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No commercials – what a concept!

I did watch a couple of hours of Olympics today, and at some point it hit me: BBC shows them commercial-free, except for one or two promotional clips of upcoming BBC programs. Add in the fact that the multi-screen option allows me to pick from among several concurrent feeds on a single channel, and I am almost ready to forgive BBC being the reason for the abominable TV license.

How’s NBC treating American viewers these Games?


  1. MAMA, again

    Almost not possible to watch, “splosh” commercial.
    Meanwhile, your father did not leave his place on sofa for all avaliable free time.

  2. Brian Greenberg

    We don’t have it so lucky over here. Basically the normal amount of commercials, plus periodic Bob Costas updates, plus long & drawn out “produced” pieces about the athletes lives & struggles to make it to the Olympics, etc., etc.

    On the upside, there is *so* much coverage, that my recommended viewing method is to DVR/Tivo the games, beginning about 2 hours before you actually want to watch, and then fast-forward through all the fluff so you can watch only the actual athletics. Most of the time, you wind up finishing your viewing right around when NBC is signing off anyway…

  3. Kisintin

    I think the bias on TV right now is towards Phelps. Phelps this and Phelps that. Like there are no other American athletes competing in Tobaganing these olympics.

  4. Jeri

    I have long detested American Olympics coverage. It’s so heavy handed in favor of 1) top draw sports, 2) American athletes, and 3) nauseating sob stories of athletes overcoming penniless rat-infested disease-of-the-month childhoods in urban war zones. I have heard that CBC coverage is better – now that I’m back home I’m going to check that out tonight.

    I was over with Anne at her friend’s house watching them Saturday night, and we decided that they should relegate that stuff to a 1-hour special of the “story behind the athletes” or something that those who CHOOSE to can tune into – but then the rest of us can watch sports.

    I was especially annoyed by a “Michael Phelps in 13 minutes” screen crawl which really hit on all three of my three problem areas because it was American-centric, big-sport-centric, and as it turned out, was Michael’s sob story montage of growing up with a poor but determined single mother who made sure he was given every opportunity.

    Faugh. Just… gah.

  5. Ilya

    I’m guessing NBC is recycling their material. There certainly was a Phelps life-story spot four years ago in Athens, along very similar lines.

  6. Jeri

    Last night I tuned into CBUT – the Vancouver, Canada CBC channel. The coverage was fabulous. Fewer commercials, athletes from all nations, and not a single “story behind the athlete” – not one. I just wish they’d shown a tiny bit more of the less popular sports, but I guess during prime time that’s not going to happen. Still, I’m a happy camper and the channel’s staying there.

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