The 2002 Winter Olympics come to a close this weekend.
NBC's coverage of the Games rated high marks. Well, for the most part.
The network provided plenty of daily coverage, whether it was curling or downhill skiing. Of course, figure skating and hockey, two of the Games' most high-profile events, played a prominent role in the broadcasts as is usually the case with any network's televising the Winter Olympics.
For sure, once the closing ceremonies take place tomorrow night we would have had our annual fix of the Winter Games. At least that's my sentiment. Maybe if there had been more than four inches of snow in northwest Ohio to account for all winter would have put me more in the mood to view the Games for hours and hours at a time.
However, Jim Tichy, sports director for local NBC affiliate channel 24, said he looks forward to the Winter Olympics even when it's not broadcast by his station.
But Tichy admits he really has not had much time to just sit down and watch the Games as a fan except for on the weekends. A full slate of local sporting events to cover for channel 24's two nightly newscasts has kept him busy during the weekday.
What the veteran sportscaster has seen he's appreciated watching.
“I enjoy both the Winter and Summer Olympics, but I like the Winter Olympics because of the corkiness of some of the events like bobsledding,” said Tichy, who began working at the local NBC affiliate 30 years ago. “I also like them because you only see them every four years.”
NBC's coverage has been solid from the opening day right up to the closing weekend. There was obvious overkill with coverage of the ice skating scandal by the network, which did play a part in influencing the decision to award the Canadian pairs team with gold medals after initially being awarded silver medals.
Broadcasting some tape-delayed events in Salt Lake City seemed inexcusable. Everything the network planned to broadcast should have been aired in real time.
In spite of the fact that some events were aired hours after they took place, Tichy rated his network's overall work on the Games with high marks.
“I think for the most part NBC has been doing a nice job,” he said. “I think a lot of that really has to do with the Olympics being held in Salt Lake City because it lends itself to more live coverage than in the past.”
In general, NBC's camera crews produced exceptional visuals similar to the network's work done in capturing the action on the now-defunct XFL.
Slow-motion pictures for ski jumping allowed viewers a look-in on what the competitors were seeing high above the ground. The images allowed for an enhanced view of how far the athletes had to lean parallel with their skis while airborne.
The visuals for other events, such as bobsledding and snowboarding, also were worthy of high marks.
tWhat's on the air?
Plenty of college basketball can be found on TV this weekend. With only a few weeks remaining in the college basketball regular season teams are positioning themselves for potential postseason berths.
Two of those games airing locally will play a role in determining the eventual Big Ten champion. Ohio State will face Purdue at the Schottenstein Center tonight at 8 in a game scheduled to air on TV5. Big Ten leader Indiana will play at Michigan State tomorrow at noon on Channel 11.
Donald Emmons is The Blade's sports media columnist. Contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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