Dick Ebersol RESIGNS as Head of NBC Sports
For anyone who's familiar with the behind the scenes elements of sports programming on television, this is fairly monumental news. Ebersol is a giant of American television. His fingerprints are all over the broadcast history of not only the Olympics over the last 25 years, but also many of the biggest sports events on the annual calendar. NBC has a habit of holding on to the broadcast rights of major sports events for a LONG time. These include The Triple Crown races, Wimbledon (30+ yrs), The French Open (28 yrs), The US Open (golf), etc. It's no secret that the other networks would love to have their hands on any one of these events and also on Ebersol.
Since Comcast allowed such a major player to get away, one has to wonder how strong their commitment is to maintaining the broad sports presence NBC currently enjoys. After all, the only reason they bought NBC, was because GE and Universal were saddled with mounting losses and were looking to reduce their liabilities. One has to assume that Comcast wants to trim budgets wherever possible in order to protect its investment as it rebuilds. It will be interesting to see how this affects NBC/Universal Sports' commitment to broadcasting skating.
Last edited by jcoates; 05-19-2011 at 02:01 PM.
Here are few comments from Hersh about Ebersol's resignation:
and this recent article goes into more detail about future Olympic broadcasts:
It sounds like ESPN has the money and interest (Rio Olympics for ESPN's So. American stations).
Nobody seems as interested in Sochi which will be expensive and comes with time zone and other logistical problems.
A sign of the times is how little skating figures into this.......
why doesn't CBS want to get in the games anymore? They did a great job in the 90s for the winter games
Really hoping Fox or ESPN get it, just because I think they could/would give mroe coverage to the sports they would be following in the games.
Rio has a great time zone for US TV but Sochi definitely does not. Even with popular x games sports getting more and more a part of Olympics the internet will make the results known. So even with the popular and booming sports the airing of them may not be as profitable as in the past.
I forgot to mention Ebersol. Yeah he was big and influential and maybe this wont effect NBC sports but he was like the driving force. Well if it made more money than it lost as a strategy I am sure it will continue.
Last edited by gmyers; 05-19-2011 at 06:21 PM.
Hell it didn't matter that i was in the same time zone as Vancouver here in Oregon they still taped the ladies event as well as all the skating. NBC sucks!!!
Like subtlety in ice dancing
This is a clear signal Comcast doesn't want any more Olympics. NBC bled money on its current Olympics deal (2.2 billion for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics, and they're deep in the red with 2010, although 2012 may do better). They'll let someone else have it. Dick Ebersol made an utterly idiotic decision on that bid (almost twice that of Fox's bid, if I recall). The fact that he wasn't fired a long time ago just shows how decrepit things have gotten at NBC.
I hope ESPN doesn't get it just because it's not a broadcast network. Although the distinction is minor in an age where most Americans get TV via cable. Still, the major networks are in more households than ESPN, and it'd be a bit sad if the Olympics couldn't attract a major.
Last edited by Serious Business; 05-19-2011 at 06:56 PM.
The summer Olympics always do better than the winter games in USA. London will do fine. It is Sochi that has the US broadcasters worried and the network that wants the Rio games badly enough will have to bite the bullet over Sochi.
ESPN has reasons well beyond the US market for wanting to get into Olympic broadcasting.
What posters are saying about figure skating is what they see on the TV. From TV, fans get the illusion of a Procenium Stage and not that of Theater in the Round. That camera (I forget the name) that follows the skater around during his performance keeps the focus of the skater as always facing the audience. But, if you are in the Arena, that will not happen. If you ever were a chorus boy in summer stock you would know the difference between procenium stage and theatre in the round.
Competitive Figure Skating is in an Arena or theatre in the round. What you see on TV is not the same as if you were watching a LIVE arena performance. So when I hear that so and so under rotated a jump, I'm amazed at how that showed up on TV. If the Tech Panel did not see it live, but only from tape, I question that tape, and regretably ignore posters remarks on what they saw on TV.
Fans who get emotional about a performance will probably not get the same feelings in LIVE competition. The live fans will be subjected to disruptions of the performance (Falls) and poor Flow of program, and definitely some lack of musicality. Those faults are confusing live fans who see winners based on the CoP scoring. Neat and Clean skating may be more entertaining, but partial credits get the gold.
Joe! Were you by any chance a chorus boy in summer stock?
Dick Ebersol is a giant not just in sports but in broadcasting. He helped create Saturday Night Live, a classic comedy TV show that's still going strong after over thirty years. I wonder what the story is behind this split, and where he'll go next.
As for what it does to skating...sigh. I hope someone figures out how to keep the Olympics available to viewers.
I would not be surprised if Ebersol joined ESPN as an "Olympic sport specialist."
Originally Posted by Olympia
ESPN is looking into a different approach and is considering showing as many events possible LIVE and to show more of each event. If this were to happen we would see more Olympic skating and not just the last group.
ESPN has enough channels to do a good job and could also use ABC for the bigger events, and could rebroadcast certain events in primetime.
ESPN did a dandy job with last summer's World Cup. They showed every minute of every game Live and this is for an event that lasts a month. They showed rebroadcasts of many games as well and had hours of analysis.
Like subtlety in ice dancing
Dick Ebersol is a giant something alright. He made insane decisions, overbidding for not just the Olympics but Sunday Night Football, among other extravagant expenditures. He's one of the main reasons NBC went from the top network to a last place money loser. His moronic business decisions cost thousands of people their jobs. The fact that he's the last one to lose his job over his dumb choices is a tiny bit of justice, though not nearly enough.
Granted I've not been to as many events as you have, but I was always getting the same emotional connections that I did later on tv of the same program. And I was just as confused in 2005 when the 6.0 system was used as to why the scores for some were so outrageously high even if it WAS the last time 6.0 would ever be used at nationals.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
I think you answered your own question. There they were, sitting on piles of 6.0's that would just have to be thrown away if they weren't used up today.
Originally Posted by Tonichelle
Sort of like using up all the excess lard by eating pancakes on Mardi Gras, having given up 6.0 for Lent.
It's still a battle between seeing competitions live in an Arena or watching them live on TV. There is a big difference. Performances from a procenium stage are the same as watching a musical play on a comfortable chair in front of a TV. But watching a musical program in an Arena gives the viewer a lot of work to do. oh, how did she do that at the far end of the ice and did she express any emotion? Only the Tech Panel knows and are you convinced that Panel saw everything? That has a lot to do with scoring!
The illusion that a viewer gets from watching it on TV is not at all the same as the view in the Arena.She executed the jump and looked happy that she did. More than likely a TV viewer will disagree with the Tech Panel and resent the scores of a favorite.
Best way to get emotional about musical figure skating is to watch it Live or on TV of Stars on Ice.
I think Zucker is really the one to blame here. it's the SHOWS that went downhill. Also didn't help that they lost the NFL, NBA and MLB within a matter of 3 years.
Originally Posted by Serious Business