Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Disney Darlings In the Commentary Chairs, and Other "Problems" That an ABC/ESPN Olympics Might've Created

So you may have heard by now that NBC/Universal has been awarded the broadcast rights to not just the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the 2018 Winter Games in a location to be announced shortly, and the 2020 Summer Games in Outer Space. (OK, you got me… that one won’t be decided for two more years. But I still think I might have a contender here.)

Anyway, I’ve seen plenty of comments from skating fans about the decision, and seen that many are already lamenting it. What I have NOT seen, at least not yet, is a list of the pros and cons for each network in the bidding war… so I’ve come up with my own!

This time is the Pro/Con list for ABC/ESPN*; a similar list will follow soon for FOX. (And I encourage you to post your own comments about who should/shouldn’t have gotten the rights… are you happy about it being NBC? Are you sad? Angry? Indifferent? Why?)

Excuse me as I take a moment to firmly plant my tongue in my cheek--

(*NOTE: ABC no longer has a sports department, so everything would have been via ESPN or “ESPN on ABC” as they like to say.)

PRO: ESPN promised to “cover all events live.”
CON: Somehow they’d still manage to pre-empt most skating due to basketball overrun, bowling matches, dog shows…

PRO: With Disney holding the purse strings at ESPN, no expense would have been spared to bring the best the Olympics had to offer.
CON: With Disney holding the purse strings at ESPN, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez would have been brought in to do the figure skating commentary.

PRO: ESPN would have made sure the viewers knew how every skater fared in every event…
CON: … by “crawling” descriptions of the lesser-known skater’s programs on the lower third of the screen during hockey games: Kevin Van der Perren, BEL…costume resembles a superhero… music is overblown soundtrack of some kind… quad toe: well done… triple axel: singled… footwork: pedestrian…

PRO: ESPN has a huge audience base…
CON: … with a viewing demographic that doesn’t give a lick about figure skating.

PRO: ESPN is known as The Worldwide Leader in Sports….
CON: … but no matter how you say it, it’s still not ABC’s Wide World of Sports.


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I enjoyed your post. It’s a lot like college – we should absorb everything we can but ultimately you need to take what you’ve learned and apply it.

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