous tape delay. If ESPN/ABC had the rights, everything would be available live on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, and ESPN Classic, with all of the major events shown either live or on delay on ABC. NBC could do this with its cable channels, but I’ve only seen women’s hockey live.

Speaking of women’s hockey, did anyone else see Canada’s total annihilation of Italy? 16-0! Holy shit! I stopped watching when one of the Canadian players had a hat trick 6:53 into the first period. Italy was out shot 66-5. Yes, Canada scored more than three times as many goals as Italy took shots. And the Italian women seem to have the same problem with gravity that their men’s soccer team is known for — a couple of the Canadian goals were scored while one of the Italian players was laying on the ice trying to draw a yellow card (sorry, honey, wrong sport). Canada has a history of beating the hell out of host countries; they knocked off Japan 13-0 in Nagano.

It’s good to see that Michelle Kwan is still carrying the torch as the Peyton Manning of the Winter Olympics. This is another reason why I hate any sport played on a slab of ice that does not involve stick and pucks or people skating really fast in circles.

Note: Even though I said I would keep the new evolgen focused on science, blogger has frustrated me to the point where I wonder whether I will ever use it again.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave S.
    February 12, 2006

    Speaking of women’s hockey, did anyone else see Canada’s total annihilation of Italy? 16-0! Holy shit! I stopped watching when one of the Canadian players had a hat trick 6:53 into the first period. Italy was out shot 66-5. Yes, Canada scored more than three times as many goals as Italy took shots.

    I saw it and felt embarassed for Italy…and I’m Canadian.

    There is always the fear that such easy games will take the edge off a team before they face tougher competition, but Canadian team should remain fairly well focussed.

    At this moment they are getting ready to drop the puck on the Russia game. Has to be a lot better game, although I doubt it’ll be very close.

  2. #2 Dave Munger
    February 12, 2006

    Well, personally I’m going to watch the games during prime time, which most definitely won’t be live, since that’s 1:00 a.m. Italian time. I have work to do during the day! But I have TiVo, so it wouldn’t bother me if NBC just televised everything live.

  3. #3 ericnh
    February 12, 2006

    I understand your point about broadcasting live, but unfortunately tape delay is the only way most people will see the events when the Olympics are held outside the US–especially, as Dave Munger pointed out, when prime time here is the middle of the night there. There was a commentator here in Boston lamenting the other week about why the State of the Union has to start so late at 9pm, and not earlier. I think there’s a very provincial attitude about time zones, where people wonder why events in other places can’t take place at a more convenient time. No one really considers the 3 hours separating West Coast from East Coast. After all, if the SOTU were held at 7pm EST, most folks out west would still be at work! Anyway, just an observation of how we perceive and think.

  4. #4 RPM
    February 12, 2006

    It looks like the Canadian women aren’t slowing down. Now if they could only realize that their colors are red and white, not black. And what’s the deal with the monochromatic uniforms? Shorts, sweaters, and helmets can be the same color, but your socks should be a different color.

    I have no problem with taped events being shown during prime time (or weekend afternoons). It just bothers me that many of the events aren’t shown live as well.

  5. #5 John Hawks
    February 12, 2006

    If you’re lucky in the northern U.S., you may get CBC, which shows (or at least used to) events live, and doesn’t have all the treacly “get to know the U.S. athletes” features.

    I would say that tape delay is much more universal than you think, though — it’s ubiquitous for individual (as opposed to team) sports. Sure, you would never see a football or baseball game that way, but figure skating, track and field, X-games, Ironman, bull riding, usually (not always) golf — all of these are packaged and broadcast later, including ABC, ESPN, etc. I mean, ESPN basically invented the idea of tape-delay broadcast of niche sports — think of “World’s Strongest Man”, national cheerleading championships, lumberjack competitions, speed boat racing.

    NASCAR is a rare exception, not only because of the number of fans, but also because the fans already know their drivers. Professional bull riding is probably the closest-to-live of the other sports, and again, it’s because the viewers know their riders. These are also exciting live events — they are choreographed to minimize gaps in the action.

    Other sports have a lot of gaps. Think of the time between figure skaters, or the long boring stretches of the Ironman. I suppose they’re better off taped!

    But if you can get it, I HIGHLY recommend CBC coverage. They even make the curling interesting!

    –John

  6. #6 Dave S.
    February 12, 2006

    But if you can get it, I HIGHLY recommend CBC coverage. They even make the curling interesting!

    That’s what I watch, and even cross country skiing can be made a compelling watch at times.

    Hmmm … 28-0 in 2 games. That’s pretty impressive. Or depressing, depending on your point of view.

  7. #7 coturnix
    February 12, 2006

    Horse racing is usually live, especially the Triple Crown races that have such a large audience.

  8. #8 RPM
    February 12, 2006

    It looks like the US team isn’t quite as dominant as the Canadians. It also appears that there are cheerleaders in the stands (standing in the aisles). Very odd. They announced that all of the US hockey games (mens and womens) will be shown live. Too bad the mens teams are all NHL players.

    John, very few people care about figure skating or track and field except during the olympics. People probably wouldn’t care if collegiate or world-class track and field events are tape delayed. But I would like to see the olympics live (and tape delayed high lights in primetime). Many X-games events were shown live this year on ESPN and ABC. There were also prime time highlights. Golf is shown live (especially the 3rd and 4th rounds on Saturday and Sunday). I find it annoying that an event people care about would be tape delayed — you don’t see this in any other major sport (basketball, baseball, hockey, football, nascar, golf, etc).

    There is enough stuff going on each day at the olympics that it wouldn’t be too difficult to broadcast the olympics live on CNBC or USA and switch between venues in between ski runs or figure skating rounds. Then show highlights on NBC during primetime.

  9. #9 Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz)
    February 12, 2006

    Many sports events are not shown live — indeed, ABC Wide World of Sports couldn’t exist without taped events. To see an example of a taped sporting event, just go to any all-sports cable channel at 3am local time — everything you see will be taped, and much of it has never been aired before.

  10. #10 Tim Kanwar
    February 12, 2006

    Do you know of any sporting event, besides the Olympics, that is not shown live?

    The World Series of Poker isn’t shown live either. You can debate whether or not it should be considered a sport but it’s popular as hell and the tape delay isn’t a matter of hours, it’s a matter of months! The Olympics coverage is almost instantaneous by comparison.

  11. #11 gretchen
    February 13, 2006

    I was actually quite impressed with all the live coverage of the Australian Open on ESPN this year. Most of the big matches were on at 3:30 AM and somehow ratings went up in that time slot during the two weeks. It was really nice to actually be able to go to ESPN.com and not get the results of the match before seeing it.

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