Better Living Through Tape Delay
Why live sporting events are for suckers.
Check out Slate's complete coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Sure, it would be ideal if NBC showed the Olympics live—the watch-it-now folks could get their fix, and I could simply tape the Games and watch them later. This could come to pass as soon as 2014, if ESPN gets its way and wins the rights to broadcast the Olympics. But as the tape-delay naysayers get tingly over the prospect of more live events, they're missing the big picture. No matter if that comes to pass, there will still be a minute of commercial time for every two minutes of Olympic action. For the hard-core fan, the real benefit of time-shifting is that you can cram more sports into your life in less time. A DVR-truncated Olympics telecast is like enriched uranium. If you want to watch the Nordic combined in real time, knock yourself out. I'll already be on the backstretch of the biathlon course, racing toward the finish line.
To hear Josh Levin, Stefan Fatsis, and Mike Pesca discuss how NBC has covered the Vancouver Olympics, click the arrow on the audio player below and fast-forward to the 4:00 mark:
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Bill Smee is executive producer of Slate V.
Illustration by Robert Neubecker. Photograph of Tina Maze celebrating by Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images.