Listening to the radio on my way home yesterday, I heard the news that the CBC has acquired the Canadian broadcast rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I was immediately excited.
Then I realized that I really don’t care.
CTV has the rights to the London games and I haven’t watched any broadcast television since they’ve started. This is a definite change as I used to watch every moment of coverage that I could when I was younger. You’d think I’d be even more glued to the gorgeous high-def broadcast, but you’d be wrong.
This wasn’t something I’d planned. It was never a conscious thought. It’s just a matter of my growing more and more disenchanted with the Olympics over time. It’s come to the point where I’m utterly uninterested in watching any events. The furthest I go is looking at the medal standings when I open the CBC News page.
The games are big business. There was at least one corruption scandal involving the IOC itself. The Olympic organizers require special protections for far more than their trademarks in the host country, and they harshly enforcement these rules. They’re also draconian in their rules about social media and what the athletes can and can’t say using the medium. It should be about the sports and the athletes, but it doesn’t feel that way.
I have few good things to say about companies that forget customers are their customers and treat them as more of an annoyance, but I think the Olympics is certainly the worst in this regard. I respect and admire the athletes and their accomplishments, but I can no longer stomach the Olympic machine and its product.