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What I Hate About NBC/Universal’s Coverage of Track & Field

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  • #16
    I wonder what the ratings were for NBC weekend coverage?

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    • #17
      Slow runner great points about NBC universal. I have some tapes and DVDs from the worlds and Olympics too, but I bet nothing like your collection.
      It is puzzling how Dwight stones who has the most expertise of all announcers on American tv wasn't invited when he was available. He helped with the pan am coverage on ESPN but their coverage was actually worse than nbc's. The reality is it isn't just NBCU it is the general attitude of network producers as neither ABC/ESPN nor CBS have done any better when they televised track meets.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by tm71 View Post
        The reality is it isn't just NBCU it is the general attitude of network producers as neither ABC/ESPN nor CBS have done any better when they televised track meets.
        They should just save their money and buy the coverage from Eurosport.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by tgs3 View Post
          They should just save their money and buy the coverage from Eurosport.
          I'd be content if they used the Matthews/Ovett production team for all their broadcasts and got rid of the Tom Hammond production team altogether. I don't mind the NBC analysts, Craig Masback and Ato Boldon, but Hammond and his production team have to go.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by gh View Post
            that's below the belt and uncalled for. Has nothing to do with the topic at hand.
            I think it is a bit insensitive, but the bigger point is why are we even looking at Tom Hammond? I watched the morning sessions via Universal from Fios, and I don't think that I ever saw the announcers from what I believe was the EuroSport feed. Why do we even need to see the announcers?

            For this year, I would have much preferred if Universal had just used the EuroSport feed (or whatever they were using) for all of the live coverage. Then NBC could have cobbled together their pathetic US-centric coverage for weekend afternoon showings. The hardcore fans would have watched the live coverage, and the casual fans would have watched the NBC coverage with no idea what had happened 6 hours earlier.

            As it was, I was watching live weekend coverage via the BBC using my work VPN connection in the UK. And I have to admit that the BBC coverage is only marginally better than the NBC coverage. They know the sport better, but they are just as bad at covering only their athletes.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by tm71 View Post
              The reality is it isn't just NBCU it is the general attitude of network producers as neither ABC/ESPN nor CBS have done any better when they televised track meets.
              Originally posted by tgs3 View Post
              They should just save their money and buy the coverage from Eurosport.
              Exactly. Or USATF should self-produce, perhaps buying the IAAFs feed, with a better and more T&F savvy presentation.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by tgs3 View Post
                They should just save their money and buy the coverage from Eurosport.
                Because they are so eager to corner the market in the U.S., especially with regard to Olympic sports, that they would spend that money to try and censor alternative coverage in the U.S., like Eurosport.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
                  I'd be content if they used the Matthews/Ovett production team for all their broadcasts and got rid of the Tom Hammond production team altogether. I don't mind the NBC analysts, Craig Masback and Ato Boldon, but Hammond and his production team have to go.
                  ALL morning sessions (ie marathons, walks, heats, multi events) on USN actually were the iaaf world feed with Matthews, Ovett, merry and walker. But all evening sessions (wee hours here) were the NBCU crew.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Slowrunner View Post
                    One of the priorities of USATF CEO Max Siegel in the next few years should be to make his sport, at its most elite level, accessible to the fans. I had Universal Sports up until the end of 2011, and the infuriating thing about Universal Sports, is that you need to sign in via your provider to access the video on their site. So, if your cable company does not carry Universal Sports (and most do not), you are out of luck.
                    I agree with the Siegel recommendation, and on the other issue would like to pay Universal Sports directly to get World Championships (or Olympic) coverage, rather than Universal Sports access being dependent on a middleman provider, in my case Time Warner Cable (TWC), where I'm in an apartment and there is no other option presently. Here in Austin, TWC in early 2015 began converting cable channels to all-digital, and for that purpose offered adapters free for 1-2 years for customers whose TVs required them. I have a still perfectly good RCA vintage 1992. Trouble is, the adapters don't work with my TV plus combo DVD/VHS unit (because the TWC tech rep said so). I'm a movie buff, that includes foreign movies, we still have two viable rental stores here, some number of movies remain available only on VHS, and so that's the point of the combo unit in addition its ability to dub from VHS to blank DVD. (I have some number of VHS videotaped stuff I could convert, such as the 1991 World Championships men's long jump.) Except that the combo unit is two-thirds broken (DVD and dubbing, the VHS okay) and needs repair. So, long story short, synchronizing myself with the TWC all-digital conversion requires buying a new flat screen and getting a TWC cable box (I believe is the term). I procrastinated on this, kept learning of new complications, and decided to keep paying my TWC cable TV bill as well as my TWC Internet bill, in the meantime, despite losing TV, until I got the combo unit fixed and the other acquisitions made and in place. Whereupon, once all TWC channels were converted to digital, TWC unilaterally designated me as no longer a cable TV customer and quit charging me for the cable TV. The reduced charge, now only for the Internet, is welcome, and now I find I don't miss TV much, so I'm still procrastinating on the various steps required to get back to where I was. The track & field effect, however, was that the next time I tried to watch a meet on the Internet, access required identifying my TV provider. And, whereas entering TWC worked on preceding Internet-available track & field meets, it didn't any more because TWC now had me as not a TV customer. So, yeah, I would like to just pay Universal Sports or whoever and watch the NCAAs, USATFs or Trials, and World Championships or Olympics, similar to the 1992 TripleCast but on the Intenet without all the cable TV equipment hassle and without having availability tied to having TWC cable TV. Will this happen? Probably not.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by tm71 View Post
                      ALL morning sessions (ie marathons, walks, heats, multi events) on USN actually were the iaaf world feed with Matthews, Ovett, merry and walker. But all evening sessions (wee hours here) were the NBCU crew.
                      Actually, the weekday evening sessions were the NBC crew, but all four weekend evening sessions featured the British crew on USN's livestream.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Not all Universal Sports announcers are pathetic!

