A fellow blogger, the Dihedral, just posted (Rock Hype) regarding the lack of explanation given during the Olympic climbing coverage. She is correct and I have to say I’ve noticed this in many other sports this year. For example, the person wearing the differently colored shirt in volleyball. I know it’s the libero from watching previous Olympics. But what are their duties and restrictions. I knew 4 years, ago but I forgot. Have many new viewers didn’t even get the concept? Same in badminton. Nothing about serve requirements or strategy. In women’s canoeing they showed the women passing through some gates going downstream and then turning and going upstream through others. What is the requirement? Is it by color? What happens if they miss a gate? Do they have to do it over or is it a penalty? None of this was explained.
The skateboard announcers kept going on about a stalefish, but no explanation of what it is. I’m sure every boarder knows, but if you want to attract new viewers, we need to know. The uniforms looked more like non-uniforms and I understand there is some controversy about them. Isn’t that worth mentioning?
In wrestling they went on and on about passivity points, but nothing about take downs or pins or how the match is scored. At the end of the boxing match, they announced the winner and then cut to another sport. It was not a knock out, so we assume it was won on points, but there was no mention of scores, how many refs scored it or the basis of awarding points.
I understand Olympic viewership is down this year and there are may theories as to why. But to increase viewership in the future it is important to explain these things so people will understand and have a reason to come back in 4 years. It is especially important in the new sports like rock climbing, where a majority of the potential viewers have such a limited knowledge of the sport to begin with. Educating the new viewers while not boring the knowledgeable viewers is a fine line sometimes. But this is my 10th Olympics and its not being walked very well.