Monday, August 11, 2008

Watching the Olympics in London

One of the unexpected perks of being in London as the Beijing Olympics started was that I was able to see the entire (as far as I know) opening ceremony and watch some of the more obscure Olympics events (archery, women's weightlifting, sailing, etc) on a satellite TV, LIVE. If you're a U.S. citizen, you're getting a very processed, filtered experience with added sentimentality, sportscasting chatter, music, athlete story vignettes, and numerous commercial interruptions, delayed deliberately to maximize advertising revenue across time zones. NBC says "We don't care, we paid millions to have exclusive control over what you see."

Now that I'm back, I am finding I can't even replicate the UK experience because of the various entities involved (China, NBC, BBC) restricting access and enforcing geopolitical barriers. Seems to me with the Internet we ought to be able to shift viewpoints, but the old distorting lenses are being enforced even online. What a missed opportunity.

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posted by Brian at 4:13 AM

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