                        I got the monthlong slingtv free trial to have access to Universal Sports for the World Champs, but after a couple of days switched to using a VPN to access the IAAF Youtube feed for many of the reasons mentioned above. But I have been using Universal Sports to watch the cycling Grand Tour La Vuelta a Espana. Steve Schlanger and Todd Gogulski are the announcers. They describe the complicated action, they get excited when breaks take place, they know the sport. Really, I think if someone sat down with Steve Schlanger for 30 minutes telling him about the competitors, Schlanger would be a better TV distance race announcer than any American who has been on a TV broadcast in recent memory.

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                        • #27
                          I used my VPN to get the IAAF live streaming on youtube...it was just perfect. NBC is a waste of time.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by CKuykendall View Post
                            I agree with the Siegel recommendation, and on the other issue would like to pay Universal Sports directly to get World Championships (or Olympic) coverage, rather than Universal Sports access being dependent on a middleman provider, in my case Time Warner Cable (TWC), where I'm in an apartment and there is no other option presently. Here in Austin, TWC in early 2015 began converting cable channels to all-digital, and for that purpose offered adapters free for 1-2 years for customers whose TVs required them. I have a still perfectly good RCA vintage 1992. Trouble is, the adapters don't work with my TV plus combo DVD/VHS unit (because the TWC tech rep said so). I'm a movie buff, that includes foreign movies, we still have two viable rental stores here, some number of movies remain available only on VHS, and so that's the point of the combo unit in addition its ability to dub from VHS to blank DVD. (I have some number of VHS videotaped stuff I could convert, such as the 1991 World Championships men's long jump.) Except that the combo unit is two-thirds broken (DVD and dubbing, the VHS okay) and needs repair. So, long story short, synchronizing myself with the TWC all-digital conversion requires buying a new flat screen and getting a TWC cable box (I believe is the term). I procrastinated on this, kept learning of new complications, and decided to keep paying my TWC cable TV bill as well as my TWC Internet bill, in the meantime, despite losing TV, until I got the combo unit fixed and the other acquisitions made and in place. Whereupon, once all TWC channels were converted to digital, TWC unilaterally designated me as no longer a cable TV customer and quit charging me for the cable TV. The reduced charge, now only for the Internet, is welcome, and now I find I don't miss TV much, so I'm still procrastinating on the various steps required to get back to where I was. The track & field effect, however, was that the next time I tried to watch a meet on the Internet, access required identifying my TV provider. And, whereas entering TWC worked on preceding Internet-available track & field meets, it didn't any more because TWC now had me as not a TV customer. So, yeah, I would like to just pay Universal Sports or whoever and watch the NCAAs, USATFs or Trials, and World Championships or Olympics, similar to the 1992 TripleCast but on the Intenet without all the cable TV equipment hassle and without having availability tied to having TWC cable TV. Will this happen? Probably not.
                            I live in Austin, no longer have satellite or cable, and don't even have my computer hooked up to my TV (I do have wi-fi), but I watch the major networks with an inexpensive digital antenna (HD), watch movies on Blu-ray, and use a Roku box for everything else: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, AND I recently signed up for a 30-day trial for SlingTV--the sports package, that includes BEin and Universal Sports. You don't even have to watch the sports live (though I did all last week anyway), so today I'll be watching the meet in Zurich. Hope this helps.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by jaguar View Post
                              I used my VPN to get the IAAF live streaming on youtube...it was just perfect. NBC is a waste of time.
                              But, yes, this is my next move. Fed up with the NBC crew and coverage.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                What I like about NBC/Universal's coverage of track & field: its existence.

                                What I hate about it: just about everything else.

                                I figure the only reason that NBC plowed money into sending a crew to Beijing was as a dry run for next year. So more of the same dreck. From my perspective, NBC programming directors see the Olympics as a "show" rather than a collection of sports and cover events accordingly.

                                I think the financial disaster of the '92 TripleCast has a lot to do with this. I wouldn't be surprised if the conventional wisdom that came out of it was "people don't want to watch complete coverage of each Olympic sport" when the real reason for its failure was lack of infrastructure and too-high pricing. But the former allows execs to blame the public instead of themselves.

                                In any case, I'll return to CBC for my Olympic coverage. In 2008, Michael Smith pronounced hurdler Shi Dongpeng's name with a northern Chinese accent while no one in the USA could pronounce "Beijing" correctly.

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