Let the Games Begin

Athlete in Vancouver
Sometimes I get frustrated when I can’t figure out a technology right away, or if I forget how to do something that I once knew how to do. For example, each time I arrive in San Jose after six months away, I never remember right away how to use the TV remotes or how to listen to voicemail on my US cell phone. It takes a couple of times before I get it right. Who would have thought, though, that the technology that would infuriate me the most is not a cell phone, but broadcast television?

I knew the winter Olympics started on Friday, but even though I scrolled through all the gazillion channels on my TV I couldn’t find any of the events. I found fishing, college basketball, and soccer, but no snowboarding. I thought for sure I’d be able to see the opening ceremonies, but no. Wrong again. I figured I was doing something wrong, so I checked the guide and the menu. I did searches, and I checked online. But, no. It wasn’t me. It was NBC. They had time-shifted so that while everyone I know in other parts of north America was watching the opening show, I was still waiting for it.

The most infuriating part was that while I was trying to track it down by searching online, I was seeing glimpses of the ceremonies and the results of the sports events in news headlines. I was chatting with friends on a discussion board. I knew what I was missing!

Eventually, the ceremonies did appear on my television, but by then I was cranky. I was made even more irritated by the commentators who talked over the choral background to the show, and who chose to make uniformed chitchat about political issues surrounding the games. That was so inappropriate, NBC! I watched most of the athletes enter the arena, but by then I’d had enough. I was tired and annoyed, and the commentators were making me grind my teeth. So, I went to bed and read a book instead.

I thought I had set my television to record the opening ceremonies, but today I couldn’t find the recording; this is something else I don’t do often! I had missed the moment. To make up for it, I sent NBC a terse email expressing my offpissment. They, in reply, invited me to join their Consumer Advisory Panel. Ha! All right, NBC. This is something I know how to do; critical analysis of media is my bailiwick.

Game on!


Image Source: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01584/Athlete-Vancouver_1584064c.jpg


  1. We have that problem in Hawaii too. It’s better than when I moved here though. Back then we had to wait a week for regular programming. National news was a bit better. They flew tapes over & we got to hear Cronkite the next day.

  2. That’s what they mean by “7/6 central.” The eastern and central time zones see it at the same time -7 eastern, 6 central. Mountain is delayed 2 hours, to be at 7, and Pacific is delayed 3 hours, to also see it at 7, local time. Everything is delayed if you’re in the mountain or pacific time zones.

  3. I agree with the TV info…I’d like to know the line up. It seems like it used to be easy to see what time they’d be showing each sport/event. The prime time thing…I can see both ways…people who work might want it to be delayed and NBC has to maximize the viewing audiance AKA promises to sponsors. If I were them I’d do both. They have alternative networks that can show it all live and then repeat it for primetime.

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