While not being able to watch the first week of Wimbledon matches live, we took to Wimbledon Primetime on the Tennis Channel. As we were watching, the Olympic Games and NBC kept creeping into our mind.
The Tennis Channel does a fantastic job at broadcasting matches from the majors that we tennis fans already know the outcome. They begin the broadcast recapping the big stories of the day. Then, the best parts of the best matches are shown. Interviews are interspersed throughout the tennis action. It makes for quite enjoyable viewing.
While this is definitely not an apples to apples comparison, NBC could learn a lot from the Tennis Channel leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
NBC has exclusive broadcast rights in the United States for the Olympics. The Tennis Channel does not for Wimbledon. ESPN has the live rights. Therefore NBC can control what and when events are broadcast for U.S. consumption.
This is not a bash NBC post. On the contrary. For the most part NBC does an outstanding job covering the Gamesl with its many broadcast platforms (NBC, NBCSports, MSNBC, CNBC, USA). Many more different events are given more extensive coverage than in the days of one broadcast outlet. We love that one of the stations becomes the de facto Curling Channel during the Winter Games.
But the rub comes with the primetime telecast on the mother station. The show itself is fine. Show the most anticipated races, competitions, etc. Sprinkle in some human interest and interviews. It is good viewing.
The problem is with the intelligence-insulting way that things are presented - as if nobody knows the results. Anyone with a smartphone, internet access, a television or radio can get the results if they desire. There is no reason for NBC to pretend otherwise.
Also with live streaming available, there is not reason for NBC not to broadcast the top events live either.
A large portion of the United States population is unable to view the events live anyway. The primetime telecast should not suffer. And don't deprive those that work during primetime the chance to see the events live. And stop pretending we don't know.
Maybe it will ruin everything for the one guy living in a trailer in the foothills of a mountain range with no telephone, no internet and through an elaborate and complex configuration of aluminum foil and wire coat hangers is able to get a lone NBC station on his 19 inch black and white television. But he will persevere.