in defence of NBC Gymnastics

Insiders love to make fun of NBC coverage.


Fact is network coverage is not geared for us. It’s for the millions of regular folks who tune in for Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles. Their formula works.

TV Ratings Friday: NBC lands on top with the Olympic Trials

If you don’t like NBC, don’t watch it.

(via Greg Marsden)

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

5 thoughts on “in defence of NBC Gymnastics”

  1. While I respect where you are coming from, when it comes to the Olympics, at least in the US, we don’t have much choice. The ratings are up because it’s the only place to SEE gymnastics, and people like gymnastics. I watch gymnastics all the time with people who are 4 year fans or not even fans and they ALL complain about the coverage, and especially about Al Trautwig, and about the fact that they show people standing around for an hour instead of routines. If you watch NBC coverage of other sports they manage to be informative without being condescending and to assume a basic level of intelligence among their audience. Same with BBC’s gymnastics coverage. They COULD do better and choose not to, and it certainly isn’t for lack of excellent announcers in Tim Dagget and Nastia Liukin. If they just let Tim control the coverage, I’m sure it would be fabulous. The comment if you don’t like NBC don’t watch it would be great if there were other available options, but there aren’t. Which, BTW, is why the coverage is so bad. They can do what they want because they have a monopoly on a product people want. I think their coverage is atrocious, but because I enjoy watching gymnastics, I will continue to watch it because it is the only way for me to see my favorite sport (at least when it comes to domestic competitions in the US, or if you aren’t internet savvy).


    1. Thanks Megan. I don’t watch NBC much because I am internet savvy.

      I follow Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and wait for the most important routines to be uploaded to YouTube or Facebook. Usually that happens within a few hours of the meet.

      I didn’t watch Friday so wasn’t frustrated. Will watch tonight … and see what I think. I am a big fan of Tim. Always have been. He tries to do the best job he can under the circumstances.


  2. I think it’s pretty difficult to defend NBC’s coverage. Once I discovered how to watch the BBC from the US, I can’t believe how much better their coverage is. No axe to grind, even though the Brits were doing well in London 2012, especially the men, and they showed most of the competitors from all over the world, not just the US and a handful of others.

    The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was NBC’s taped coverage of the London 2012 Men’s AA. Marcel Nguyen of Germany won the silver behind Kohei Uchimura. NBC only showed two routines by Nguyen. Now this was taped coverage played later at night, not live, so this was a conscious choice NOT to show much of the man who won the silver. Unbelievable.

    The criticism of Dvora Meyers is spot on. The coverage is ridiculously jingoistic. They waste far too much time on dramatic “stories” and fluff pieces instead of showing, you know, the ACTUAL routines of the medalists, unless of course the medalist is an American. When I switched to the BBC in 2012, I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the events. Indeed, in event finals, the BBC showed all eight routines. In the US, NBC’s taped coverage showed maybe four routines for each final. On the BBC, I got to see how the whole story played out, not just some edited version of it.

    Granted, NBC’s live streaming coverage was much better, but I still preferred the BBC. And I will be going with the BBC in Rio as well.


  3. Okay, but how do we know trials wouldn’t still have won Friday night if they had better commentary? There’s no way to tell if people are tuning in for the commentary or just to watch gymnastics.


  4. Monopoly is never good for anything and that is the same for gymnastics. and its unfortunate that they have complete exclusive coverage that usag aren’t even allowed to release individual routines. I hope that they will be able to eventually or we won’t even know if schild or deserio or brenna even exist. I wish there is another sponsor that will help out usag so they won’t have to deal with having to cower to nbc monopoly!!!

    I paid $30 per year for vpn. The best investment of $30!! when these content providers complain why people are doing “nefarious” things to bypass them, they only need to look at themselves first!


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