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Hoffarth on media: Interesting times to be NBC in the Olympic movement

By in Press Enterprise on February 11, 2018

By Tom Hoffarth

Remember the last time we voluntarily exposed ourselves to the frost-bitten sound bites of NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage from Sochi, Russia?

Bob Costas and his pink eye was giving the stink eye to Vladimir Putin, Al Michaels took Cris Collinworth out to comb over the hockey arenas with an eye out for pending miracles, and Matt Lauer was apparently eyeing more than just how he could make the Opening Ceremonies sound more sexy.

And it was all jammed into a taped-delayed wonderland.

For those just now shaking off a four-year hibernation, all of the above has been eliminated from the competition. Here “Today,” gone tomorrow. And somehow, Al Roker weathers the ice storm.

It’s a new media world order that we filter of Pyeongchang, South Korea through our TVs, phones, computer screens and late-night text buddies.

Diversity and dexterity in the name of demilitarized diplomacy have noticeably and triumphantly replaced status quo and plausibly live, both among the competitors and those describing it. As viewers, we should give it a warm embrace.

That old chill is gone.

Now, this 17-hour time lapse will surely mess with our wait-loss and weight-gain prime-time experience as NBC’s pledge to go live as much as possible means we have to be ready to go by 5 p.m. each weeknight (picking up the East Coast feed, finally).

But the time that matters most to NBC and its $1 billion-range investment in these Winter Games, as part of a $7.65 billion deal it has to keep the five-ring circus going through L.A. in 2028 and into the unknown parts of 2032, is how it keeps up with the times, not just technically, but politically correctly and sponsor friendly.

It starts with prime-time host Mike Tirico. It flows through it’s-about-time figure skating analyst Johnny Weir. More women are in a timely place of importance.

And while it […]    

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