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Elegante E
Aug. 13, 2008, 09:43 PM
Well, NBC lied. Showing 4-5 partial rides is not covering dressage. Sadly, the coverage was better for the last olympics. Oxygen thinks that Tori Spelling is vastly more interesting than the olympics. Why did NBC even bother? If it wasn't for the online viewing, I'd be totally P-Oed.

monday
Aug. 13, 2008, 09:53 PM
I am trying to be thankful for what we got, but it was certainly less than I was hoping for. I would probably be more satisfied if my work didn't block me from watching online at work. Darned work.:lol:

Xhltsalute
Aug. 13, 2008, 10:09 PM
Ya, they won't be getting a a thank you from me now that they've chosen to show basically no dressage. Why not give it to BRAVO to show. Jerks!!!!

katherine w
Aug. 13, 2008, 10:15 PM
The problem is that, to the ordinary person who's never been around a horse, dressage is very boring. You have to understand it to enjoy it. Jumping is exciting to them because there is the chance of seeing crazy mistakes but... I even thought the jumping was a bit too extensive. Seeing the same thing over and over can be boring. Even in gymnastics we only had to watch 6 girls do the same apparatus at one time, not all 18 [girls]...

ponyjumper4
Aug. 13, 2008, 10:16 PM
Equestrian sports are just not big enough over here to warrant the tv coverage we would like. I think it's huge that they are showing live streaming for the entire equestrian events and other sports that also don't get a lot of coverage. That's at least a step in the right direction.

justalittlex
Aug. 13, 2008, 10:19 PM
The online coverage is most excellent-- a treat-- and so easy to stop and start and look at the next day. I never could figure out the tv remotes anyway.:lol:

Chall
Aug. 13, 2008, 10:23 PM
On line converage is not available to me. When I click on the videos it asks for my zip code and then my carrier. and then I get a "Sorry, your carrier did not subscribe to this service".

justalittlex
Aug. 13, 2008, 10:35 PM
gee, that's disappointing. are you sure you weren't trying to see the hot ticket videos (ie they're really tough to see if they're also going to show them on tv that night.) I remember typing in the zip code and getting nowhere at first.

I had to install the plugin, silverlight, and am on time warner, not the fastest provider in town.

quietann
Aug. 13, 2008, 10:42 PM
Chall,

some people seem to be able to get around that issue by just picking a carrier on the list -- you don't even have to be a subscriber, as long as they offer service in your area. This does not work for everyone, though. Good luck!

redhorse5
Aug. 13, 2008, 10:50 PM
But here in prime time there is more beach volleyball!!!!! I can't believe that there really are people who are interested in this. I just wish the Athenians and Spartans could have realized what they were starting.

I realize that dressage is not accessible to many but I think that it's the job of the presenters to make it more interesting. The closest thing we got about the equestrian sports was a short silly thing on NBC with one of their personalities on a horse for the first time. Jeeeezzz. No back stories about the riders, or the incredible journey they have to get where they are.

I also can't see anything like the skill level of a top level jumper or dressage rider in many of the other sports. The rowing and canoe stuff requires a lot of muscle but you can't tell me that it takes that long to learn.

Portia
Aug. 13, 2008, 10:58 PM
But here in prime time there is more beach volleyball!!!!! I can't believe that there really are people who are interested in this. I just wish the Athenians and Spartans could have realized what they were starting.
Umm, hot chicks and hot guys wearing next to nothing. That would be why we're seeing so much beach volleyball. Maybe the dressage riders should give up the shadbellies and put on bikini tops. ;)

Anne FS
Aug. 13, 2008, 11:04 PM
Portia's right. Expressionless riders in top hats & tails sitting perfectly still atop a horse over & over again OR hot guys in swimsuits & beautiful-bodied girls almost totally naked leaping, running, and falling in the sand....hmmm, what shall we show, what shall we show? :D:D:D:D:D Why would anyone be surprised at the choice?


(and hey, *I* know they're not sitting perfectly still but non-horsey people don't).

Equibrit
Aug. 13, 2008, 11:15 PM
On line converage is not available to me. When I click on the videos it asks for my zip code and then my carrier. and then I get a "Sorry, your carrier did not subscribe to this service".

Just tell them you have DirecTV

springer
Aug. 13, 2008, 11:35 PM
But here in prime time there is more beach volleyball!!!!! I can't believe that there really are people who are interested in this. I just wish the Athenians and Spartans could have realized what they were starting.

