How the Internet is Spoiling My Olympics

I suppose it was inevitable.  This past year, social networking shot through the roof, with everyone and her grandmother (literally) on Facebook.  That is in addition to the explosive popularity of Twitter, as well as websites pumping out up-to-the-minute news 24/7.  At the same time, the old media NBC television network decided to tape delay its Winter Olympics broadcast on the West Coast, apparently three hours behind the East Coast, even though the events are taking place in our time zone.  And finally, as do many others I’m sure, I multitask when watching television, laptop in front of me, news headlines and social networks (and Vancouver Metblogs) never more than a click away.  All of these phenomena have come crashing together this month like a perfect storm, threatening to spoil my Olympics.

The problem is, I keep learning the results from these Internet sources hours before seeing them for myself.  I learned of Hannah Kearney’s mogul skiing gold medal, Apolo Ohno’s record-tying silver medal in speed skating, and the generous figure skating judges doling out high scores to skaters who fell during their short program, all before seeing it on tv.  I tried appealing to my Twitter peeps who aren’t located on the West Coast not to post Olympics results, but they seem to need to do so, as if their reactions won’t count unless shared electronically and immediately.

I’m sure some of you are more computer-advanced than I, and can tell us how to get a great webcast of the Games on our computer in real time, even on our big-screen hdtv.  If so, I would love to hear the solutions.  I investigated this briefly, and did not find a satisfactory solution — for example, the online ads I saw were even more annoying than those on NBC.

I’m afraid the only solution I have found to watch the Winter Games unspoiled by spoilers is the most radical solution of staying off the Internet altogether.

13 thoughts on “How the Internet is Spoiling My Olympics”

  1. I should stress that I receive NBC via my local cable system. I don’t know whether a sports package on DirecTV or another subscription tv service makes the NBC East Coast feed available without delay. MSNBC is also airing some Olympics programming, but as far as I can tell, it does not include events aired to the West Coast without the delay.

  2. If you figure it out, will you post the best answer? I only have HD broadcast, so the internet is my only other way of getting live coverage. I’m trying to remember if 4.4 was live or not yesterday

  3. David, There’s a good chance I’m an idiot, but if all Matt’s got is a cable coming into his house to a box to his TV what “antenna(e)” can he access to get to 4.4?

  4. The worst is when I’m watching an event and want to Wikipedia an athlete or look them up on NBC’s Team USA page, and the result of the very event I’m watching is splashed all over the front page.

    But, seriously, it’s sports. I refuse to DVR sports, on principle. And it’s not like these Olympics are 8 time zones away. We here on the West Coast are totally used to watching live football games that start at 5:00 pm Pacific, and the networks provide filler material before the local news, etc. all the time. I mean, the Super Bowl was at, like, 3:30! They even aired the Golden Globes twice, once live, and once in “prime time” for the West Coast. With so many Americans heavily contending in these games, you think they’d let us all watch everything live at the same time…

  5. Rabbit ears might work in theory. I’ve never tried them. The over the air signals are now supposedly digital, so the reception could be quite good. Of course, I would have to go out and get some rabbit ears. I don’t think my tv has any kind of built-in antenna.

    @Janna — exactly!

  6. and one more thing – really, what kind of ratings are they getting now, at 11:00??!? I wanna go to bed, but, well, I just can’t peel my eyes from the TV, but that’s a personal problem. I really would have loved to have watched all of this 3 hours ago.

  7. There are some sporting events that I MUST watch live, even as I DVR everything else I watch. The Olympics don’t make it up there for me…which is not to say that I like the tape-delay. It’s Mickey Mouse. Bush league. Ticky tack. But all part of NBC’s treatment of the Olympics as entertainment rather than a sporting event. So I DVR things at night, and try to get around to watching them. My wife follows the ice skating, and we didn’t get a chance to watch it last night, but watching the NBC local news this morning, they revealed all of the results from last night. Our own damn fault, I know, but still aggravating.

    And as a fan of soccer from around the world, I also whole-heartedly endorse Also, someone that would be interested in watching something live online instead of waiting for it to be aired later on tape delay might want to check out I mean, if they were interested in something like that. I am in no way endorsing, which I’ve heard has tons of links to feeds of live sports. I’ve also heard that sometimes you have to download an application .exe file to watch them, but some of them play in Windows Media Player. I’ve heard. No clue myself personally, no siree bob.

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