Monday, August 6, 2012

Olympic coverage earns mixed reviews at halfway mark

The Globe and Mail's Bruce Dowbiggin has this assessment:
" . . . The best decision made by the Canadian consortium, of course, was to continue the tradition of going live with events. Canadian viewers are again afforded the luxury of watching live events combined with NBC’s slick evening packages.

"More than halfway to the finish, how has the broadcaster done? So far, it’s mixed. The consortium’s decision to go live has been a boon, but it has a downside. There is nothing more difficult in television than riding the tiger of live TV. For that reason, NBC prefers its safety net of taping events. All the mock sessions in a studio can’t simulate absorbing the frantic pace of events and synthesizing them into a coherent narrative. Especially when the announcers have little or no résumé covering their events before.

"Unfortunately, many of the consortium’s on-air talents – particularly the analysts– are attractive former Canadian athletic heroes parachuted into their chairs instead of the veteran voices that typified CBC coverage. Growing your own timber is fine, but don’t ask your pitchers to start their careers in the World Series.

" The most problematic area for the consortium has been in the field. In the hurly-burly of breaking events, analysis has too often been replaced by a noxious mix of cheer-leading and banal self-realization pap. . . "
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