NBC’s Coverage of the Olympics

It is great that there is atleast some coverage of the Olympics here in the United States, thanks to NBC. But I wish the network would instruct its commentators to try and be objective. Is that too much to ask for? Unfortunately, their role seems to be to “b… and moan” when the US athletes are loosing out to other countries, and rave about them when they perform well. For example, when the Romanian gymansts were performing the commentators were saying, “Oh, that was bad, the judges should take away atleast one full point…yadayadayada”. On the other hand, when an American athlete falters, “Oh, she has been down with viral infection, she has been exhausted by the heat etc. etc”

Part of what makes America so unique is the wonderful ethnic mix available here. This means, there are several immigrants here in the US, who have lived a better part of their life in more difficult conditions in developing and significantly poorer nations. Thus, when one of these immigrants see an athlete from their country of origin, perform exceptionally well, deep down they appreciate it more than anyone else. They are filled with admiration and pride, that someone from their country of origin can perform so well on a world stage despite the extreme lack of resources in that country. In these circumstances, its extremely painful to hear biased, one-sided commentary. Forget about lavish praise, at a minimum, our commentators should at least recognize good performance independent of the athlete’s country of origin.

An athlete from a poorer nation performing well at the Olympics deserves all the credit and praise for his/her performance because it is commendable that they are excelling despite the lack of resources available to them when compared to say an athlete from a developed nation like the US. But our commentators can’t seem to appreciate this. Perhaps, some ethnic diversity in the commentary team might help?

Unfortunately, the commentary during the previous Olympics was no different. So if you want to watch the Olympics here in the US, learn to put up with this. Or explore one of the satellite channels, maybe there is another broadcast available that is more fair or atleast less-biased.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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