full coverage

I’m still in the Olympic spirit, I guess, or at least just thinking about the Olympics. I’ll be back to more academic concerns soon, but my sister and her husband and their daughter are visiting and we managed to find tickets because my sister had the crazy idea of walking into the ticket office and asking what they have. Turns out that if you’re not picky, there’s still some seats available. So now I’ve seen curling live and in person and I enjoyed it.

Anyway, I was going to write something about NBC’s coverage – discussed here and here and elsewhere – but instead I’ll just say that CTV, who has the Canadian rights, has put up the following on their website: full video (the so-called “world feed”) of every single event, in HD if your connection can handle it, live if it’s still going on, archived if you missed it, and if it’s still going on you can go back and watch the earlier parts without having to wait for the event to end.

The “world feed”, if I understand correctly, consists of the raw video broadcasters are able to choose from in putting together their coverage. Broadcasters combine that video with their own commentary and interviews and whatever technology they use to enhance their coverage (like replays that use superimposed images of multiple competitors). Sometimes broadcasters use their own cameras to get additional angles if they think it’s worth it to their audience to have the extra coverage.

The CTV world feed videos don’t have any of the supplemental stuff, but considering what you’re getting, it’s more than worth it. There are some video ads, but they’re shorter and less frequent than television ads. You can also get highlights online of some completed events taken from the televised broadcasts that include commentary, and possibly you can get the entire televised broadcasts online as well. I generally haven’t been near a tv during the live event coverage, so I don’t know what the broadcasts are like. I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything I wanted to see.

Compared to that, discussions of NBC’s coverage, focusing on television, are like a throwback to an earlier era. It’s no longer possible to think of this kind of event coverage solely in terms of television, and for all that NBC has done with their Olympic website (which I haven’t visited since 2008, admittedly, but which I hear delays video just like tv), it seems like they still think it’s still 1994 or so.

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