In recent days, NBC's primetime Olympic coverage is being viewed as a scripted miniseries under the veil of Olympic competition. The story of the Sochi games isn't as much about the athletes or the medal count or even the actual world-class sporting event taking place. It's about tugging at the heartstrings of viewers across the land and finding stories that will be talked about at the water cooler or the kitchen table. It's about drawing in people that care about the human interest stories surrounding the Olympics more than the Olympics itself. Primetime Olympic coverage has always been this way, but with the advent of more live access to the competitions in 2014, the depths NBC is willing to go to create drama and intrigue in primetime is becoming more and more crystallized.
There are times when NBC does a masterful job of this primetime packaging, after all, only the NFL can surpass the consistent drawing power of the Olympics every other year. But then there are times when the editorial decisions that NBC makes to push manufactured drama over sport leaves a bad taste in the mouths of both dedicated fans and casual viewers. The bait and switch of the network promoting Evgeni Plushenko as competing in the men's figure skating competition when he had withdrew 10 hours earlier is a prime example of NBC playing with the truth and playing games with their audience.
The uncomfortable interview between Christin Cooper and Bode Miller after Sunday's Super-G final was another example of pushing the story at all costs.no comments