London Delayed Air
(See what I did there?)
The opening ceremony? I watched a portion of it live over the internet and then I watched the whole thing through–well, almost the whole thing through–with my fellow west coast residents and tweeted my way through the time delayed broadcast. So very British and so very Danny Boyle. And I love it.
(And yes, I *did* catch the TARDIS “parking brake” noise during that crazy British pop medley. Not my favorite part of the show, by the way. My favorite moments were the tribute to 7/7 terrorist attack victims which America didn’t get to see because instead we saw Seacrest interviewing Phelps, the Queen jumping off the helicopter, and the moment I realized where the “cauldron” was.)
I know many of my friends thought this was the worst Olympics opening ceremony ever. Of course, being an Anglophile, I have to disagree on a few points. It’s definitely not China; like I said 4 years ago, who the hell can top THAT? But it is so very British and totally quirky and charming in its own way.
Another debate I find myself caught in is another monster created by this time-delayed Olympics.
What could possibly be more infuriating than Meredith Viera’s horrible AND horrifying ad lib commentary (at least Matt Lauer and Bob Costas had the experience to pace themselves pulling from their “dumb comment files”), more maddening than NBC saving most of the sports broadcast for prime time, and more frustrating than YouTube/Flash player keeps crashing in the middle of my live stream?
It’s those people who complained about the sports news spoiling their Olympics experience because they couldn’t watch the coverage until prime time.
You already lost this argument by calling the breaking news spoilers.
You also lost the argument by staying on the internet and the media if you don’t want to be spoiled by the news, and expecting everyone else to keep quiet just for you.
And finally, you also lost the argument because if the competition is REALLY that important to you, you should’ve made an effort to watch it live just like the rest of the goddamn world.
Even if you’re at work, you would try to stream it at your office. If not from official NBC, you will find others. (Hey, I found a BBC ONE live broadcast of the opening ceremony!) You would be checking the web for live scores and watch the highlights later so you KNOW what’s happening NOW. If you’re REALLY serious, you would ditch work to stay home and watch your event. Essentially, if you’re a real fan, you’d want to know about it the moment it happens. Instead of all of that, you choose to not watch/follow it live and whine about spoilers.
A friend of mine pointed out that many Americans are so used to “taping the game to watch later” as entertainment. Those who waited all day to watch at prime time are probably one of those. Chicago Tribune addresses this “spoiler hysteria” situation better–and more reasonably–than I ever could including pointing out that for many Americans, sports *is* entertainment. They’re treating it like a TV show recorded on the DVR to be watched at a convenient time. I know a few of those people myself. But, yet again, if you don’t want to be “spoiled”, why don’t you stay the hell off the internet and turn off your radio?
Sure, even NBC stumbled on its own stupid time-delayed foot a few times already. It’s actually what spawns this whole hysteria anyway; and once again proves that this whole not-doing-it-live thing is not good for anybody.
I’m sure if NBC has its own way, they would probably have convinced the Olympics that this international sporting event should just be competed live according to US prime time for maximum impact…and therefore Americans can watch it actually live at prime time. Sure, the gymnasts will tumble at 3 a.m. UK time so you guys can watch it live at 7 p.m. PST. That definitely should be the mode of operation for ALL the international sports event world wide broadcasted by NBC from this point on.
Unfortunately, that isn’t happening. And here we have to put up with this time-delayed discontent from everyone.
Having said that, NBC is doing a much better job this time of covering and live-broadcasting most events over the internet as well as over their networks. Could they do better? I’m sure they could. (You know, like BROADCAST THE OPENING CEREMONY LIVE. Nobody is stopping you from doing it again at prime time. Seriously!)
But I’m taking all I can get which is better than nothing at all.
Now, I guess I’m super irritated about this spoiler issue more than most Americans because I am not taking the fact that I’m getting the sports live for granted.
I’ve been rolling out of bed at ungodly hours to watch international sports my whole life. Mike Tyson fight at 2 a.m., piling onto my parents’ bed was a good memory to have. Most of those times, we didn’t even have coverage. All we could do was waiting for TV news the next morning or the evening edition of the paper.
The Olympics is for (almost) everybody. It’s a global event. In this world where you can experience the events almost live with people who are actually there, participate on it. Don’t just sit and wait for whatever NBC will dish out for you. Be a part of the global community and live the moment.
Count yourself lucky that you get to watch the events at all. I do.
For this Olympics, so far I watched the women’s weightlifting live online to cheer on for 2 of Thailand’s athletes and had all the intentions to watch boxing at lunch but I kept getting distracted. I called and asked my 70-year-old father in Thailand if he was going to stay up until 3 a..m. his time to watch boxing. He said at this age, he’d save that for medal bouts. LOL
I was thinking about staying up until 1 a.m. PST to watch Thailand’s mixed double badminton in their first quarterfinal game, but I might just do what dad does and save it for the semifinal.
Now, get on that computer and cheer on for your team with the rest of us. Or go hide and catch up tomorrow. Just don’t whine about it when you hear random burst of cheers from different corner of your life for the next few weeks.