A pint of Olympic TV notes: Let’s hug it out

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The Associated Press

Having watched the U.S. women’s football gold-medal victory over Japan, punctuated by Arlo White’s call and Brandi Chastain’s analysis, some more things to kick around as the weekend nears:

== Did Southern California viewership jump at all during Wednesday night’s NBC prime-time Olympic coverage, considering the all-U.S. women’s beach volleyball final (aired between 9 and 10 p.m.), followed by local Allyson Felix running for the 200-meter gold?

Sorry, we don’t have the data we need for that. Yet.

Nationally, NBC reports a 16.8 rating and 28 share, which was 11 percent better than the same night it had in Beijing in 2008 (15.2/26) and 10 percent better than Athens in 2004 (15.3/26).

All we’ve been able to gather is that the L.A. market remains tied for 23rd overall in the 56 metered markets covering the first 13 days of the Olympics, with a 19.8 rating and 36 share. Salt Lake City (26.5/47) remains firm in the No. 1 spot, with San Diego at No. 8 (22.2/39). You’d think there’d at least be some kind of bump in the average, but L.A.’s 12-night rating was also 19.8/36. L.A. had been as low as 26th in the rankings last week.

By region, the Pacific time zone (20.1/38) trails only the Mountain time zone (21.6/38). The bitter viewers in the East are last (18.9/32), saving their power usage for electric-driven fans and recharging their iPhones.

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== Fawning on the “Today” show with Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings on Thursday morning, host Matt Lauer showed a clip of the Dodgers’ Matt Treanor “saying this to us after your victory.” Well, it was, in fact, a dugout meeting with a group of reporters talking about how he watched them play their gold-medal match on his laptop before Wednesday night’s game at Dodger Stadium.

Lauer then turned to Jennings and added: “And I loved the moment when your husband lifted you into the stands . . . ”

Walsh Jennings: “No, that was my brother.”

Her husband, Casey Jennings, is likely more identifiable to those who actually follow beach volleyball.

== What it’s kinda like to cover the Olympics from the perspective of much-respected sports writer Joe Posnanski (linked here):

The Olympics experience is an absolute blast. Many of my favorite memories and favorite stories are from the Olympics. But it leaves you depleted. Calls home tend to come to a standstill when my wife asks, “So, what did you do today?” What did I do? Wait, what DID I do? I did everything. I did nothing. I feel a connection to athletes who say after winning gold medals, “It hasn’t sunk in yet.” Nothing sinks in here. The Olympics is a carnival, it’s a thrill ride, and you get so caught up in the spirit and the striving and the scandal and the joy and the hypocrisy and the drama that you don’t really have any room for anything else. It’s easy to lose grips with the notion that other people are only casually watching the Olympics … or might not care about them at all.

== A sharp breakdown on TheBigLead.com (linked here) about Dick Ebersol’s latest mindnumbing NBC Oly TV strategy.

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(Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Jose Antonio Guerra and Jeinkler Aguirre of Cuba compete in the men’s synchronized 10m platform diving at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 30.

== Too bad “Today” doesn’t devote more time to stories such as the one Ann Curry popped in to do on Getty Images chief photographer Adam Pretty, who showed how he has captured moments during the Olympics during his 16-hour plus days.

Curry tagged the segment: “Pretty said, ‘What we see from these moments from these frozen moments of impact and drama is what’s great about still pictures even today’ … Matt.”

Yes, even today, a still photo can be used to tell a story, rather than mindless video taken by a cell phone. Imagine that.

For more on Getty’s Olympic experience, check out the company blog (linked here) and Pretty’s website (linked here).

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== With plenty of hindsight and perhaps the need for some damage control after someone came down with a case of the sniffles on the “Today” show, Jere Longman’s piece on Lolo Jones for the New York Times was deemed by his own employer’s “public editor” as … “particularly harsh, even unnecessarily so.” Thanks for the support, boss (linked here). The reader comments attached to the post are maybe more interesting.

== In a column posted on ESPNW.com, Darren Rovell claims: “The fact that Lolo Jones came in fourth in Tuesday’s 100-meter hurdles final could certainly affect her future marketability. But let’s get this out of the way: Lolo Jones deserved every single dime of the marketing dollars she received before that race started.”

Rovell also wrote:

“The last time I saw her in person she asked me for my advice on her Twitter handle, which at the time was @runlolorun. She was thinking of changing it to her name and wanted to know if I thought it was the right move. I said it was. She made the change. Over the next couple months, she became one of the most followed athletes on Twitter.

“A couple months later, I told her I needed help filming a pilot for a TV show I was working on. I told her the show would never run. She didn’t care. She wanted to get the reps in and use the opportunity for media training.”

So, next time she sees you, she’ll probably thank for you the column you just wrote, right?

== Two TV-related charts created by SportsPickle.com:

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