I realize that dressage is not accessible to many but I think that it's the job of the presenters to make it more interesting. The closest thing we got about the equestrian sports was a short silly thing on NBC with one of their personalities on a horse for the first time. Jeeeezzz. No back stories about the riders, or the incredible journey they have to get where they are.

I also can't see anything like the skill level of a top level jumper or dressage rider in many of the other sports. The rowing and canoe stuff requires a lot of muscle but you can't tell me that it takes that long to learn.

Thank you- I'm glad someone else recognizes the obsurdity of beach volleyball and bikini clad girls being made an olympic sport. I have a feeling in Germany beach volleyball isn't dominating the televised Olympics. Tell me if I'm wrong, but I have a feeling I'm not

Pat
Aug. 13, 2008, 11:38 PM
This isn't new, they do that everytime.

But I do find it hard to believe that there is more interest in water polo than horse stuff.

It's probably best to wait for the DVD that is usually produced. IIRC, it's produced in the UK, and has a predictable UK slant, but atleast you get to see what happened.

It was nice to see that 16 yo from Brazil. Rode rather well for her age and an Olympic debut together.

ANd, sorry, interested and educated in the subject as I am, dressage is bloody booring after a while.

I was waiting patiently at 6 for horses to appear, and got tennis instead. I walked out to turn out Beamer and missed a couple of tests. Oh well, right?

Beezer
Aug. 13, 2008, 11:40 PM
I dunno what everyone else is watching, but I've been watching a solid 45 minutes of dressage on TV ... and as a hunter/jumper person, I'm about satisfied. :lol: So, it may be whichever feed your cable provider has of Oxygen; I'm at work, where I can see a "good" version of it. At home, there's no coverage on Oxygen. Go figure.

There is simply no pleasing everyone, folks. The soccer people are up in arms because they've never gotten much coverage (the first year women's soccer was in and the U.S. won, it got zip, zero, zilch attention), so NBC "created" soccer channels to appease the millions of U.S. fans of the world's most popular game. But a lot of cable companies didn't pick those channels up, so soccer fans are still screwed.

You think equestrian gets no coverage? Try the people who want to watch cycling, judo, fencing, kayaking, taekwondo, handball, table tennis, shooting ... all of those folks are complaining about having to watch the dumb people on horses! :p

The coverage isn't perfect, but it's far better than nothing -- which is usually what we've gotten in the past. And while the online service doesn't work for everyone (but it does for the huge, overwhelming majority), NBC is to be commended for doing as much as it has, up to and including the lovely non-competition videos of horses at home. I cannot imagine the amount of work it took to develop, design, maintain and update each and every page for each and every sport.

And no, I am not an employee of NBC. I just think that sometimes, we tend to complain just because we can, whether it's justified or not.

SuperSTB
Aug. 13, 2008, 11:50 PM
We have millions of TV stations full of... well crap... the olympics are and should be treated as a rare treat. There should be ample coverage for EVERYONE to see their favorite sport whether it be gymnastics, water polo, badmitton, or dressage.

Equestrian events *DO* appeal to those who don't ride or own horses. If it's presented well- it's appealling to watch.

Beezer
Aug. 14, 2008, 12:04 AM
The problem is, STB, the vast majority of those stations are not owned or affiliated with NBC, so they cannot show the coverage. Which is why the online option is fantastic.

Until the Olympic Organizing Committee changes the way it solicits bids for and negotiates the sale of coverage, there will be one major broadcasting unit per country. That unit gets to decide what and how much it shows, and it does so based on demographics.

Everyone on this site is passionate about horses, no doubt. But I imagine that even here, you will find a fair number of people who are not all that interested in the equestrian competition in Beijing. And it's a sure bet that the average horse owner isn't clamoring to see it, particularly if they are not "into" the disciplines included in the Games. I mean, rodeo is an enormous sport in this country, but I highly doubt that a championship roper gives two figs whether or not dressage or show jumping is in the Olympics, let alone on TV.

For whoever asked, yes, water polo is likely more popular than equestrian, simply because more people have access to it and play it. Why beach volleyball? Because it is a HUGE sport in many areas of the world, with incredible sponsor backing. (And the outfits -- and lack thereof -- sure don't hurt. ;) )

SuperSTB
Aug. 14, 2008, 12:07 AM
I know, I know- but I still want to stomp my feet and pout like I'm 6 :D

Foxtrot's
Aug. 14, 2008, 12:13 AM
CBC's Bold TV is doing excellent coverage of all the horsey events.
Don't know if you can get it, though.

