Fox and ESPN both submitted bids for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics that would have guaranteed live broadcasts of Olympic events regardless of the time zone in which they occur. Unfortunately, the International Olympic Committee has given broadcast rights to NBC, which will reportedly continue its policy of serving up human interest stories and tape-delayed highlights in primetime.
Here’s what I said about this last time, and I still feel the same way:
[Dick] Ebersol’s primetime package was annoying in 2008, when blogs and the Internet started spoiling the stories, and it was downright idiotic in 2010 after the rise of Twitter. Hell, people IN THE SAME CITY AS THE OLYMPICS had to watch the Olympics on tape delay.
Sochi, Russia — the host of the 2014 Winter Games — is eight hours ahead of the East Coast. So let’s say the ice hockey final happens in prime time, 8 p.m. local. That’s 4 a.m. on the East Coast, 1 a.m. Pacific time. We’ll wake up, go to work, see the results on ESPN and Yahoo and Facebook and Twitter and MooseMullet.com, work for eight hours, go to the gym, eat dinner, and then — when you turn on the TV at 8:00 p.m. — NBC will show the ice hockey final a full day after it occurred, just like people in the 1960s would expect it.
UPDATE: Some astute folks have pointed out that my math is wrong, and that 8 p.m. in Sochi is noon on the East Coast. However, I maintain that doing the math wrong made my point look a LOT stronger.