2016 Olympics? It’ll be Rio.

Friday, October 2nd, 2009 | SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

2016 Olympics Bid

This Friday, October 2, at 9:30 am PST (or 11:30 am CST), the world will know which city has been chosen as the host for the 2016 Summer Olympics. For those who live in Chicago, Madrid, Rio and Tokyo, the four finalist cities, they are especially anxious. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Improve NBC’s Olympic Coverage: A Top 10 List

Sunday, August 17th, 2008 | SMASH TV with No Comments »

Olympics Top 10

NBC probably doesn’t look forward to this week. After posting boffo ratings for its coverage, there is evidence that this has been very much related to the eighth wonder that is Michael Phelps. Phelps last night won his eighth gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, as the US team defeated the Australians in the 400 medley relay.

NBC has
certainly
milked each
and every Phelps win
NBC has certainly milked each and every Phelps win, and it’s worth following his every move as he made it to the Water Cube, iPod in his ears, or putting a microphone in front of him to ask him (ugh) what “was going through his head”, etc., as he picked up yet another medal. NBC has stayed very close to Phelps’s Mom and his older sisters too, even dispatching analyst Cris Collinsworth to sit next to her at the swim events and dedicating a camera and microphone to record Mama Phelps’s every utterance. She has become almost the super media star that her son has, posing for photos with mega luminaries such as Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd and Lebron James, all NBA stars and members of the US Olympic basketball team. Phelpsmania is everywhere.

Now with the swim events over, NBC’s ratings are almost certain to drop. As we here in the US of A cope with Phelps phever and deal with withdrawal, here is a list of suggestions we’d submit to NBC to improve its coverage in this, the second and final week of the Beijing games: Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t Mess with the Bear

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Michael Phelps has won yet another gold medal. He broke another world record. He and his team, by a virtual millisecond, pounced on the nasty French who had vowed to “smash” the Americans, and made away with the gold. Triumph. All American gold medalists on the dais with the national anthem blaring.

Cut to a half world away where a different kind of smashing was taking place. In Georgia –not the US state, for the geographically-impaired— a former Soviet republic a fierce air, ground and sea war was being waged at the hands of a fierce and angry bear, the Russians. Hey, wait, isn’t the purpose behind the Olympics to avoid armed conflict between nations? Let’s take our battles on to the soccer or track field, and all that. Well, that longstanding belief didn’t seem to faze Moscow. Nor Georgia, for that matter, because while all the hoopla in Beijing was getting underway last weekend, it was being pummeled mercilessly in what may be considered the opening salvo in the Second Cold War.

According to the latest developments, the 5-day conflict appears to have ended, with the typical uncertainty that surrounds these kinds of skirmishes. A diplomatic team composed of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and EU officials have been in Georgia since last weekend and then in Moscow to try to bring about a diplomatic solution as soon as possible. Overnight, French President Nicolas Sarkozy made an emergency visit to Moscow to personally persuade Russian leaders to have a ceasefire and end what has been an attack that has killed probably 2000 people already –although even that figure is almost impossible to confirm. This morning, Moscow announced a Read the rest of this entry »

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The Olympic Games Catwalk

Monday, August 11th, 2008 | SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

Olympic Catwalk

The ratings for Friday’s opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics set a record for NBC, capturing a 37.3 Nielsen rating, and watched by an estimated 35 million Americans. Those are huge numbers, and in the words of some analysts, the numbers were “American Idol” level. And why wouldn’t they be? NBC’s oppressive hype virtually ensured that we would rush to our TVs and basically surrender our evenings to the massive spectacle, with all of those commercials and promos for the fall TV season (“Follow what happens to Jim and Pam on September 25!”). In fact, we were probably the only country in the world that did not watch the opening ceremony live.

NBCNBC’s desire to aggressively package all the proceedings into a prime-time slot ensured that we would be (literally) a captive audience. If you were in Canada, however, you would have been awake at 4:30 am –as many did—to watch it all on CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Not the US. We had to deal with 13-hour “delay”.

And, yes, it was a spectacle of lights, fireworks, music and of course, the parade of nations. Everything was perfectly rehearsed and executed with perfect precision: this was China’s moment to shine. As everyone marched with their flags in front of the crowds and an estimated 80 world leaders (including three generations of Bushes), it was a bit hard not to get Read the rest of this entry »

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