I’ll do some linkage for you. Been busy all day, but I have a nice window here and I’ll get to links after I discuss last night’s hockey action.
I’m still coming down from the USA win over Canada last night in men’s hockey. Now, there are many things that could be said about NBC not airing the game, and I’ve said plenty on Twitter last night. I even got into a debate over it. I’m a bit torn. I’m grateful that MSNBC aired the game in its entirety. During the week, CNBC would join a game that started at 7:30 p.m. Eastern in progress at 8 p.m. or sometimes later depending if a curling match was going late. As much as I have come to enjoy watching curling during these Olympics, I would appreciate someone saying that curling was running late and if one wanted to watch the game from the beginning, go to NBCOlympics.com. But there was none of that in the early portion of the games. So the fact that the game was shown in its entirety on MSNBC was appreciated. In addition, by putting the game on MSNBC, it meant the entire country could watch without a dreaded delay for the Rocky Mountain region and the West Coast. So in a sense, it was a win-win for NBC. Fans who wanted to watch the game all over the country could do so without commercial interruption (another plus).
However, many fans could not see the game in 21st Century, sparkling crystal-clear high definition. This was due to NBC Universal not making the proper arrangements with cable and satellite providers (DirecTV for me) ahead of time. NBC Universal did try to entice providers with USA-Canada to get them to pick up MSNBC HD, but no dice. But that was a small problem for me. Once the game got going, it was a minor nuisance, not a major one.
Part of me wishes the game was aired on NBC. But if that occurred, we would have run into West Coast ire from those who wanted to see the game live. I raise the argument that if ABC had taken the same tact with the USA men’s hockey team in 1980, it never would have been able to build the Miracle on Ice story as well as it did. For those born after 1980, you don’t know that ABC actually showed a majority of USA men’s hockey games live on its network. The only ones shown on tape delay were the USA-Sweden game which was the first game for the Americans in that Olympics and the USA-USSR semifinal game which ran at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 22 in Lake Placid. Again, 1980 was a different TV landscape than today and NBC certainly has more options to air hockey. But if you want to build a story, what better way than to show USA-Canada.
I get the fact that NBC is using the Olympics to appeal to a mass audience, not sports fans, and not everyone likes hockey, but one way to build a story is to show the rivalry between USA-Canada and then if there’s a rematch in the gold medal game, you have last night’s game to reference.
Yes, NBC is gearing the Olympics more towards casual fans so it packages skiing, makes figure skating like American Idol and shows more silly Mary Carillo features to make you hurl, but there is a way it can cater to hardcore sports fans. Sports fans like myself get infuriated at NBC for delaying events, but the network knows we’ll watch. It’s trying to build an audience so yes, NBC will delay skiing and other glamor events so it can add features, replays and cut a 2 hour event to 45 minutes so the casual viewer can get hooked. Based on this thinking, hockey is going to get pushed to CNBC or MSNBC, however, from what I could tell from Twitter, people were watching USA-Canada over tape delayed skiing.
But the ratings will tell us how the hockey game fared and we’re expecting that later today. Once I receive notice, you’ll see it here on the blog.
Ok, I’m done with discussing USA-Canada, let’s get to some links.
Jason Fry, writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center talks about the reporting of Olympic results and how some journalists can provide them without spoiling some of their audience.
Linda Holmes from National Public Radio writes that NBC’s Olympic coverage manages to annoy just about everyone.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says the delayed coverage on NBC is frustrating many fans.
Over to Sports Business Journal where Tripp Mickle and John Ourand report that the US TV networks aren’t showing much of a response for the rights to the 2014/2016 Olympics.
SBJ’s Olympic site says NBC’s ratings for the Olympics are up 21% from Turin.
Tripp Mickle writes that the NHL was highly visible in Vancouver for “Super Sunday”.
Back to the SBJ, Bill King has a feature asking the question, how do sports leagues handle wireless rights and how much do they commit?
Jon Show in Sports Business Daily says Tiger Woods’ negative numbers are now very high.
Eric Fisher in Sports Business Daily writes that Sporting News Today will be going to a pay model in April, but that does not affect Sportingnews.com.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch has your Olympic viewing guide.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says perhaps Canada’s Own The Podium program could be to blame for the country’s poor performance to date at the Winter Olympics.
Darren talks with Al Michaels about his Miracle on Ice call 30 years later.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times discusses Al Michaels’ first foray into the Olympic studio.
Marc Berman of the New York Post says that former Knicks announcer Marv Albert was not invited to tonight’s 40th anniversary celebration of the team’s first NBA Championship. Albert called it on radio and was considered part of the team by fans.
Jerry Barmash of the New York Examiner tells us that two WCBS-AM sports reporters were honored recently.
Tim Lemke looks at which Olympic athletes will cash in on their success or failure.
Jim Williams talks with NBC Olympics late night host Mary Carillo.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times liked the NBC and ESPN features on the 30th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business writes a long diatribe on how Tiger Woods does not an apology to anyone.
Ed explains why the White Sox decided to participate in an MLB Network reality show.
Ed says NBC made the right call to jettison the USA-Canada hockey game to MSNBC.
Chicago Blackhawks historian Bob Verdi looks back at the Miracle on Ice.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says the Nuggets are making national news for the wrong reasons.
The Los Angeles Times’ Diane Pucin looks at how social networking is helping West Coast Olympic fans cope with the NBC tape delays.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar for Southern California.
Tom says MLB Network’s Prime 9 show will list the best baseball broadcasters of all time.
Tom wasn’t pleased with how NBC shuttled USA-Canada to MSNBC.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star feels some of CTV’s announcers have become unabashed cheerleaders for Canada.
William Houston in Truth & Rumours writes about the USA-Canada game and various CTV issues.
Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable writes that Fang’s Bites fave Charissa Thompson will co-host a new reality show on Speed.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says CBS College Sports has picked up a carriage deal with AT&T U-Verse.
Katy Bachman of Mediaweek says a large group of NBC affiliates are happy with the Olympics primetime performance.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says the Olympics have lifted NBC to third place in the 18-49 demographic.
Louisa Ada Seltzer of Media Life writes that Tiger Woods’ statement is not being well received by the media
The Sports Media Watch notes that the Tiger Woods apology did well for Golf Channel and ESPN.
SMW says NBC won Sunday night’s ratings thanks to the Olympics, but it was the lowest rated night since the Games began.
SMW tells us that NBC’s daytime and late night Olympic coverage is also outperforming Turin’s ratings.
And SMW has some various Olympics ratings news.
My Twitter Trophy Wife, Amanda Rykoff writes that NBC did the right thing in sending USA-Canada hockey to MSNBC last night.
Phil Swann in TV Predictions explains why NBC chose not to air USA-Canada.
Chris Byrne at Eye on Sports Media says Olympic curling is performing well for CNBC.
And Len Berman is back after a week off with his Top 5 stories of the day.
Those are your links. Tonight, I’ll be at a screening of the upcoming HBO Sports documentary, Magic & Bird. I’ll give you a scenesetter report on Tuesday and a review as we get closer to the airdate.