London Olympics 2012: Massive Media Fail, NBC Executive Jim Bell Says Shove It!

*An update with a new NBC Fail below.

Ah the cheesy opening ceremonies (what WAS that dumb fan-blown Halloween get up of Voldemort with Exorcist theme music and why in the world were they allowed to politicize the ceremony with NHS blaring in cheesy back-lit beds and decades old nurses if they refuse to allow the 11 Israeli athletes killed by terrorists?), the pride in our countries, pepto pink gymnastics arena, the folly in falling in whatever event. But you didn’t get to see it. You see, NBC was counting on you not realizing that you missed half the Opening Ceremony because you’re American. That’s not all you are missing. Let’s start with the beginning. We didn’t get the Opening Ceremony live and I’m honestly okay with that part. There’s no results, it’s worth a prime time slot. Worst thing that happens, you get a spoiler of “Gee, they had Mary Poppins float down!” Which by the way, was freaking dumb…

Their Mary Poppins (seen above) But this is what Mary Poppins actually looked like.

I found it more insulting and ridiculous the announcers were making snotty little comments like “Djibouti sounds funny, just beating Cameroon.”  Really? How much airtime would they get to be repeating and feigning outrage if another broadcaster in another country had said “How silly the name America is!” However, they actually cut out several pieces of the ceremony to air commercials, more so than in any recent memory. So instead of a tape delayed full ceremony, you got an edited, chopped up piece. Perhaps it would have made more sense had we saw it all, I don’t know, I just thought it was overall silly.  So bits and pieces were gone but NBC also completely edited and removed a tribute to the 52 victims of the 7/7. Why? Watch this beautiful piece below. What was this cut in favor of a Michael Phelps interview?

Seriously. He wasn’t confessing to murder, he wasn’t taking a bong hit on air, he was rambling on with the same PC thing every Olympic interview before and since that NBC hammers in has said.  When the Salt Lake City winter games opened, we had a beautiful tribute to the victims of 9/11. You think BBC didn’t air that to show a canned response interview? The choreographer of the ceremony – who did a poor job on the rest of it in my opinion – has every right to be outraged this tribute did not air – to which an NBC spokesman responded with a lovely slap in the face of in wasn’t tailored for the US audience“. How screwed up can you be to think that games held in another country didn’t tailor to HIM?!? And how is it a “tribute” that you had to do so little “editing” to show to America? Why edit at all?  How did he manage to think he spoke for the entire country in saying “Not interested in your bombings, sorry“. Is it any wonder that across my travels to other countries, they view Americans as they do? Because we’ve got idiots like Greg Hughes telling other countries they aren’t good enough for us.  Oh and one little piece of info, it was also a tribute to an AMERICAN KILLED named Michael Matsushita, as well as others….

I’m proud Americans are getting outraged at this.  We need to be.  It’s not our job to tell other countries who’ve paid billions to host these games how to do their job so that Mr. Hughes is impressed enough to show it.  Be outraged, make your voice heard so the next Olympics, which NBC has the rights to through 2020 will NOT be cut again. Now, if that weren’t enough, as many of you have seen by now, the hashtag #NBCfail was trending quite often over the weekend.  This was in relation to the fact they didn’t show Phelps first medal race live. The criticisms of BBC showing live coverage aren’t really warranted here, because it’s in their country and they show as much as they can live but there are some taped segments, however, MEDAL events have, as far as I can tell from other commenters always been shown live, regardless of country. NBC even aired Wills and Kate’s wedding live. The BBC has shown live events when in other time zones but a few have been aired delayed. In even more shame, NBC’s own nightly news aired results the first day of a race not yet aired. Is that fuckery not enough for you?  Well, there’s more! Jim Bell’s official Twitter account is a collection of the most backhanded responses I’ve seen from a company executive.

He manages to find a single laughable article (which is horribly written and I highly suspect PAID FOR) that somehow lauds NBC’s coverage. Guess wonderful the headline is of the “positive” ad titled arrogantly “Shut Your Pie-Holes, People: NBC’s Olympics Coverage Is Perfect”. Which we all know it isn’t, suspending any accounts of NBC naysayers along the way like Guy Adams, a journalist who’s written about NBC’s coverage, had been tweeting up a storm, which you see here, presenting NBC in a bad manner. But the last straw finally came when he tweeted: “The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think! Email:” Which we can see that its a business email and suspending his account is unjust censorship

Shut your pie hole. Seriously. It’s amateur college classes that tell you not to spread around even a positive spin if it’s insulting to the viewers: “NBC is live-streaming every single Olympic sport, no matter how obscure. It’s great. Just yesterday I was able to watch the USA basketball game on my computer. During half time I flipped over to handball, which is not at all what I was expecting. While I was watching those sports on my laptop I had the cycling televised on NBC in the background. This is how the world is supposed to work. In 2012, I can watch any sporting event I want and I can watch more than one simultaneously.”

