Olympics makes the small screen scene


Associated Press
U.S. gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Alexandra Raisman, Gabrielle Douglas and Jordyn Wieber (from right) celebrate during the medal ceremony of the Artistic Gymnastics women’s team final at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Tuesday in London. Another event I missed seeing.

I love me some summer Olympics. It’s easy to get excited about something that only comes around every four years (conservation of energy and all that.)

I like seeing the drama, the tears, the tantrums. I like hearing about the scandals, the personal triumph stories. The athleticism, competitiveness and humanity are something to behold.

But this year, I was reminded there’s something else that motivates the Olympics: money.

For this Olympics, I don’t have a TV. “Not a problem,” I thought. “Everything can be seen on a computer nowadays, anyway.”

Much to my dismay, I discovered you still must have an account with cable TV service in order to view the events online at NBC.com.

“If NBC made it easy for people to watch the Olympics without a subscription, people might drop their cable service, and NBC would get less in recurring fees in the long run,” stated an Associated Press article.

How diabolically clever. While seeming to take a step into the technological future, NBC is forcing viewers to hold hands with its past (Is there a lesson for newspapers here somewhere?)

True, there are video snippets available of events (I did have access to full-length video of table tennis and badminton preliminaries, and in light of this story, it might actually be worth checking out).

However, if, like me, you just want to watch gymnastics, the few clips available only served to frustrate rather than tantalize me into buying a cable subscription for my non-existent TV.

Aren’t ease and convenience the point of having such devices as smartphones, iPads and whatever-else-technologically-packed-small-screen-product-is-coming-down-the-pipe? If the benefits of technology include freedom and mobility, why chain us down to a monolithic TV, hmmm NBC?

Good thing the Olympics only come around once every four years.

Jammie Karlman is the entertainment editor for the Chico Enterprise-Record. Contact her at buzz@chicoer.com. Follow her on Twitter @JammieKarlman

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