I'm going to post an e-mail question I just received and then my reply to it because you all need to know the answer:
Please Please Please...do what you can to make sure someone from American Shooter is at the Olympics to video ALL of the Biathlon Competitions. Then dedicate at least one of the American Shooter Programs to showing the
Biathlon Competitions. I'm sure in-depth coverage of the athletes, their equipment, their training methods would be appreciated by all American Shooter viewers. The usual Olympic coverage always all but ignores shooting
and archery, and now that I think of it, most of what is interesting is often ignored by the usual media coverage.
I just heard today on the radio that the biathlon is one the Europe's most watched sports.
The shame of it is that we can't get within a hundred miles of the Olympics with our cameras because the big money rights have been sold to who? NBC this time? yeah, NBC.
They have bought the exclusive and nobody else can get near the place unless they are an NBC affiliate news department. Watch for all the "local angle" stories that are going to start turning up on your local NBC station.
So they own the rights... and they will decide what politically correct sports Americans will see on their TVs.
There is a world feed of video and you may be sure that will include biathlon competition, but we are not permitted to access the world feed going out by satellite to some 200 countries.
It's the old golden rule... the ones who pony up the gold... get to make the rules.
Hope you don't mind, but I'm going to post your e-mail and my reply on some firearms forums, cause this question is going to come up again and again in the months ahead.
What a pisser because last network that did the Olympics gave no time at all to the shooting sports. I suspect the same will happen this year.
They could do 24/7 on MSNBC, but they will do puff background pieces on the athletes instead.
Have to get those women viewers.
A somwhat related anecdote:
I had the pleasure and option of watching the 2000 summer olympics here in Korea. While the language barrier was at times frustrating, the coverage was AMAZING compared to what I was used to from the US networks. I remember watching Archery for literally HOURS. They played the entiore competition, form beginning to end, close ups of competitors faces, split cameras showing the arrows hit the target and the face of the archer the whole time, detailed discussions of training and equipment during lulls in action, etc. I couldn't help but wonder what what being shown in the US at the time - probably some overproduced human interest story about what Mary Lou Retton is doing now or a replay of a basketball game played the night before.
Being a shooter, I am a little biased towards my fellow "non-US media darling" sports. Still, many US personnel besides me made comments like "I didn't even know archery was in the Olympics" and "That was fascinating to watch." Seems to me our American networks need to do a MUCH better job.
Up until about 40 years ago, shooting was covered in every major form of media. My dad's scrap book from his competitive shooting days if full of newspaper articles covering the various matches each week. When W.R.Hearst died, the coverage went away.
The reason I drink only Busch beer brands (in my case, Bud) is that they are the only major corporation that still sponsors the Olympic shooting team.