Is NBC’s Olympics Broadcast a Little Too Live?

I mentioned the other day that I was tired of all the whining about NBC not broadcasting the Olympics live. After writing that, I discovered that, in fact, NBC is broadcasting the Olympics live, which made my puzzlement over the whining even greater. Every single event, it turns out, is being livestreamed at nbcolympics.com/liveextra/.

As it happens, my continuing YouTube problems have prevented this from working on my computer. But apparently I am a lonely exception. Over in the great city of Los Angeles, their IT department is worried about City Hall’s servers melting down due to the high volume of Olympics-related malingering:

“We are experiencing a high volume of traffic due to people watching the Olympics online. I respectfully request that you discontinue this as it is impacting city operations,” city tech guru Randi Levin wrote in an email sent to thousands of workers Tuesday morning.

….Some council members expressed alarm at the prospect that city employees were watching the Olympics instead of doing their jobs. “City employees aren’t paid to watch the Olympics on their computers or TV. That is not what the taxpayers are paying them to do,” said Councilman Dennis Zine, who saw the email. “The question is where are the supervisors when this is going on?”

Councilwoman Jan Perry said she’s outraged and wants the city to block Olympic streaming from City Hall computers.

So I’m prompted to ask once again: apparently there is absolutely no problem watching the Olympics in real time if you want to. It’s true that you have to be a cable subscriber. You don’t just get it for free. But you don’t get Game of Thrones for free either. So what’s the problem?

In related news, check out Adam Weinstein’s epic whine about the Olympics here. I’m sorely tempted to write an epic counter-whine, but it would just take too long. But I do have to ask what Adam has against table tennis. Seems like an OK sport to me.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.