I wrote parts of this post during the Olympics, but I decided to hold off until afterwards to see the whole product. Additionally, due to a heavy workload, I had to DVR portions of it. Still, I can now reflect and give my opinion, as if anyone cares.
During the Olympics in Nagano, CBS had what I could only describe as some of the worst direction that could possibly be used for the production. Every US and some other counties athletes all had a tragic tale of hardship to overcome to make it to the olympics. Every competition shown had a significant segment for each of those athletes, so that in any given broadcast, it appeared to show 10% competition, 15% commentators and 75% tragic stories of hardship. CBS got slammed harder than the US Mens Hockey Team for the poor production.
So now we have the London Games of 2012. The athletes did a wonderful job. The US Olympic committee did a good job as well, despite (in my opinion) some poor judgement on clothing. Still, a great showing overall. London organizers failed to comprehend the importance of ticket sales, but they got that under control as well.
So that brings us to NBC's coverage. I watched as the hosts commented at the end of the first day of competition that they had already exceeded the entire amount of video footage that had been shot at the last Olympics in London. As the games wore on, I noticed that a large number of competitions were not being heavily covered despite NBC using all of their networks. In fact, I spent a large amount of time waiting for the competitions an little time actually watching them. Instead, I was treated to Nagano style tragic back stories for the athletes, time spent with one host who was effectively sent on vacation to the UK for several months ahead of time to explore the culture and an hour long treatment on the greatest generation as the fought WWII.
NBC has stated that they will likely lose money on the Olympics. My suggestion would be to cut back on the money spent shooting all of the back stories, the culture and the non-sport related items and concentrate on the actual Olympic Games. That is what we tuned in for.