Now that the Winter Olympics are in full swing, I felt it was a good time to discuss them. More importantly, why aren't Americans tuning in to view the games in Torino?
Apparently, the ratings for these Olympics are so poor that advertisers are asking for buy backs, they want more airtime for their ads or they want their money back. Why are advertisers up in arms that no one is watching the games?
Simple. They are losing money because not enough people are flipping on NBC to watch the Olympics and therefore, are not seeing the ads they paid all that money to run.
What is it about this edition of the Winter Games that has people turned off or just flat out uninterested? Could it be the fact that, for the most part, the sports that athletes compete in during the Winter Olympics are sports that most Americans don't participate in and really, just don't care about?
Why would someone tune in to watch anyone slide a heavy stone down an ice rink while two other people sweep the ice in front of it? After the initial novelty of watching curling wears off (which generally happens after the first 30 seconds) it becomes about as much fun to watch as paint drying, or watching someone trim the hair out of their ears.
My point is, they aren't fun to watch, and the viewers just can't relate to the sports.
Figure skating is a sport that many Americans used to look forward to watching. Though I don't know why. It is a sport, to me at least, that breeds boredom. If you were to actually figure skate I can see why you would look forward to watching it but outside of that I see no reason. We also have cross-country skiing, which is about as fun as watching a marathon. Show me the end and a dash to the finish line, and that might add some excitement.
The last winter games, which took place in Salt Lake City, really seemed to generate a lot of enthusiasm and, at least to me, seemed to have people excited to see the United States athletes do well and win medal after medal. Not these games, not this time around.
I actually enjoyed watching speed skating in the 2002 games, but now it almost seems tiresome. Maybe I'm just getting older or maybe NBC is not doing a good job of generating excitement through its broadcasts. There is one thing that I have looked forward to watching. That is the hockey tournament. It gives me a chance to see all the players I normally watch in the NHL play for their countries. Besides, since all the NHL players are participating in the Olympics I can't watch the Flyers for two weeks. I need something to pass the time until they start up again.
Aside from hockey, there doesn't seem to be too much else to the games. Yes, bobsledding can be fun to watch, but does anyone really know the mechanics to it all, and what exactly happens inside that sled with two to four people riding inside?
While I haven't mentioned all of the sports being played in the Olympics this time around, I think I have made it clear that for some reason, the lack of excitement surrounding the games has something to do with the fact that no one knows too much about the sports we are watching.