Yes, that’s Bob Costas leading the conga line, still not fully recovered from pink eye. Illustration by Jim Thompson
In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell was asked: If you’re giving consumers some 6,700 hours of coverage from Rio, how it it possible for you to consume all that and make decisions about what gets on the air?
“We have enormously talented people within our organization, and just as important is having the OBS — Olympic Broadcasting Service, the IOC broadcasting arm, who we work closely with — and the quality and production and the gear they’re using is the highest quality,” he said. “It affords us the ability to do things like have 1,000 people back in Stamford, Conn., knowing the pictures and the sound going back there to our announcers, it allows the viewers at home or streaming to still have a great experience as they consume the Olympics.
“The lion’s share of the attention as we get close to the Games with me are with prime time and late night. We feel good about the plans we have. We let the genie out of the bottle in London and we’re willing to take it a step further and see how it goes.”
That goes to another story angle will eventually cover — of the 30-odd sports that NBC will cover over the next two-plus weeks, more than half are with play-by-play and analysts sitting in a studio thousands of miles away, no where near the issues of Rio.
But volume control is what we’re talking about loud and clear here. Consumption habits needed for NBC’s presentation of the 2016 Rio Summer Games may need to change if you’re still stuck in the prime-time mode of waiting for results and commentary, starting with preliminary soccer matches before Friday’s Opening Ceremony and marching up to the Closing Ceremonies on Aug. 21.
The Olympic rings cast a shadow on the sand as visitors pose for photos along Copacabana Beach ahead of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. The iconic Copacabana beach will be the starting point for the road cycling race, marathon swimming and triathlon competitions during the Olympics. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
If NBC really wanted to be honest about its marketing of the upcoming 2016 Olympic Summer Games, and if it’s been paying attention to how ABC has been recently gathering viewers with its retro-game show revival, this 17-night miniseries coming up might be better packaged as “Fear Factor: The Rio Book of Revelations Tour.”
Factor in everything that has made competitors, visitors and even NBC employees fearful about boarding a plane pointed toward South America this time of year. Comedian Denis Leary eventually tweeted out: “Let’s just go all out n have a Biblical Olympics – Zika mosquitoes, poisonous snakes, random floods & fireballs released during all events.”
God help us if a Sharknado episode occurs during the polluted open water swim, and NBC fishes out a ratings winner.
With all due respect to the late, great Miss Cleo — and who could have foreseen her passing this week? — we have no vision statement about whether any of these things will actually happen.
But what if … See more at this link…
A week out from the 2016 Rio Games, trying to set our body clocks to NBC’s delayed broadcasts starting with the Opening Ceremonies, we’ve got these media notes worth posting at this point in real time:
== The Lakers-centric TWC SportsNet and KSPN-AM (710) have developed a TV simulcast of the 10 a.m.-to-noon Mychael Thompson and Mike Trudell radio show as well as the noon-to-3 p.m. Steve Mason and John Ireland show.
The five-hour block starts Wednesday.
Ireland and Trudell already work as TWC SportsNet reporters on the Lakers’ coverage.
Senior Vice President and General Manager of Time Warner Cable Sports Mark Shuken said in a statement: “We’re excited to add the Thompson & Trudell and Mason & Ireland shows to our programming block. Not only are both shows highly entertaining, but they’re also a great fit to our programming lineup, especially given our existing relationship with John Ireland, Mike Trudell, Mychal Thompson and the Lakers.”
From Scott McCarthy, VP and GM of ESPNLA: “We are thrilled to work with Time Warner Cable SportsNet to increase the shows’ exposure, allowing Los Angeles sports fans to see another side of our fantastic personalities. The synergy of our Lakers broadcast relationships makes this a natural fit and will provide fans compelling content on a daily basis.”
Ireland also made the announcement on KSPN today.
Former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason appears with his son Rivers in a scene from the documentary “Gleason.” The film follows Gleason and his wife, Michel, into the maelstrom of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, as the couple adjusts to their fluctuating reality and makes way for their son, Rivers. (Open Road Films via AP)
The Landmark (10850 W. Pico, near Westwood Blvd) is the lone L.A. theater showing this, starting Thursday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. It also has a brief opening in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and New Orleans. The doc opens nationwide on Aug. 12.
Gleason and his wife Michel appeared with Michael Straham on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday:
There was this moment before the fourth inning of Wednesday’s SportsNet LA telecast of the Dodgers-Rays game — as the simulcast was over, and the TV coverage resumed with a photo of Walter Alston, Walter O’Malley and Pee-Wee Reese as Vin Scully did the commercial reads over it, as happens on a regular basis.
But this year, SportsNet LA has been putting archival photos to jog Scully’s memory on times and dates and stories.
“Celebrating after the Dodgers clinched the pennant back in 1956 …” Scully began with this one, and then paused.
“And I say that and it just rolls off the tongue, right? And then it hits me — that’s 60 years ago. And you were there, dummy. You were right amongst them. Sixty years … I have nothing to say about yesterday. It’s incredible, everything now that I begin to talk about is 50 and 60 years ago. So it’s time to throw the net and bring ’em in.”