Olympic TV cov­er­age mind-blow­ing in scope, but also yields iffy mo­ments

Cape Breton Post - - TV LISTINGS - BY BILL BRI­OUX

In cov­er­ing th­ese prime-time events, the con­sor­tium broad­cast has shone its bright­est. That deep bench of hosts, an­a­lysts and com­men­ta­tors from TSN and Rogers Sportsnet has so far aced Olympic hockey cov­er­age. Sea­soned pro Rod Black has been a rock through­out the fig­ure skat­ing events, with Jamie Sale and David Pel­letier bring­ing in­sight and pas­sion along with re­mark­able can­dour. There is never any pom­pom wav­ing from th­ese for­mer Olympic cham­pi­ons.

As the Games have pro­gressed, CTV has be­come bet­ter at telling view­ers ex­actly what airs where and when. Olympic “alerts” at the bot­tom of the screen have di­rected view­ers to TSN and Sportsnet feeds or even to the In­ter­net.

The cross pro­mo­tion gives view­ers the widest pos­si­ble win­dow on th­ese Games — pro­vided, of course, that they have ca­ble and satel­lite pack­ages which ex­tend to all th­ese chan­nels.

Still, at times, it seems like there are too many peo­ple in the Cana­dian broad­cast booth. The con­sor­tium ex­tends deep into CTV’s sta­ble of spe­cialty chan­nels, in­clud­ing MuchMu­sic and MTV Canada. Ev­ery­body from VJs to eTalk red car­pet re­porters have been thrown into the Olympic mix.

This can lead to the same old celebrity fix­a­tion that gums up sup­per-hour view­ing ev­ery night. It has no place at the Olympics, not when gen­uine he­roes like Alexan­dre Bilodeau are set to emerge out of nowhere.

CTV did a bril­liant job cov­er­ing not only the race of Bilodeau’s life but the touch­ing fam­ily con­nec­tion that made him Canada’s Golden Boy.

Still, you’re not go­ing to record winning mo­ments in the hours be­fore the Games be­gin.

Some play­ful­ness is nec­es­sary and wel­come, as when Canada AM co-host Sea­mus O’Re­gan tried on those wild and crazy Czech Repub­lic duds Fri­day morn­ing. With the West Coast time dif­fer­ence, he’s up wan­der­ing the Olympic vil­lage pre-dawn.

More ques­tion­able cov­er­age has had a jar­ring ef­fect. Scenes of bikini-clad babes scarf­ing shoot­ers off the flat belly of some dude prior to the open­ing cer­e­monies seemed wildly out of place hours af­ter the tragic death of Ge­or­gian Olympic team mem­ber No­dar Ku­mar­i­tashvili.

CTV seems too in­tent to party on and pan­der to younger view­ers, at times, lead­ing to the De­gras­si­fi­ca­tion of much of the day­time cov­er­age.

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