Social Media: Collective Voices Calling for NBC/Olympic Leadership

Check out UPI.com blogger Kate Stanton’s article, #NBCfail: NBC’s Olympics coverage gets social media backlash to see an excellent critique of NBC’s weak leadership in Olympic coverage.

She writes: “NBC has decided to air most of the Olympics’ major events in prime-time to maximize viewership in the evening hours when most people are home–which means more revenue from advertisers–but many argue that the strategy is diminishing the Olympics-watching experience of American viewers. NBC’s coverage first came under fire after the Opening Ceremonies, when word broke that the network had scrapped Danny Boyle’s apparent tribute to victims of the 7/7 London bombings, choosing instead to air a pre-taped Ryan Seacrest interview with Michael Phelps. When critics called the move insensitive, a network representative responded that the program was “tailored for the U.S. television audience.”

By “the U.S. television audience,” they must have meant people with dialup who doze unquestioningly in front of their TV sets. The tweets, blogs and other online complaints, debates and diatribes have lit up the internet as if to prove there’s a whole world of folks who aren’t sleeping — and that we’ll turn more and more to the streaming live feeds that the web can offer instead of settling for a network that can’t keep pace with the times.

Personally, I would understand rebroadcasting key events in the evening, when more folks are watching, but why not think bigger? Why not offer commentary that’s meaningful and a fuller experience of the opening games? Why not interpret the British cultural performance in full in the best tradition of American journalism, instead of the shallow style of early morning TV? This is a major event, not some pop star debut or cooking demonstration!

Way to go, social media, for demanding more! The leadership of the many may be a bit chaotic, but there’s life in us yet!

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