Sunday, February 7, 2010

Right as Ron

Usually in this corner of the continent we say "right as rain."

A reply to my post disclosing some of the opening ceremonies secrets came from Ron Judd, the fine Olympics reporter from the Seattle Times. (For those keeping score, that's the Seattle newspaper that still is a newspaper. The Post-Intelligencer continues as a website only.)

His The Winter Olympics: An Insider's Guide to the Legends, Lore and Events of the Games Vancouver Edition is a worthy addition to the bookshelf of any five-ring-circus junkie. Judd also collaborated on an excellent feature about how average sports fans just can't get their hands on tickets to the 2010 Winter Olympics because most are reserved for sponsors by the IOC and VANOC-blessed monopoly.

Ron rightly points out that NBC, which has the lucrative United States' TV and Internet rights, will not show the Feb. 12 opening ceremony live to viewers of its Seattle affiliate KING 5. In fact, those in Starbucks City and elsewhere in the region will have to suffer through tape-delay of the ceremony and many of the best events which are reserved for prime-time airing.

This wasn't such a problem during previous Games, where Puget Sound viewers just turned to CBC, the only Canadian channel they got, and watched Canada's Olympic network. This time around it's the CTV/Rogers consortium which includes 14 TV services, two websites, plus radio stations and movie theatres, but isn't offered to Seattle cable subscribers.

As for, it's rather funny when I click the TV schedule link. It thinks I'm in the south-central Pennsylvania market served by WGAL. When I input a zip code for Seattle, the KING schedule appears and for Feb. 12, it's a 7:30 p.m. PT show that includes men's ski jumping on tape-delay. The tape-delayed ceremony airs at 9 p.m. PT.

By that time, the biggest televised event of Vancouver 2010 will be over and NBC host Bob Costas will be on his way back to his hotel.

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