Why does NBC host Olympic coverage in the USA?


Every two to four years we have the same conversations around the water cooler or social media about the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) deplorable decisions and the horrific NBC coverage of the Olympics. Despite hoping for better viewership this year compared to four years ago, NBC saw a 35 percent drop in viewership of the opening ceremony and a 20 percent drop in overall viewership after that. The online streaming number are not making up for that, either:

NBC's Rio streaming #'s sound impressive, but the big surprise is how small they are vs. TV https://t.co/hYGboboYgg pic.twitter.com/0wJaDR93tR

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 12, 2016

We can solve the core reoccurring problems with the Olympics in just a few easy steps. Sure, it would be different. But it would also be much better.

1. Location, Location, Location

One of the most annoying things about the otherwise joyful Olympics is the deplorable conditions in host...

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Iconic Olympics ads through the years

The surest bet during any Olympics is not that Usain Bolt will win the 100 meters; it is that NBC will be trashed, loudly, in many quarters, for the quality of its coverage.

This year has brought no variation in the litany of complaints: too many tape-delayed events; overhyping of a few stars; fawning feature pieces; and, of course, jingoistic emphasis on American athletes.

I have usually steered clear of the barrage, mostly out of a sense that a) most of NBC's decision-making is driven by the billions they spend for the rights, which means it's about business, not sports results; and b) it isn't going to change because... see a).

But, without intending to, I managed to stumble into the crossfire this year when I happened to send out a tweet about my viewing experience while out in California during the first week of the games. I had been out all day and unaware of what had transpired when I happened to settle...

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The 2016 Summer Olympics are here, and the world’s greatest athletes are ready to show us what they’re made of. If you want to catch all the suspense, drama, and victory, but you don’t have cable, here’s how you can medal in streaming for free.

Stream It Right from NBC

NBC is making it easier than ever to stream the Olympics... if you’re a cable subscriber. However, if you can borrow a friend or family member’s cable credentials both NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app (free on iOS, Apple TV, Android, Windows devices, Xbox, and Roku) will be streaming over 4,500 hours of live coverage during the games, including the opening and closing ceremonies. You’ll pretty much be able to see it all on almost any device if someone is nice enough to let you use their credentials. You can also watch live coverage of the Olympics for free on a time-delay if you have an Over-the-Air (OTA) antenna hooked up to your TV. If none of those work for you, don’t fret, there are...

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The 2016 Rio Olympics are off to an exciting start with world records being shattered on a seemingly daily basis, and if you’re reading this guide for how to watch the Olympics online without cable, chances are you’re as excited as I am to watch all the action. The Olympics is the pinnacle of athleticism and physical performance, with the best athletes in the world, representing the majority of countries in the world, gathering in Brazil to compete for glory in a range of sporting events. It’s an intense, exhilarating and exciting few weeks, and you won’t want to miss any of the exciting action. If you’d like to learn how to watch Olympics online without cable, we’ll show you how in the streaming guide below.

The 2016 Olympics will take place from August 3rd through August 21st, with the Opening Ceremony on August 5th. This year, it’s hosted by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a beautiful albeit politically troubled city. For viewers at home, this year presents the most live Olympics...

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We’re halfway through the 2016 Olympic games and Americans aren’t thrilled with the television coverage that US broadcaster NBC has provided thus far.

Fans have slammed the network, which has the exclusive rights to air the games in the US, for fumbling its coverage by airing too much swimming and gymnastics, delaying or failing to air groundbreaking moments, focusing on American success stories, and occasionally permitting sexist commentary.

But before throwing in the towel on watching the games, consider these other viewing options:

Channel surfing

TV is by far the simplest way to watch the Olympics. But NBC’s flagship TV broadcasts haven’t shown much love for sports besides swimming, gymnastics, volleyball, and track and field. Some of the sports that aren’t featured on NBC, like soccer, tennis, and golf, air on other NBCUniversal networks, including NBCSN, Bravo, USA, CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, NBC Universo, Golf Channel, and two Olympic specialty...

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The broadcasts of Summer and Winter Olympic Games produced by NBC Sports is shown on the various networks of NBCUniversal in the United States, including the NBC broadcast network, Spanish language network Telemundo, and many of the company's cable networks. The event telecasts during the Olympics air primarily in the evening and on weekend afternoons on NBC, with varying times on its cable networks (such as after the close of the stock market day on CNBC, the early mornings on MSNBC, and overnights on the USA Network).

The on-air title of the telecasts, as typically announced at the start of each broadcast and during sponsor billboards is always the official name of the games in question – for example, The Games of the XXIX Olympiad for the 2008 Summer Games. However, promotional logos may reflect the more common location-and-year name format, such as "Beijing 2008".

NBC has held the American broadcasting rights to the Summer Olympic Games since the 1988 games and...

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U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon for Men and Women to Air Live for First Time

Coverage Airs Saturday, February 13, at 1 p.m. ET on NBC

INDIANAPOLIS - NBC will broadcast unprecedented live coverage on air and online of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon on Saturday, February 13, 2016 beginning at 1 p.m. ET from Los Angeles, California, NBC Sports Group, the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Track & Field, and LA MARATHON LLC announced today.

This marks the first time in U.S. Olympic Team Trials history that the men’s and women’s marathons will be televised live nationally. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will live stream the coverage.

“Being able to ensure live, national television coverage was a top priority for USATF in the 2016 Olympic Trials selection process,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “With NBC’s coverage, the stars of one of this country’s...

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Nice to see you @meredithvieira! She becomes the first woman to ever anchor primetime coverage for @NBCOlympics. http://t.co/ht941hvhcE—
James A. Molnar (@jamesamolnar) February 15, 2014

First it was Costas. Then it was Lauer. Now, Vieira.

Meredith Vieira became NBC’s third host for the Olympics after Bob Costas was forced to the sidelines due to an eye infection and his replacement, Matt Lauer, was given a break following a marathon run of TV time this week.

As Chris Chase pointed out earlier, between Today and Olympics coverage, Lauer had spent nearly 30 of the past 60 hours on television. No word on Costas’ condition, but he’s not quite ready to step back in. Here’s hoping he gets better soon.

Vieira is a great choice though, comfortable on camera, and should be a great fit while her colleagues recover. She is also the first female host to handle Olympics coverage solo during...

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If you live somewhere in the United States, have a TV, and prefer not to live in a world where Ryan Seacrest trumps some ol' fashioned global communing, then you are probably royally P.O.'ed. at NBC. Their warped coverage of the Olympic games—ostensibly having been geared towards its U.S. audience—has left much to be desired.

Needless to say, there's been some backlash:

USA Today points out that many viewers were perplexed (see also: furious) by NBC's bizarre decision to cut coverage of the Opening Ceremony to air footage of Ryan Seacrest interviewing swimmer Michael Phelps. Operating under the great American assumption that there's no such thing as bad press, according to USA Today their motto seems to be "as long as the Olympics stay in the forefront of the national conversation, NBC will take it." And what exactly were they excising from the coverage to show said interview? Just a tribute to the 52 victims of London's 2005 terrorist attacks that they didn't think...
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