The 1976 Olympics was my first. in ’72 we lived overseas and did not have a TV, and ’68 -- I just don’t remember. But ’76, that was awesome. I watched everything I could and found it absolutely mesmerizing.
This year, I have watched a few hours. Mostly with the sound off and while reading something else. If a cool looking event, swimming has the highest cool factor for me, happened to be on when I looked up, I would turn on the sound and watch. I don’t think I watched a single commercial. I am not sure if this makes me one of the 20 to 35 million nightly viewers on NBC or not.
I was busy during the NBC’s airing of the opening ceremony, so I missed it. I spend half an hour or so looking for video of the opening ceremony and could not find it. I suspect that just like the movie people, NBC wanted to make sure it was not available for some reason. I did hear about Tunnel Bear, a web site that would enable me to watch the coverage by the BBC, or any other country. It went on my list of things to check out, but now the Olympics is almost over and I have not done it and probably wont.
Recently a friend said that she just did not find it all that compelling to watch NBC’s coverage either. She was also not interested enough in the games to find other ways to watch it. She just opted out of the olympics this year.
Two individual opinions does not a survey make, but I suspect that there are some other people that have also drifted away from the Olympics. Our media consumption habits ave changed and NBC has not changed much.
In fact, it seems that one of the things that has not changed since 1972 -- or even before that -- is the way that NBC thinks about its audience. If you are interested in this kind of thing, check out Jeff Jarvis’ Buzz Machine. He is on a crusade to change NBC -- good luck with that Jeff.