Oh nice! How sweet, I was unaware of how I was supposed to watch and follow by being tied to my 17″ computer screen to get a chance to see an event live. I wonder how I can position my family of 6 around it for best viewing options instead of my 60″ LCD HD TV. But Jim Bell (NBC Olympic Executive Producer) backs this up with his Twitter comments. Stop laughing, I’m serious. So not only does the article smack you in the face with the headline, it then complains about complainers and literally tells you to GO OUTSIDE AND STOP WATCHING NBC. That’s what Bell promoted. He makes a point to discuss the 171 hours of Atlanta coverage against NBC’s “5000 hours”. Okay, great – how do you get those 5000 hours?  Well, network TV is one, then you have to have a premium package to get the special basketball channel, MSNBC, NBC Sports (formerly Versus), CNBC, and part-time on Bravo TV.
He’s also counting the live streaming access. What’s the problem? Well, in this economy, there have been many people that have downgraded their TV packages with their providers and can’t afford these channels. So let’s assume that, since you are reading this, you have good internet access. Well, some people have given up desktops (count me as one) for the laptop since they’ve become as good for almost every needed task. So, okay tiny screen, you can still get to the site right? Well, the horrible setup is so packed with links and randomness it’s difficult to get to the stream, then get your event up. But that’s alright, you’ve found it, you are ready to GO GO GO!  Let’s see what happens when I try to connect with Mozilla Firefox?
That screen over and over and over again. No dice and utterly annoying, don’t ya think? I couldn’t even fully load the starting commercial before I could watch. Let’s go to the hated IE. It’s loaded, yay! Time to load up the next Lochte race, I’ve got a sports pool that does wins and losses for cash.  I want to watch the race live.
DOH! Both feeds, whether in the middle of the current event or not get killed for 3 commercials. The commercial started up just as the Olympic women swimmer jumped into the water. It finally came back as they finished, that’s when another commercial started up in the secondary feed box! Are you enjoying the live feed action yet?
It ends and I think I’m finally getting to see the men’s medal race… Sheesh…
Guess what? All I see is BLACK SCREEN, and in the corner a lovely message telling me “Control Your Olympic Viewing”. How am I supposed to do that? The only control I have is to close the damn window because nothing is loading and the only time it does, is more freakin commercials. So now I’m stuck with live TV, okay I’ve got DVR going on these channels. Guess what? I’m getting results on one channel at the exact same time as it airs on another. It’s also estimated that during the coverage we are getting 20 minutes of commercials an HOUR. This means for every 6-7 minutes of events, you get 3 minutes of commercials. Some are even worse getting as little as 3-4 minutes for events with 3-4 minutes of commercials. A rate of 50%! If that’s not enough, before every single event, we get approximately 15 minutes of “special interest” where the commentators just run around giving their blabbering opinions instead of showing the actual Olympic events. If they cut those segments into quick updates of say 5 minutes and dropped just 3 minutes an hour of commercials, we’d have an extra 15,000 minutes, according to the quoted 5000 hours above, or 250 hours of coverage from commercials, and another 416 hours without interviews for a combined total of 676 hours! WTF? If they’d just SHUT UP long enough! Some events deserve to be shown live for Americans who were watching. I see not broadcasting the heats and trials live and understand not showing the first couple of rounds of gymnastics live, but having EVERY SINGLE SECOND shown by NBC on delay is appalling. Perhaps even funnier is another “positive” tweet that was posted halfway through writing this. It’s a comment about Moonves (CBS honcho) defending NBC’s decision of every single moment being tape delayed, in the nice tweet seen below…
The link is to in which they so coyly use the word “bitch slap” in the linked article.  Is it really that smart of Mr. Bell to actually pump out a tweet about a competitor kicking his ass? Idiot! Especially when the source article, more tactfully written is linked right there? Comedic genius, but I don’t think he’s going for that. He’s intentionally going for articles that make fun of the very viewers he needs to court.
Shame on you NBC. Seriously shame on you for being so damn arrogant! You know there’s no where else in the US we can go to legally to get coverage of a ONCE IN FOUR YEARS EVENT. YOU can shove it up YOUR booty holes! If you want to get around this and watch BBC with LIVE coverage of almost all events, without cut outs and horrific commercials, there’s a multitude of ways. If you have the know how, find a British proxy to hide behind with your computer and then go to a website like BBC British (not America). (Credit to Ghost for tweeting this link for a step by step.) This will get you tons of coverage. Another way is to find a sports forum online who is streaming like First Row Sports. You may have a pop up here and there but at least you can watch actual REAL coverage of the Olympic event with limited interruptions.
Update 07/31/2012: So, NBC wants to take care of their nightly news not showing results before the prime time air. Guess they forgot to tell the promo team putting out teasers. Major kudos to Dead Spin for tweeting the incident without (link details results) actually tweeting results themselves. What’s the next mea culpa from Jim Bell? Sorry. Not an explanation, not we’ll do better, just an arrogant piece of ick.
It’s like saying “Oops My Bad” after hitting a special ed kid in the face with a ball and laughing. He knows (well, thinks he knows) we have no choices… What do you think about all this douchebaggery of the NBC execs essentially insulting all these other countries and viewers? Share your thoughts, opinions and comments down below…


