The Winter Olympics have begun their slow fade into history, and I offer here limited and selective observations. I stress limited and selective because that’s what my experience was with the 2010 Vancouver games. When NBC decided to delay virtually everything to us Americans on the West Coast, I wrote off watching most of the events.
If I couldn’t watch live, I wouldn’t watch.
Had I the scratch, I’d have flown or driven to Vancouver and tried to sit among the hockey- and curling-crazed Canadians, such as this puck-hatted lass.
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So outside of a few minutes of watching some skiing on a Saturday afternoon and the gold medal hockey game on Sunday, I watched nothing on NBC. Not a minute of speedskating or luge or bobsled. None of the tape-delayed dude-in-sweater-by-fireplace chit chat. Not one of the sappy I’m-doing-this-for-my-deformed-brother-in-law profiles.
I did catch parts of several hockey games on NBC’s cable cousin, MSNBC, but I went more often to the Web for live coverage.
I watched a little of one of the Czech games on what may have been a Japanese or Estonian site (seriously, I cannot remember) and I even swallowed down the bile a couple of times to check in on the NBC Web site.
The Web experience was generally excellent, comparable to television but better. I could sneak off to another browser window and research an answer to a question, fire off a tweet on what I was seeing or do whatever else sparked the interest of my short attention span.
The future — the present, actually — of live coverage is on the Web.
God help us if NBC has the contract to broadcast the next set of games from London in 2012.