Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
20 February 2018
Are you finding the Winter Olympics…boring?
Are you watching the Winter Olympics? I’ve been watching my share because usually I love the Olympics. But I’ve got to say. These Games have been, well, boring.
And I don’t think I’m alone. Ratings are dropping by 7% from the Sochi Winter Games four years ago, and I think there are several reasons for the dip.
For one, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, the focus in prime time on live events spurs some pretty yawning-inducing competition. For two nights in a row, NBC shows alpine ski training. Training? There was an hour of it last night.
I get why. NBC wants stars for its Winter Olympics broadcasts so it wants as much Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin as it can get. But Christ. The monotone announcing of Bode Miller makes it worse. He sounds like he’s dissecting an Excel document.
“There are still highlights, of course. The only event capturing my attention is figure skating. It’s the only one where drama actually builds and it has the announcing duo of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.”
Maybe the Winter Olympics shouldn’t be airing live
There were always outcries when NBC would broadcast a packaged nighttime program in previous Games, when many results were already known. But I’ve got to admit. After seeing the alternative, I think the NBC crews knew what they were doing in making the prime time broadcast a deliberately entertaining block of the best of the day. I may go insane if I watch one more training run or haplessly figure out why a bobsled team is better than the rest.
Where’s curling, dammit? (Oh, doping.)
There are still highlights, of course. The only event capturing my attention is figure skating. It’s the only one where drama actually builds and it has the announcing duo of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.
Oh, let me sing the praises of Lipinski and Weir. They are entertaining as hell. A Russian pairs team speeds through a routine with awkward music and costumes. When Weir says at the end, “That’s just sad,” I lost it. They know when to be quiet, when to chime in and how to build excitement. The figure skating is the perfect viewing experience.
But the rest? So far, they’re a collection of slogs. Especially if Bode Miller’s pulse remains at Ferris Bueller teacher.
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