Wednesday, February 17, 2010
An Open Letter to NBC
Dear NBC Programming Geniuses,
I live in Seattle, less than three hours away from the site of the 2010 Olympics. Yet I cannot watch the Olympics events live - most of the major events appear to be tape delayed. I could read news stories, Tweets, blog posts and Facebook reports about the opening ceremonies, and even watch video highlights - but I couldn't see it in my own home on my own television until three hours after it had already happened.
You have ruined the Olympics for me. I intended to make this an opportunity to share the joy of the Olympics Games with my son. But the opening ceremonies, which started at our traditional dinner time, were tape delayed until after our son had gone to bed! So instead of sitting around the television that night, watching the opening ceremonies unfold, I was forced to record it with TiVo and show it to him the day after. The Olympics are no longer a family event for us. Thanks, NBC.
And then there's the constant irritation of watching events hours after they happen. By the time I saw Apolo Ohno win his silver medal, I already knew how the race was going to play out, thanks to the internet. Do you people not know that the internet exists?! There is no suspense, no drama, no excitement. Why watch, when I can just watch the highlights on YouTube?
Do you see what you have done? You have ruined the entire concept of the Olympics as a must-see event? You're killing your audience. I don't even feel compelled to watch the coverage at night - I can just scan the internet and find out what happened. By delaying the coverage, you're destroying the reason we watch. Your asinine decision has made me see the Olympics as a giant inconvenience, not a worldwide spectacle. I think more about NBC's terrible programming decisions than I do about the actual competition of the Olympics.
I have been watching the Olympics with my family since I was seven years old. You have successfully ruined a family tradition for me, and ruined my love of the Olympics games by making them inconvenient and pointless to watch. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.