For the most part, I think NBC nailed it’s coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games. The in-studio work by Costas, Lampley, and Carillo was solid. Play-by-play analysis was right on for the most part (except I’m ready to not hear Tim Daggett’s voice for another 4 years). I was occasionally frustrated by NBC’s choice to tape-delay some events in Primetime, instead of show them at 9:00 AM EST (women’s gymnastics event finals, track & field sprints, etc.). All in all, I’d give them an “A-” for their coverage.
Until the travesty occurred with the Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Game between Spain and the USA. They got it right in this regard…the game tipped off at 2:30 AM EST, and was aired live. Where they screwed up is that they didn’t offer to also show a tape-delayed game at a time when most people in the United States are awake. Furthermore, if you want to see the game on-line, you have to have cable or a dish in your home. If you have a basic antenna that brings FREE broadcast television into your home, you’re not afforded the luxury of watching that game on the Internets.
I managed to stay awake for the first half. It was exciting, intense basketball…and, by all accounts, the second half was even more dramatic. (Check out this live blog from the game.) The teams started getting physical with each other, to the tune of 65 foul shots between them. There was also amazing offensive spectacles from both teams, which combined for nearly 230 points in 40 minutes of action.
The US restored basketball order, by winning its first gold medal in International competition in eight years. It was a historic moment…and an exciting game. Coach K called it, “one of the greatest basketball games in International competition, ever!” A great rivalry was born between the racist Spanish team and the cocky US team early this morning…it’s just too bad most people didn’t see it.