Televised Olympics

Although London Olympics has ended in a full stop, I still have regrets about this year’s games. This is the first time I’ve watched the Olympics outside of China, yet it’s also the first time I’m full of disappointment. It’s not because my mother country China did not top the gold medal count as she did in 2008. It’s also not because the opening or closing ceremony was eclipsed by the Beijing Olympics. My regrets come from the one network in America covering the Olympics—NBC.

NBC has undoubtedly performed its exclusive televised rights in America with a perfect score from their sponsors —but sadly, not from their viewers. I felt angry when I saw the caption of “previously recorded” every night before the prime time show. Only a fool will not understand there’s a time difference between London and the U.S.. So why does NBC still pretend they are the “first” to release the already-stale Olympic news? Why can’t the TV station broadcast the live game during the day and rerun the essence of a day’s games in the evening?

I think in this regard China’s TV stations have done a better job. Not to mention that four years ago Chinese audience could pick up the Beijing Olympics televised by major TV stations—national networks or local channels. The previous Olympic Games were guaranteed a live broadcast regardless of time differences.

If it wasn’t for the public’s outcry over NBC’s jingoistic Americanism, I probably wouldn’t have been able to watch athletes from China or other nations. In China, I would see non-Chinese athletes standing on the podium and hear various national anthems. But in America, I can see only a big American mug on the TV screen when “the Star-Spangled Banner” rose at a medal ceremony. Where are the other competitors?


Filed under: Prose, Songyi Zhang's America