So, I am sitting in an airport. On my way to Boston to see the Olympic Trials marathon and also the BAA Boston marathon. For fans, the Trials on Sunday and the Marathon on Monday is like running geek karma.
But, think about this for a moment, why would anyone in their right mind host an Olympic Trials? Read on…brave readers…..
Look the USOC is like, a bully who has never met their match. They have money, they have gall, they have the 1977 Amateur Sports Act. But, most importantly, dear readers, they have USOC sponsors.
Since the late 1980s, the USOC has totally screwed the Marathon Trials, as had our dear friends at NBC, the Olympic network. The astute management at both institutions have no clue about the value of putting the Olympic Trials Marathons on national non-cable television.
Why not? Because for TV, Marathons just dont’ well, reach their demographics. The demo, apparently is women, 25-49, who are the major viewer of Olympic sports. But here is a funny anecdote: the BBC, British Broadcasting, gives FLORA London three and one half hours of live tv each year, and their major demo is women 25-49. Same reason why they cover the Norwich Union Athletic series each year. Wow, women watch track? How can that be? It must be all the fish and chips British women eat that addle their brains and encourage them to watch athletics and not gymnastics or other more appropriate sports.
The USOC will do all possible to stop local organizing committees from finding sponsors. They are trying to protect their sponsors. But, if their sponsors don’t give a darn, why doesn’t the USOC pull their thoughtful heads out of the underworld and give the local organizing committees carte blanche? It is called, dear readers, control. The USOC is afraid that if they make such a thoughtful, erudite decision that a) world will end b) Democrat will win national office c) White Sox might win.
The result is that New York spent a reported $750k of their own dollars to make the Trials a reality. Boston will be in the same boat this weekend.
So, for nearly two decades we have been totally jerked around when one wants to watch the US Trials for marathons on TV with some real announcing and a two hour program, or two hours plus. I believe it has been since 1992. I could be wrong. It has happened, but not, dear readers, often enough for you!
So, a thanks to Mary Wittenberg and her team in New York. A tip of the hat to Guy Morse and his team in Boston ( Jack Fleming, Marc Chalifour and team in the BAA office). This is a labor of love to sponsor an Olympic Trials. Thanks for showing your events class and giving the fans great events. Thanks to WCSN for covering the Trials and Boston.
A half hour show on a marathon is not a show on the marathon. I don’t buy that for NBC covering their responsibility in taking on the Olympic network mantle. NO excuses. Listen to the consumer or the consumer is going elsewhere. They are now.
Shame, shame, shame to NBC and the USOC for not getting the marathon or the sport of athletics. Never have, never will. The day they show the entire 10,000 meters on prime time or the 5,000 meters will be a new day in the world of sport in the US.
Look, I love WCSN, I love FloTrack, I love Versus and ESPN. But NBC can’t figure out why people with an IQ larger than a small soap dish will not watch their shows, this should be a clue. There is no excuse why both marathon trials were not televised on NBC, or their world of cable stations.
Enjoy the Trials this weekend. Enjoy the expanded coverage of the Boston marathon on Monday. I have got to catch my plane! It is ontime, out of Chicago? Sign of the endtimes……