I have to say I enjoyed Cara Whitman's commentary on the dressage - she explained it in an authoratative manner that would have been easy for a non-horsey persons to understand, but was enjoyable too. She had some personal knowledge of the horses and riders that she told us about. In the x-country, it seemed short on research. Of course, the commentators never give enough about the bloodlines, or careers of the riders and horses to suit us guys, but if any of her buds are reading this, tell her well done.

FalseImpression
Aug. 14, 2008, 12:54 AM
CBC's Bold TV is doing excellent coverage of all the horsey events.
Don't know if you can get it, though.

I have to say I enjoyed Cara Whitman's commentary on the dressage - she explained it in an authoritative manner that would have been easy for a non-horsey persons to understand, but was enjoyable too. She had some personal knowledge of the horses and riders that she told us about. In the x-country, it seemed short on research. Of course, the commentators never give enough about the bloodlines, or careers of the riders and horses to suit us guys, but if any of her buds are reading this, tell her well done.

Bold has been fantastic! I gave up watching dressage tonight after 2 hours. It is boring to me, even though I did enjoy dressage in the eventing phase. I find Cara's voice "trying" at times, but she really explains it in lay terms and is very clear. She is a judge and can explain where a rider will earn or lose points.

I have my PVR set for tomorrow's jumping... all 4 hours of it or so!!
I am loving it!!!

Individualblue07
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:05 AM
Ok... Im sure you guys know... but i didnt feel like reading everything....

But ALL of the equestrian... or pretty close to as much as their willing to show... (their jerks... I think they should show EVERYTHING!) Put stuff on other channels if they dont want to watch it...) But yeah, its all be shown on Oxygen. So if you know, then good! :D But for those who werent too sure... i tried

Frank B
Aug. 14, 2008, 11:32 AM
FWIW, I have DirecTV and have been taping Equestrian from USA and OXYGEN. So far I've almost filled a 6-hour tape with Eventing and the first Team Dressage offering. And that time is with the commercials and station breaks edited out!

natb
Aug. 14, 2008, 12:42 PM
TV stations work on ratings which create demand to ads which creates revenue. I would bet that there are alot more people out there who grew up swimming and doing gymnastics then there are people who are into these 3 disciplines of riding.
I agree that I would love to see every minute of equestrian events but that is because I am an english rider who understands these sports a bit.
My husband who is not horsey fall asleep at the dressage and cannot "get" what the appeal is to watching it. For him he thinks a horse is just walking around a ring and "he can do that" too (yeah right!)
The average american does not grow up around horses and does not understand a lick about equestrian sports. I wish more people did love horses as much as we do because to me I think its actually a very exciting sport and once you understand it you can truly appreicate the athleticm and hard work thats involved.
I have to say I was a bit surprised that the eventing portion of dressage was on NBC but the cross country and show jumping (which I think are much more understandble for the average viewer) are on Oxygen, a channel alot of people don't get. I was just curious as to why they chose to put that portion on the major network.

Madeline
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:00 PM
I think the 20+ hours of live stream and the 3 hours of eventing on Oxygen count as pretty good coverage. Of course, I'm not a big dressage fan, so I was pretty satisfied with the 45 minutes or so of live streaming that i did watch...

Firebug
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:03 PM
FWIW, I have DirecTV and have been taping Equestrian from USA and OXYGEN. So far I've almost filled a 6-hour tape with Eventing and the first Team Dressage offering. And that time is with the commercials and station breaks edited out!

I have DirecTV too, but my OXYGEN does not have any Equestrian events on. :(
I did get to see some of the eventing dressage on USA. If USA has shown any more Equestrian events I have missed them.

It's so hard to know what time the events will air

FalseImpression
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:05 PM
Bold TV offers.

http://www.cbc.ca/bold/BOLD_2008OlympicSchedule_Revised.pdf

We can't complain!

