This is the fourth Olympic Games opening ceremony that I have had the opportunity to watch since moving to Folsom, California in 1996. American television programming is highly convoluted. For example, I watched the 2000 Olympic opening ceremony from Folsom and in contrast, when I went back to Australia in October of that year, I had a chance to view the full ceremony that my parents had recorded for me. Wow, what a show! I was disappointed that the American audience missed out on much of the spectacular highlights.
This year has been no different; clearly making things worse is the commentary of Bob Costas and the woeful rubbish springing continuously from Matt Lauer’s mouth. I sat eagerly with anticipation through the introductions which partially consists of the reading of athlete’s names and the cities where the athletes reside. As well as a list of proud sponsors who are going to interrupt the broadcast at every opportunity.
The only bright part of the commentary was the refreshingly educational and entertaining Joshua Cooper Ramo. Note to NBC: Dump Costas and Lauer and keep Ramo.
I thought Budweiser had been bought out by a Belgian company, probably meaning they are no longer a proud American company!!!
The ceremony started and within a few moments we had flashed through several commercials. Coming back, the scene had changed and we were watching programming from another era of Chinese broadcasting, this scenario continued to repeat itself throughout the hour of commercials and bits of the ceremony. I am quite sure that the people watching the ceremony live saw more than an hour of displays while we saw probably 40 minutes if we were lucky.
Suddenly, we were watching the parade of nations and the proud athletes from these countries regardless of the size of the team, the financial backing they had, or if they had any chance of even hearing their national anthem or watching their flag fly proudly when they won a medal at the games.
The pride in their faces the honour of walking behind their flag was just wonderful and it gave me goose bumps – not only on my skin, but also on my soul. What did our team of Bob Costas and Matt Lauer do to promote national pride? They tossed around childish chatter which would be better described as verbal diarrhea throughout the whole parade.
American television cuts into commercials breaks far too often and then when they come back, they run a flash back on the teams we had missed. It was ridiculous. This was a once-in-a-lifetime event and NBC blew it. Of course there was no cut in when the American team came on to the track, but they certainly gave the Australian team the short end of the stick yet again. And while other teams were coming onto the track, American television flashed to the American team constantly while they were having their photos taken by other country’s athletes.
How ill mannered, rude and totally self centered America appears as a nation – yes this reflects on everyone – and me too, because I am living here. I watched until after China came onto the track and then I turned the TV off because I knew we were then going to suffer for the rest of the allocated air time with more commercials, more chat and drivel about team USA.
When I got up for work on the morning of August 8th it was 5.30am in Folsom, 10.30pm in Sydney and 8.30pm in Beijing. The ceremony had only been going for 30 minutes but already the Sydney Morning Herald had videos and photos on their website.
I raced downstairs and flipped the TV on and there was nothing, absolutely nothing on here in California. You can guess where I will be watching the rest of the Olympic Games?
You guessed right! It won’t be on TV. Because all I’d be watching is the American alternative, commercials and some of the American Teams.
NBC needs to get a life! One of these days (maybe next century, they might learn how to give respect to a $300 million event that was carefully choreographed to show what real people can do when they put their collective talents together. And what did we get? The Bob and Matt ignorant comedy show!