NBC TO AMERICA: We Refuse To Tell You Why We're Ruining The Olympics

NBC jeff zucker

We will confess that we have thoroughly enjoyed the Olympics the past few nights. 

First, there was live Men’s Figure Skating, which NBC didn’t ruin with violent cutaways to Women’s Curling and Snowboardcross time trials.  Then there was live Shaun White, and it just doesn’t get any better than live Shaun White.  Then there was the live conclusion to Men’s Figure Skating, which, again, perhaps because it was almost midnight ET, NBC didn’t ruin with violent cutaways and polar-bear updates.

Alas, it’s daytime again.  And the Men’s Super-G ski race is happening.  And, once again, NBC is ruining it for us by not showing it until this evening, when we will already know the results.  (NBC is showing Women’s Cross-Country live, though, so we guess that’s something).

Ski Crash

Since NBC has ruined so much of the Olympics for so many folks, we figured we’d have heard back from the network by now.  All we’re asking for are simple answers to simple questions about why the network is choosing to do this. 

We’re confident that the decision is about money, but we want to know the details.  And given that NBC is preventing Americans from watching Americans compete, we figure the least the network could do is explain why.

Alas, almost a week of Olympics coverage has passed, and NBC refuses to say anything.

Dick Ebersol

One thing we’ve learned in the past 24 hours, though, is that we may be directing some of our hate at the wrong man.  Since NBC ruined the Men’s Downhill for us on Monday, we’ve held Dick Ebersol, the head of NBC Sports, partially responsible.  But it seems the responsibility may lie solely with Dick’s boss, Jeff Zucker.

Why do we think so?

Because Deadspin unearthed a quote from a prior Olympics that suggests Dick Ebersol feels as strongly about live coverage as we do:

“A domestic Olympics cries out to be telecast live across the entire country as previous U.S. games have been,” he said. “I am emphatic that delaying our primetime Salt Lake coverage is a mistake.”

That was Ebersol in 2001, speaking about the Salt Lake Olympics (which NBC also ruined with tape delays).  Given how horribly lame it is to watch delayed sports broadcasts, we can’t imagine today’s Ebersol feels any differently. 

So, today, as we again absorb the excitement of the Men’s Super-G via blogs, photos, and tweets, we’re going to imagine that we have a secret ally somewhere high up in the echelons of NBC.  And we’re going to conclude, because there’s no other obvious conclusion, that the one man responsible for ruining these Olympics for us is Jeff Zucker.

Thanks, Jeff! 

We hope you enjoy watching the Men’s Super-G on your special live CEO-feed this afternoon.  We’re grateful that you’ll eventually share some of the highlights with us.

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