Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Americans and the Olympics

What is the deal with ice skating and American viewers? After talking to a good friend of mine, who is racing in California right now, I've been led to believe that 95% of the TV coverage over there is about ice skating. Now don't get me wrong, I have the outmost respect for figure skating and the demands it puts on the athletes. But seeing that the USA has become a power-house at the Olympic Games, wouldn't you think that the TV coverage would be more balanced?

Since many of you who stop by this blog, are indeed from America, I'm eager to hear your 2 cents on this. Are you happy with the coverage?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speedskating is so much more esthetic than skiing. Look at those cross country skieers doing their skating moves,... ugly!
Olympic coverage in the USA is always determined by the female viewers. That means, loads of gymnastics in summer, and loads of ice dancing in winter olympics.
They love conflicts too (Davis versus Hedrick, Make Body Miller look bad).
Speed skating is the athletics of the winter games IMHO.

Blogger mags said...

Yes, speed skating is a very interesting sport. I do think you are a bit nuts for saying that cross country skiing is ugly, but I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. Your comment really leads me to think that you don't know what you are talking about however.

The Davis vs. Hedrick conflict reached Europe as well, Bode Miller is simply a screw-ball... And his results indicated that this year.

Blogger Keith said...

I wouldn't necessarily say that the coverage is totally unbalanced, maybe just a little. Certainly figure skating (paricularly the ladies freestyle event) is very popular here. I also think it has something to do with the female viewers. The network usually shows the less popular events during the day, and the more popular ones (figure skating, alpine skiing, etc) at night.


Blogger Jill said...

That Davis versus Hendrick conflict really mucked up the winter Olympic coverage- turned it into some kind of Desperate Housewives episode. I would love to see more cross-country skiing on regular network television. It's one of the most exciting events in the games. But, the Americans are mostly terrible at it (with the exception of our resident Alaskan), so U.S. television largely ignores it.

Blogger mags said...

I'm not sure if there is culture for developing good cross country skiers in the States. A bit strange really, since the training conditions are optimal and you've got a large population to draw from. Maybe cross country skiing isn't cool enough for the hip Americans? :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed I agree with that. It's gotta be hip. Snowboard expected to be the second major event next time around. Sad , to have the Olympics transform to the x games. Apparently the spectators were really down (course site) with a lot of events. Even short track , no matter how spectacular, seems to be so unfair often.

Blogger mags said...

Ah, yes - snowboard... Not sure if I'm used to that sport and those kind of athletes in the Olympics. But from a commercial perspective, it was a brilliant move by the IOC.


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