NBC Broadcast Criticism/Conversation

Peszek confirms she is commentating Nationals.

Doesn’t mean that Nastia and Tim are gone, Peszek has done nationals before and was on the floor.
But maybe the rumors are true that Nastia has left NBC because she wanted more money and NBC said no.

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Speaking of Sam, has anyone else here seen her defense of NBC’s coverage? At this point, I’m extremely glad I was able to attend in person.

i saw it. I thought it was bull$hit.

In other words they take us for granted. And no one at NBC cares what the dedicated fans want.

NBC is going to hype someone and create a star even so far as manipulating emotions so their ratings are plumped up.

I guess it’s time to ditch Peacock and use the international streams exclusively.


They are trying to create more dedicated fans. It’s not that they don’t care about us, they want to make more of us. Whether their strategy is working or not I don’t know. A hell of a lot of people know who Simone Biles is, and that’s mostly thanks to NBC. She can win every medal in the world but no one would know/care about it if her story wasn’t being broadcast.

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How can you do that if you average one routine shown every 3 minutes?


I don’t think their strategy works. I’m going to use myself as an example. I watched swimming during the 2000 Olympics (in between gymnastics coverage, of course), but I didn’t follow it closely afterwards. On the other hand, I learned all about Michael Phelps during the 2004 Olympics and I continued watching the sport fairly regularly until 2016. After his retirement, I don’t watch the sport regularly anymore and I couldn’t care less about world records being broken. Katie Ledecky hasn’t been enough to keep me watching.

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Here’s the second slide of what Sam said


It’s a worthy goal but I don’t see how showing people adjusting their grips or taping up does anything to create more fans. I think that Sam got it from NBC that what she posted is true though.

NBC probably does think Roberson will be a star so they show her a lot. Walking, smiling, taping.

If football was treated the same way by commentators there would be a rebellion.


With what they’re doing, Simone fans will not switch over to gymnastics fans. Showing her yawning and drinking water in lieu of showing other gymnasts, having commentators dumb down everything instead of explaining the skills and scoring, and honestly, no longer doing fluffs where the viewers learn a little more about gymnasts not named Simone Biles and therefore become more invested will keep the casual fan casual. The ones showing up just for Simone will disappear whenever Simone isn’t there.


I think they are still operating on the outdated notion that women viewers want story and drama instead of just sports. I think there was an article stating just that from the 80s or 90s for “women’s” sports.


“She swings into a handstand” = “That guy is running down the field with a ball being chased by other guys”. :rofl::rofl:


Also, you can create a broadcast that paints a narrative AND shows lots of gymnastics routines.
NCAA broadcasts are a clear point of this.
ABC showed National Team Finals live and there was plenty of excitement, plenty of routines, and plenty of drama.

NBC doesn’t even really do fluffs anymore. As annoying as they were, they hooked general fans in.
Watching gymnasts sit and stretch, dance, chat with each other, etc. Doesn’t do anything.


I didn’t say they were being successful, just that that’s what they are trying to do.

They should bring back the fluffs, but it was my understanding that it was a higher up decision to do less fluffs across all sports after the Sydney fluff-fest Olympics.

I feel like there’s room for showing Biles waiting for her scores and also room to show more routines. They cut to commercial way too often, then come back just to show the standings and have Terry say oh they’re just warming up for the next rotation! Then cut back to commerical. They cut to interviews with the analysts on the floor too much. Warm ups is where they could be showing us routines we missed.

Honestly we used to get the fluffs and more cohesive/orderly broadcasts when they weren’t live. The problems we are having with the broadcasts now were always a problem with the (always live) American Cup. When Nationals weren’t live they could arrange the routines of the top players to make sure they fit everyone in.


I don’t want fluff. I don’t want narrative. I want to watch the damn sport.

The Peacock coverage of Tokyo was generally excellent. Even worlds coverage has been good. It shows that they don’t have to cover gymnastics in the absolutely awful way they have been doing so for 20+ years. Just show us lots and lots and lots of routines. It’s a sport competition, not a damn after-school special.


They also treat non-dedicated fans like they’re idiots. The average person is smart enough to understand how the scoring system works–they might need commentators to help them distinguish what’s a C skill vs an E skill, but the basic methodology isn’t hard, and helping distinguish the technical points is what commentators are supposed to do. If you just tell the casual viewer “I, an expert commentator on this sport, find the scoring system too complicated to explain and won’t bother to do it” and “I, an expert commentator on this sport, don’t understand what the deductions are” people are going to be much more confused about what’s going on than if the commentator said “That step was more then hip width, so it will be a .3 deduction.”

Grandma living in the midwest who thinks gymnastics is pretty and enjoyed doing cartwheels when she was young is not a stupid woman. The scoring’s different than what she remembers, but it’s not hard to understand if you do the slightest bit of audience education.

Showing rankings–AA and Event–constantly, with a wider range of routines, will also help people distinguish what a good vs bad routine and score look like much more quickly than if they only see one person. And when you see a wider range of athletes, you can develop more stories and develop of a wider fan base. Again, the NBC decision seems to be “People won’t understand which cute little girl to like unless we tell them this is the one they should like and don’t show them anything else.” It’s insulting to the casual fan.


I’ve come to the conclusion that the whole way the sport is presented is insulting. Someone put it a good way on reddit when they said grown women are packaging themselves as little girls. Like I’m okay with makeup because whatever makes you feel good, but all the sparkles (this might be leo manufacturing companies’ fault) and bows don’t help people take the sport seriously. Even though you see sparkles in figure skating, it’s more tasteful and the hairstyles are nearly always elegant from the seniors. It also might be an American culture thing because I think the international gymnasts are way more elegant, even from a young age.


I’d almost forgotten how funny you are

I wonder if some of the NBC choices are driven by either assumptions or (perhaps more likely) polling about race. They do seem to have a pattern of picking one or two white gymnasts in succession who may not actually have the most potential or the most interesting “storylines”, but they or USAG or both appear to have an interest in pushing these people forward.

(For the record, I’m not saying the majority of white viewers want or need to see a white gymnast be artificially prominent - but I could well imagine NBC thinking they do.)


We certainly don’t have to have prominently featured white gymnasts in order to relate to them. But NBC may very well be doing it for certain segments of the populations.

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Yeah, I’m not sure why my comment got that negative response from someone - I thought it was obvious I wasn’t talking about anyone here, but maybe not. :grimacing: I am not trying to insult any gymnasts, just commenting on coverage patterns.