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Why Does NBC Have to Hype EVERYTHING?

Thursday, April 3, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 8:00 AM, under ,

Athens, GA (Apr 3, 2008) - For years we had to endure the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) hyping "Must See Thursday". They have also hyped Heroes to the point that I wonder if anybody will notice when it comes back on the air? While I truly appreciate it that the media relations people at the network include us on the distribution lists for their press releases, why do they have to send them with hyped up subject lines, like:

"The most popular golf analyst in the history of the sport." -- New Orleans Times-Picayune on NBC's Miller

when the release is about this weekend's golf coverage, not about Johnny Miller?

With all due respect to Tommy Roy and his hard working crew, I have always considered golf on NBC Sports to be horribly unwatchable. What others have "praised" as great banter between Miller and Roger Maltbie just keeps me from turning the TV on to watch, even if Tiger is set to win. Of course, since I know many more players on the Senior Tour, oops I mean Champions Tour, there are no players on the junior circuit that, to me, are worth watching on any network.

NBC is blessed under the new PGA Tour contract to have most of the limited events that Tiger Woods will play this year. In winning at Bay Hill a few weeks ago, Woods pushed NBC's ratings up 68% for the final round for that event over last year. Of course, since that is hypeable, NBC hyped that news. of course, that is news and a pass can be given for that.

NBC Golf is the only golf coverage up for a Sports Emmy this year. As flawed as the entry and nomination process is for the Sports Emmys (more will be written on that as the award date draws nearer), one would hope that it has been nominated for its overall excellence. If so, why is any hype needed? Hype is not going to draw more viewers for golf. People who watch golf are hardcore golf fans. The casual golf viewer will arive when Tiger is going to win, and they will more likely be drawn when he is about to win a major.

Finally, I consider myself more than a casual golf viewer. During the recent WGC event on NBC Sports, I turned on the TV for the 3rd round to see how Woods was doing. I was shocked to see that he had gone from -11 to -5. It was stunning and the announcers were not even talking about it. It was not until watching for at LEAST 5-10 minutes that an indication was given that they were replaying earlier round action because of rain delays. That kind of broadcasting is disengenuous at best because it misleads viewers. NBC Sports should do like CBS Sports does in that situation: put a persistant graphic on the screen indicating that viewers are watching a tape replay because of weather. Of course, doing that may have viewers turning the channel.

When CBS Sports issues a press release for golf coverage (or releases about any of their coverage), it is just that: a no-nonsense press release. There is no hype. It is straightforward and to the point. This is an example of LeslieAnne Wade and her staff letting the product speak for itself (They could, however, do a better job in their formatting of the releases so that the content can be repurposed easily). It is the difference between news being released by a class organization than what comes across as something being released by...well you get the idea.

So please NBC Sports, please: let the product speak for itself and kill the hype. Fix your website so that information can be found. Tell NBC/Universal that the Media Village site is a travesty that needs to be shot and put out of its misery. Have your public and media relations tools work in your favour and not against you. Please, please, please...

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