Let me say right at the start, this is not an essay that will complain about tape delays and channel selection on NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. I won’t be that guy. I work in the industry and I get the decisions that are made and why. I would also say that columnists and commentators who work in or comment on the media industry should know and understand the reasons–and to feign they don’t is more than slightly disingenuous.
This is about all the folks who do all they can to avoid Olympic results during the day because they want to watch the biathlon, or the Nordic combined or the half-pipe, and how difficult it is to do that if you are even slightly connected to your social networks (and realistically who is not?)
I was on some PTO last week, home with the girls-and kind of dipping into things at work etc. But I was never too far from clicking into Facebook on my iPhone or checking out the latest on Twitter on my BlackBerry.
And right there-out in the public with no tape delay were the results. I knew in real-time that Lindsey Vonn not only overcame her ankle injury-but went on to win. No waiting until 7pm on NBC Shopping to find out that Johnny Spillane is just a fraction of a second off the lead in the Nordic combined. No waiting for Curling After Dark (and that is just plain weird) to get my fill of what seems like bocce on ice.
And you know what, it’s a good thing. I don’t feel cheated.
It’s the argument/discussion I have from time to time at CBS News about the quaint old philosophy of holding a story for broadcast. For those my age or older call it, “Film at 11” syndrome. When the local newscaster (I can remember Chuck Scarborough and Ernie Anastos in NYC) promised to have the day’s story in film (although I tend to think it was video) at 11.
The world does not work on a broadcast schedule anymore. For me, these spoiler updates let me set my TiVo, or check the listings to see which channel it’s on, or if I need an immediate fix go check one of the Olympics video sites or apps.
The spoiler here is the chatter about tape delays–who cares. This is an on-demand world and its all there. So keep the updates coming. Helps me avoid ice dancing and pairs figure skating.