2006-02-19

Olympic TV coverage

Local reactions
You know in the TV reality series how they have "live at such and such a bar" in some town supporting their local reality contestant. Well, we need this for the Olympics.

Switzerland, land of the tax evaders, beat Canada two zero yesterday. Do the people of Switzerland care? Are they dancing in the streets? Are they happy? Do they watch hockey in Switzerland?

I can Google in French and get an idea of the local Franco-Swiss media reaction. But I want to hear from the locals, including the majority of the Swiss who don't have French as a first language.

You talk too much
I have a digital video recorder (DVR aka TIVO). If you don't have one, get one now! So I've been recording the Canadian Broadcasting (CBC) and Société Radio-Canada's (SRC) live Olympic coverage. I only have one tuner on my DVR, so unfortunately have to choose. Either one has too much talking, both during and between the events.

You quickly realize that "live" has its disadvantages. The most notable is the unscripted live commentary that can quickly irritating. NBC, which shows recorded coverage later in the day, seems to have better commentary. I suspect they have more time to prepare what they are going to stay while still commenting on the go to keep it real.

I wish you could get the coverage without commentary. Like switching to the SAP audio channel to get the sounds of the event without the comments. I might switch back mind you, but I'd like the option.

The networks should use DVRs
I don't want to watch the event 9 hours later like on NBC, but if commercials are so important, why can't "live" coverage be live towards the end. For example, they could delay the start of the hockey game, on TV, allowing editors to insert commercials and omit the boring parts like the zamboni between periods or time between whistle. They could do that with other sports. Granted, it wouldn't work all the time, like when there is a 2 hour weather related delay, but at least the producers would have time to react and offer us something more interesting.

If they did this, then wouldn't have to record 14 hours of Olympic coverage a day and I could just flick between channels. Hey, I might even catch a commercial or two.

Bell Beavers
Speaking of commercials, I actually press the play button when I see the digital "Bell beavers". In English, Norm MacDonald is the voice of one of the beavers. There are enough versions of the commercials to keep them entertaining. In French, they hired two unknowns (at least to me) to do the voices, although one of them is clearly an actor.

The English and French versions aren't quite identical. This is understandable as they are meant to be humorous. The differences themselves are humorous. In English, Norm MacDonald, as a beaver, tells the marketing director that wearing a tuque would be too much since they are beavers. In French, the French Norm asks his clueless buddy to leave the room and then proceeds to hit on the marketing director (her enthusiasm drops dramatically).

They have a lame site, http://www.frankandgordon.ca/ , not to be confused with One Degree's gordonandfrank.ca spoof of the URL. I didn't even notice they had a web site (and I've seen the commercials dozens of times), I found it while searching for some pictures to insert here.

If you find decent caps of the commercials, let me know.

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