photo by josémaría
At the end of last night’s broadcast from Beijing, Bob Costas introduced a short, humorous segment dear to the hearts of all of us late-night viewers. Normally, I don’t care for the human interest segments and endless interviews with Michael Phelps and members of his family which NBC runs instead of showing us sports coverage. But I liked this piece because it tapped into that feeling of camaraderie an audience develops when we experience a televised event at the same time. Along with a couple of tongue-in-cheek tips on how to deal with and recover from watching Olympic coverage late into the night, there were a couple of person-on-the-street interviews (probably a couple of low-level NBC staffers and interns) on how they deal with multiple nights of following Olympic coverage into the wee hours of the morning.
Not only did I like the video because it dealt with the issue of sleep-deprivation which I’ve been experiencing over the last week as I’ve tried to consume as much Olympic coverage as I can. But it also reminded me of one of the things I love about live, televised events in general. Watching a recap of yesterday’s events or using Tivo to time-shift your viewing is fine. For me, though, if I can’t be there at an event like the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or even a political convention, I like watching it live knowing I’m experiencing things as they unfold with millions of other viewers. Watching live television you know you’re cheering or groaning or throwing things at the screen or feeling excited at the same time as fellow viewers. Don’t believe me? If you’re a political junkie, record election coverage on your Tivo this upcoming Election Day and watch it the day after. Even if you’ve been able to keep from hearing the results, I guarantee you’re not going to get excited watching what you recorded.
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