  1. @Seola1 says:

    It also bears mentioning, it's not just the fact we can or can't get something live. I think a lot of people might be okay not getting everything live, but twice NBC has broadcast results before airing, they keep pointing to the online access which I have yet to find a single person able to connect to high profile events, they are jumping from 2 swims to 3 rows to gymnasts only on the floor routine back to swims. There's no consistency, the opening ceremony was heavily edited down to miss half of it, including a touching 7/7 tribute in which an American was also killed, no broadcast (since it's delayed by hours, you could EASILY group them together) of a full event, no access online for people who don't pay for the big packs from cable/satellite, and they don't publish a list of the TV viewing in what events are what time, and which are medal events for what they even broadcast delayed! It's a huge booty clusterduck.

  2. We're feeding tila says:

    That's pretty crappy of NBC to edit out the tribute and leave in the NHS part which is a kind of a slap in the face to its audience.

    I thinks it's funny that the poms love their free/govt funded health service enough to glorify it at the Olympics and good on them, but most developed countries have govt funded health services with the US being a notable exception so why would NBC leave that in, just to piss people off.

    • We're feeding tila says:

      * apologies to the poms who think the NHS is a POS. Some countries govt's have functioning healthcare systems, it appears that popular opinion in England is the NHS is a POS though….

    • @Seola1 says:

      NHS is fine if it works for that country. It's not something that would work in our country because we don't have the EU support, VAT taxes (Dems refuse to go with a consumption tax would could actually pay for it) and we don't have the resources (such as facilities and doctors since GP's already are leaving the field after the recent Medicare payout cuts). Be that as it may, it was broadcast to hundreds of millions in a political stance, and NBC has been very pro-Obama and he's compared it often to their healthcare.

  3. The Comedian says:

    Retards running massive corporations! Punch line of the last 15 years. The arrogance is unreal. Although, as someone that's not an American, why is it illegal to stream the Olympics on the web? Ratings? BS. Can't force your people into giving you your precious ratings. Pardon me for saying, but I thought we won the war.

    • @Seola1 says:

      Our government literally blocks our IPs from leaving the country to view websites registered to other countries. This happens more than one would think. With movie trailers, music videos, etc. from other countries. This is why we are forced to use guerrilla tactics in the same manner dissidents of countries in civil war and turmoil are forced to use to tell the world about what's going on. Sadly, they are pointing to the fact they have more viewership than 2008 – without mentioning we have an issue with the economy in which people don't have money to leave in the summer, people cut cable packs and are forced to network TV (because if you don't have their channels in a cable/sat pack, you can't watch live online anyway), and these events were hyped with multiple stars. Missy Franklin, Phelps most decorated, the women's gymnastics with the Flying Malroney and Flying Squirrel, etc. etc. We've never had so many world champs/stars in any Olympics prior. So far, all 4 of my top events have been spoiled – including one by the freaking Weather Channel website. I didn't get to see Women's Team, either Men's gymnastics and Phelps medal runs. I'm so irritated at this point, I stopped watching altogether. This commercial, human interest, 2 minutes of events back to commercial cycle is ticking me off.

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