Sacramento NBC affiliate gets a tin medal for delaying opening Olympics ceremony

With the Winter Olympics taking place in Pacific time, we residents of the West Coast could at last look forward to television coverage in real time. So it was with astonishment and incredulity I learned this evening that the Sacramento NBC affiliate, KCRA TV, would delay broadcasting the opening ceremonies from Vancouver.

I left work around 6 p.m. and phoned one of my brothers who lives in Eastern time. He couldn’t be disturbed as he had settled in to watch the ceremony, which was about to begin. Once I got home I started checking Twitter and began reading comments about what people were seeing.

But on Channel 3 from Sacramento, we were stuck with the usual nightly newscast followed – unspeakably – at 7 p.m. by an inane live broadcast from Squaw Valley where the games had been held 50 years before. The station kept running ads over and over about how the ceremony would begin at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time — an outright lie. But that’s when KCRA decided to begin the broadcast.

In a huff, I fired off a number of tweets and let my displeasure be known on my Facebook status. I called the station and left a message of complaint. Finally, around 8 o’clock, I switched on KCRA to watch the ceremony.

What did I get?

Bob Costas and Matt Lauer prattling on about how magnificent the Beijing opening ceremony was two years ago, and somebody interviewing American snowboarder Shaun White. Then I learned that in “about half an hour” the athletes would be coming in to B.C. Place for the ceremony.

As we used to say in New Jersey, un-frickin’-believable.

In a world in which millions of people are connected instantaneously by live chat, by streaming video, by intercontinental telephone service, it is unconscionable for a network affiliate to delay a broadcast — especially when it’s happening in the same time zone.

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