The absolute blind rage I'm experiencing trying to view the Olympics is going to give me a fucking embolism. I was already prepared for the worst from NBC, who have fucked up the last 3 Olympic games coverage, but I honestly couldn't have imagined how evil and extortionary they have become.
First is the time delay. Here in California we're getting NO events telecast live. NOTHING. Everything is at least 3 hours old, and most major events are more than that. Yet, they still mark evening broadcasts as LIVE, even though they're not! Yes, it was live on the East Coast of the US when they were being recorded, but not 3 hours later when they finally air here.
Second is the commercials. While trying to watch coverage tonight with my six year old son before his bedtime, we were bombarded with commercials EVERY 5 MINUTES. I timed it on my watch. And some of the commercials were completely inappropriate for my son - some fucked up promo for "My Name is Earl" had some woman with a horribly scarred and disfigured face shown prominently. My son is going to get nightmares from trying to watch the fucking Olympics, can you believe it? What assholes!
Third is the alternative channels. NBC promoted the fact that they were going to broadcast the games on all their network channels - such as USA and Oxygen - but during prime time there's only been one other channel, and it has - I fucking kid you not, shown nothing but badminton and boxing for 5 days straight now. Badminton and boxing. Over and over and over again. There's dozens of various events going on, but I've seen nothing but badminton and boxing. I would assume idiocy, but it's obviously completely intentional as trying to have the worst programming possible and drive viewers to their main channel.
Fourth is the online video. I fished out my Windows Vista box, which already doesn't make me particularly happy having been forced to use it, and got everything set up so I could watch online. It's a fucking pitiful experience in every way, including not being able to be shown full screen, no "major" events like swimming, gymnastics, etc., and no commentary so who knows what's going on for most events. The Windows Media Center plugin from TV Tonic is even worse with *zero* live events, and a menu and navigation system that's sluggish to the point of being unusable.
Fifth is the hype and jingoism. NBC focuses on the same handful of athletes over and over again despite the 400+ in Beijing from the US alone. Yes, it's great Phelps is awesome. We fucking get it, now shut the fuck up about it already. And the general ignorance of the commentators about other countries, the lack of any coverage of those countries, combined with the mindless US-only coverage is insane. My son was born in Spain and is very interested in seeing how they do but can get no details about it from NBC regardless of how they do in any given event - it's always about the Americans. My son isn't unique - a huge portion of the US is from somewhere else - we're a nation of immigrants after all, and yet NBC has programmed its coverage like we're all white people descended from the Pilgrims living in Kansas.
I hate NBC so much.
The Olympics are supposed to be a worldwide event and a point of national pride, but NBC has hijacked the games completely and totally, providing little actual quality coverage, funneling viewers to a single channel in order for them choke down their incessant commercials as a way of not just making back their money, or simply profiting, but as a way of maximizing profits from their monopoly on the broadcast rights. What should be a privilege for a national broadcaster has been turned into an extortion racket, holding the Olympics hostage with all of us paying the ransom.
My rage and outrage at this is total. They have absolutely destroyed the Olympics for me - and my son - and there's little I can do about it but not watch, and that is just not acceptable to me. Something really needs to be done. How much tax money is funneled towards the Olympic movement and athletes? How much does the US as a country have invested in these games, only to be denied the right to watch them while they happen because a greedy, soulless corporation has paid for the exclusive rights? It's an embarrassment - every other country on Earth has a better view of the games than we do. Why?
NBC has completely ruined the Olympics. Try as I might, I just cannot stop myself from being livid about it. Absolutely livid.