A pint of Olympic TV notes: Ebersol blows Olympic smoke rings again defending the NBC game plan (warning: believing your own B.S. may be hazardous to your wealth)


While waiting for the start of the women’s beach volleyball all-U.S. gold-medal match to begin (online) and hearing Dan Patrick just advertise the start of the women’s beach volleyball China-Brazil bronze-medal match coming up “live” at the top of the hour on Channel 4 (horribly delayed) with another mind-numbing Jimmy Roberts feature:


== Dick Ebersol speaks. Because he needs to exhale.

Not that we particularly care to hear from the deposed head of the NBC Sports Olympic movement, who is now in London only in an “advisory” position.. Except that he tells Joe Posnanski on the new site SportsOnEarthblog.com (linked here) — in what he says will be his only interview during the two-week Games — that criticism (again) about tape-delayed coverage versus what you can find live online is “just nonsense”:

“People talk about how we should treat this like sports? You know, we’re getting an 18 rating some nights. Do you know what rating we would get if this was not under the banner of the Olympics? We’d be lucky to get a 1 rating for some of these sports. … This is our business model. The newspaper people have their own business model. We’re in the television business. We’re here to make great television. …

“It amazes me that we are still talking about this. If someone wants to watch the Olympics live, they can do that online. That’s a very small percentage of people. We’ve done study after study where we ask people when they want to watch the Olympics. They say ‘after dinner.’ Every study, I’ve never seen it less than 80 percent, and it’s usually a lot higher than that.

“People want the Olympic experience, to gather around their television, to be told the story of the Olympics. I think we’ve taken my mentor Roone’s model, and we’ve improved it.”

Those were not quotes lifted from 1992, but they might as well have been.

It leads us to this story in Onion Sports with the headline: “Study: Pretending Everything’s Okay Works” (linked here).

== Meanwhile, SportsOnEarth contributor Will Leitch admits he’s cheating (linked here). And from Deadspin.com: “Even U.S. troops ‘screwed’ by tape delay NBC” (linked here) comes from a story on Stars and Stripes (linked here) pointing out how the Armed Forces Network is tape-delaying all Olympic coverage to 365,000 military and family members in Europe, Southwest Asia and North Africa.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

== The downlow on Lolo’s “Today” show meltdown:

Lolo Jones goes on NBC’s Olympic rah-rah morning show and admits a story in the New York Times about her marketability has brought her to tears:

“It was crazy just because it was two days before I competed, and then the fact it was from a U.S. media (outlet). They should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes and instead they just ripped me to shreds. … The fact that they just tore me apart was just heartbreaking. They didn’t even do their research. They called me the ‘Anna Kournikova of track.’ I am the American record-holder indoors. I have two world indoor titles, and just because I don’t boast about these things, I don’t think I should be ripped apart by media. I laid it out there. I fought hard for my country and it’s just a shame I have to deal with so much backlash when I’m already so brokenhearted as it is.”


Athletes who believe the U.S. media “should be supporting” U.S. competitors are part of the confused issue here. The New York Times isn’t Oxygen For Women magazine.

And putting herself out there as she has done now may backfire.

NBC promoteth, and then helps bring down an athlete just as much as any other “media” in Lolo’s world.

As the Sports Business Daily notes, Memphis Commercial Appeal writer Geoff Calkins wondered: “I suppose the tears, too, were conjured? Maybe those were part of the marketing plan.”

== Best tweet of the day that we’ve found: @DanLevyThinks:

I’m going to start covering my body in brightly colored tape so my words feel more Olympic.

Don’t forget the bright yellow Nike shoes.

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  • one2watch15

    I am -done- with NBC, not just the olympics. I will do everything in my power to never watch another program on this horrible network. No more Sunday Night Football. I also blame the IOC for simply selling to the highest bidder in this money-grubbing scrum. If the IOC wanted, they could require the U.S. bidder to air at least some of the events live. But doing so would mean a smaller rights fee, so that will never happen. I won’t even go into NBC’s crappy servers, designed for yet more failure to their viewing audience. Buffer/stop/start/another commercial, and voila, you’ve missed the 9.63 second event. Props to you, NBC. Protect Primetime, boys! Props to you.