TV coverage of Olympics is much too much

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Pssst! We didn’t watch a moment of the Olympics. It’s an event overwhelmed with geopolitical problems, participant cheating, biased judging, security issues greater than that of a Third World country, not to mention the endless interviews of “How did it make you feel?”

Years ago ABC (which formerly was the network with Olympic coverage) began the “Up Close and Personal,” which has now reached the cringe point of interviewing participants who didn’t enter the Olympics for the forthcoming monetary endorsements, but for their aunt, three times removed, who fell on the ice last month, twisting the third metacarpal of her left hand. “Tell us, how did that make you feel winning the bronze for her, in her time of need?”

We were fortunate enough to be on vacation for the first week of coverage of people I don’t know and have no interest in — or in their aerodynamic ability to cut through the air. As such, we were resigned to watching repeats or renting movies due to what must now be “noncompetition” agreements between networks, as you find “repeat programming” on networks when there is a major event on any opposing network.

As an example, did anyone put new programming against the Grammy Awards? How about the Golden Globes? And will there be any new programming going against the Oscars? Sports events are the same. Thing is, the Olympics is almost three weeks of the agony of defeat for viewers even if they are remotely interested in “men’s half-pipe.” Really, is that an Olympic sport? That’s not a sport. It’s a hobby.

If new programming had been on other networks opposite the Olympics, with the Northeast locked in bitter cold, the Olympic ratings would have been only one-third of what they were.

TOM ZENI
South Strabane


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