Seattle Screwed by NBC, Canada Over Olympics Coverage

vancouver-olympics-hockeyThis February, the 2010 Winter Olympics kick off in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is – aside from the inevitable border delays – a two-hour drive from Seattle, Washington. Which is where I live. For years, us Seattleites (and Washingtonians in general) have had our options when watching the Olympics: the bloated NBC coverage, which wastes precious time they could be using to show sports by giving us personal stories of redemption and talking head interviews, or the non-stop, more worldly coverage by CBC, a Canadian station.

With the Olympics happening just a few hours away, it was assumed by most that we’d get to watch the Olympics in all their glory on CBC, just as has been happening for over a decade.

Unfortunately, as The Seattle Times reported, Seattle, Washington State and most of the United States will not get to watch the Olympics in real-time on CBC, as the station was outbid by Canada’s CTV. We don’t get CTV via Comcast. And apparently it isn’t available by satellite, either.

This sucks. CBC has always provided coverage far and beyond what NBC has been able to provide. Comcast has said they are not going to attempt to get CTV coverage for the Vancouver Olympics. Fair enough. But, what really irks me is…

NBC is once again using time-delayed footage for the East Coast. Which means the West Coast – which is where Vancouver is, by the way – will get even more time-delayed footage. ARE. YOU. F**KING. KIDDING. ME.

It’s one thing if the time delay is due to the fact that the best sporting events are taking place in the middle of the night, but that’s not the case: every Olympic event is occurring during the North American day, on the West Coast. You don’t delay stuff like that.

Would NBC consider time-delaying a football game? A baseball game? A basketball game? No! So why on earth do they feel it is acceptable to air sports – sports that are taking place in North America – on a time delay? It’s absurd, and inexcusable.

I can’t blame the business decision to go with CTV or CBC, though it is unfortunate given that CBC has provided such good coverage for so many years. And I can’t really blame Comcast for not carrying CTV, though it would be great if they at least attempted to set up a deal. But I can, will, and must blame NBC for once again providing time-delayed Olympics coverage. Thanks, NBC, for ruining my day.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Miscellaneous