Vancouver Day 10: Big ratings here, but Americans pine for CBC
The CTV-Rogers Olympic production is drawing huge ratings in Canada, but many Americans are longing for the CBC,
According to a report in the New York Times, a lot of Americans accustomed to Canadian coverage are upset because their cable packages don't include CBC, They prefer the Canadian style and the fact that everything is live, which isn't always the case on NBC.
But some aren't happy because they don't like CTV's way of doing things. A Detroit lawyer has started a Facebook page calling for CBC to return to Olympic broadcasting. Kurt O'Keefe says he misses CBC. ``They covered the Games as if they were about the athletes and the competition and not self-promotion of network personalities," he writes. Others have decried what they see as un-Canadian flash.
Canadians apparenty don't agree, at least not if the ratings mean anything. CTV averaged 5.6 million viewers in prime time Saturday, an impressive number considering there was no hockey involved. The biggest audience was for the men's 1000 short track speed skating, which averaged 7.4 million and peaked at 8.3 million.
THE GOOD: There are plenty of technological toys in use during these Games and two of the best were in use Sunday. The best of all is the virtual leader line utilized in speed skating. It shows instantly where the skater is in relation to the leader. Almost removes the need for an announcer. The other, the helmet-cam used in Sunday's ski cross, isn't as important, but provides some pretty cool shots. Especially when somebody wipes out, which somebody always does. ... James Cybulski got a great interview with speed skater Denny Morrison, getting Morrison to clarify an earlier statement that appeared to criticize the Own The Podium program. Cybulski asked a lot of good questions and as a result got some great answers. ... Katherine Dolan did a similarly good job with ski cross competitor Davey Barr. ... Great idea to carry Melissa Hollingsworth's press conference live. ... Great line by Brian Williams on these being ``the Spring Olympics,"
THE BAD: Is it just me, or is Brian Williams being underused? He's had a couiple of interviews -- a good one with VANOC head John Furlong and a so-so one with IOC boss Jacques Rogge, but this is what he does best and he doesn't seem to be doing much more than directing traffic. .Speaking of questions, when is somebody (Williams?) going to ask the Own The Podium people why they made so many outrageous predictions about our medal chances? ... CTV has done a great job of story-telling but every story needs an ending. The network spent much time Saturday building up the short track medal hopes of the Hamelin brothers. That was fine. But when they finished out of the medals, we never found out what happened because CTV never interviewed them. ... Here's why you need all those channels: There was some pretty good biathlon coverage (yeah, when did you ever think you'd hear that?) on Sunday, but the main network was showing the reporter known as The Toaster trying to find out which nation produces the hottest chicks.