With this year’s Olympics in Rio, NBC is again leveraging the Olympic Games to generate revenue. They’ve been doing this for over two decades, but this time they’re doing it in an even more shameless way. NBC is (already) forking over millions of dollars to Team USA, with the belief that this time around, they’ll be able to get more viewers.

NBC is in the process of selling ads around the USOC’s quadrennial gymnastics extravaganza, and the network is forcing viewers to sit through commercials to see the gymnastics competition. NBC’s decision to advertise during the Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team Final, marking the first time they’ve been forced to do so, is not only a slap in the face to Olympics fans, but it’s an aggressive move to make some extra cash.

NBC has been the go-to source for Olympic coverage in the United States for more than 30 years. NBC has made several poor choices as the only network with the rights to the Olympics (remember the catastrophic Triplecast concept from 1992?). There have also been some serious time zone problems. The Olympic Games in China, Japan, Australia, and Korea are difficult to transmit live from half a globe away.

Although NBC’s pay-per-view Triplecast in Barcelona flopped, the network was able to monetize the Tokyo Olympics in a fresh, 21st-century manner. Since April 2020, when NBC debuted its Peacock streaming service, it has given free consumers a sample of the service. The excellent content, on the other hand, is behind a monthly membership wall.

And now the Olympics are behind that wall, at least one of the more popular sections of them.

Peacock received a lot of Olympic attention from NBC.

NBC has been under fire for its coverage of the Tokyo Olympics

NBC has been under fire for its coverage of the Tokyo Olympics On July 3, 2021, NBC Olympics will debut the “Rings Across America” Tour, a life-size collection of historic Olympic rings at Universal Studios Hollywood. | Getty Images/Amy Sussman

For most of the United States, the Olympics take place in the middle of the night. NBC has bolstered its Peacock streaming service with additional Olympic stations.

The Peacock service has live event coverage all throughout it. Live coverage is also available on NBC Sports Network and USA. If you prefer streaming, all of the live events will be available on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

With one notable exception, that is.

Live coverage of men’s basketball in the United States is behind a paywall.

You’re in luck if you’re one of the 14 individuals who still pay for cable TV. You may go to NBCOlympics.com, input your cable provider, and watch as much as you like. This covers coverage of men’s basketball in the United States, so you can see what terrible idea Gregg Popovich will come up with next.

Peacock is your only choice if you don’t have a TV provider. And if you want to see Team USA compete in the men’s basketball competition, you’ll have to pay to watch it. Only the men’s basketball team from the United States is shown on NBC’s Peacock Premium service. You’re golden for $4.99 a month, even if Team USA isn’t. Whether or not you want to see what else NBC has behind that barrier.

Many others discovered this when watching Team USA vs. France on July 25 in the early hours of the morning. However, since it is still 1976 and there is no such thing as the Internet, NBC replayed the game on its main channel later in the day. Except for one thing: there is. In 2021, this makes the notion of rebroadcasting almost laughable.

The good news is that we have many more years to look forward to NBC’s usual price gouging spectacle.

For the next decade or more, NBC controls the Olympic broadcast rights, which is bad news for all of us.

When it comes to how NBC covers the Olympics, there has been an ever-deepening pattern. This tendency aims to present sports events as entertainment rather than competitive competitions. Fit the programs into a 22- or 44-minute timetable to allow for all of the ads to run, and if you don’t make it to the finish, that’s OK. Next week, the competition will come to a thrilling climax. Cliffhangers are fantastic.

According to USA Today, NBC has extended its existing $7.75 billion contract with the International Olympic Committee to broadcast the Olympics in the United States through 2032. Rather of holding a fresh round of bidding for the broadcast rights, the IOC extended the contract to NBC. In 2011, NBC triumphed in a high-stakes bidding war for ESPN/ABC and Fox Sports.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed by one year because to the worldwide pandemic. Because of the rising number of COVID-19 instances in and around Tokyo, the majority of the activities are held without live spectators.

Users on Reddit expressed their dissatisfaction with NBC’s coverage.

NBC has had a history of Olympic-sized errors in their coverage dating back to 1988. In that regard, they are very much on brand in Tokyo.

RELATED: Five Interesting Facts About Simone Manuel, an American Olympic swimmer

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