Monday, August 18, 2008

Slap Hitter: Olympics Torched

Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 6:42 PM

Watching the Beijing games on Sunday morning shows that slow time kicks ass over prime time. I saw rowing, fencing, equestrian and only one commercial for Chuck. Compare that to the tedious night time haul of swimming, synchronized diving, and the octofinals of beach volleyball. Today's rant is not directed at any of the evening sports, and we won't be tempted into slagging them for their ahistorical place in the pantheon. "Today at the shore, it's the Mycanaens vs. Corinth in a Aegean beach blowout" rather it's the fact that the bulk of the viewing public is getting the thinnest slice of Olympic fun.

Watching the Beijing games on Sunday morning shows that slow time kicks ass over prime time. I saw rowing, fencing, equestrian and only one commercial for Chuck. Compare that to the tedious night time haul of swimming, synchronized diving, and the octofinals of beach volleyball. Today's rant is not directed at any of the evening sports, and we won't be lured into slagging them for their ahistorical place in the pantheon. "Today at the shore, it's the Mycanaens vs. Corinth in a Aegean beach blowout" rather it's the fact that the bulk of the viewing public is getting the thinnest slice of Olympic fun.

Play hooky one day this week and see everything else. See Europeans win medals! Wonder at the oddity of bicyclists riding around the crew races! Scratch your head at NBC refusing to interview anybody winning a sport broadcast in the a.m. yet interview everyone sitting within three rows of Michael Phelps retinue.

And consider this: we don't watch B Volleyball or Diving (solo or mirrored) any other time in the four years between Olympiads, so why does the network believe we've got such a hard-on for it now? My guess is that more people want to see more sports and that the folk choosing what to show are afraid that if they can't microtarget their audience who knows what ads will sell? My advice, create your own Olympics. Log onto NBC's webcast and get steeplechase, table tennis and all the discus you can take. Oh but mouse click carefully, you might get a spoiler and ruin that evening's vault competition.— Kibby Kleiman

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