Happy Feet
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:21 PM
For sure the live streaming is great! And much better than what was available in previous games for equestrian sports. I think if you want more coverage, write a nice letter/email about how much we appreciate the added coverage AND we'd love much more!
From what I understand ( I missed the tv coverage) they showed 5+ tests in full, which is better in my opinion than previous coverage. I don't really care to watch the bottom 10 or so rides, but the top rides in each section is great and the fact that they are in whole, not just clips of a little half pass here and some changes there, is SUPER!
WE (Americans) REALLY need to get better at promoting our sport. If golf can get prime time spots IMO so should dressage. We need to get better at getting the underdog stories out, the rivalry etc.
These Olympics are full of great dramas, the Dutch vs. Germans, Courtney King, the first Chinese rider, the oldest olympian (I think at these games anyway) I think is a Japanese rider... There could be some super stories but unfortunately no one outside of our dressage group knows of them!

Firebug
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:26 PM
I wish I could watch the online feed. :(

magnolia73
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:29 PM
I'm glad someone else recognizes the obsurdity of beach volleyball and bikini clad girls being made an olympic sport. I have a feeling in Germany beach volleyball isn't dominating the televised Olympics

As silly as it is, we have the best beach volleyball team in the world. It's not absurd. Those ladies are minor celebs.

And, well- look, we close our eventing selection trials to the public. Then we complain about trying to make dressage more spectator friendly with a video screen. We don't exactly do a great job of "here, enjoy our sport!". That canoeing stuff- they held the whitewater trials in Charlotte and it was one giant party to promote the sport to everyone that had things to attract normal people. We don't make much attempt to do that with horses, so be happy with the streaming coverage and what little they show on TV.

Carol Ames
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:38 PM
FIOS oxygen shows nothing:mad:, but live stream is fabulous!:yes:can also watch tapes on :yes:demand!

poltroon
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:42 PM
Interestingly, I've had about 5 very surprising random conversations, mostly with other mom-types, where we start out with, "Oh, I've been staying up too late and watching too much Olympics" and then they say to me, unprompted, often not knowing I ride, "Hours and hours of Equestrian. It's fabulous!" :)

Albion
Aug. 14, 2008, 01:58 PM
You can't please everyone - many gymnastics fans were foaming at the mouth because coverage was flipping back and forth between gymnastics and swimming. 'Who cares about Phelps in a semi-final?' they cried. And gymnastics is certainly one of the most popular sports for the summer Olympics .... I'll never understand equestrians bitching about whatever sports they're showing on TV - people surely have the same thing to say about (what comes off as) prissy people in wool coats prancing around on ponies. 'Why are they showing THIS when they could be showing something interesting, featuring bikinis and divers in speedos?' ;)

I think it's great they're offering online coverage. Sure, I'd prefer to watch stuff on my TV, but it's available and accessible if you have an internet connection. It's nice not to have to rely on what they can show on prime time. We're just not a prime time sport - but even during non-Olympic times, I get plenty of coverage of Spruce Meadows via one of the Fox networks. I'm in San Diego and don't have a fancy cable package or anything. :yes:

Gunnar
Aug. 14, 2008, 02:29 PM
I was dissappointed in the Dressage (Team). They showed 5 riders, with at least 2 only partial tests! Hope they do better today but I will not hold my breath. Guess it depends on your local carrier!

The Eventing coverage was much better! :yes:

I cannot access the on line at work so no choice there. Guess we all need to move to Canada for the Bold coverage! :D

Beezer
Aug. 14, 2008, 02:49 PM
I cannot access the on line at work so no choice there.

Do you have a home computer? If so, you can watch all the rides as many times as you like, whenever you like, because they're all right there online, available for viewing any time. :cool:

I'll leave to late-night TV host Craig Ferguson to some up the vast majority of the viewing public's take on horse sports: He described dressage as, "Horses being very careful (makes delicate prancing motions with his hands and arms) ridden by women dressed like magicians. I just don't get it."

You have to keep in mind that no event is shown in its entirety on TV. Not gymnastics, not swimming (heck, most swimming events are shown at all!), not ice skating, none of them.

vineyridge
Aug. 14, 2008, 02:59 PM
Now I'm really upset about NBC. I just watched Marius's XC, and German TV had the whole ride from start to finish, uninterrupted, with the announcer getting more and more excited as the ride progressed. They were using the exact same feeds as NBC, so it's NBC who should be shot for the way the competition was put together. I think they not only contracted the coverage, but have taken it unedited from the contractor.

Hughes-Carr could learn a lot about how to cover XC from the Germans.

Maybe there will be an unedited DVD with all the rides. Wouldn't that be great?

Since I have a DVR and most other people either do or will by 2012, I would not mind at all the TV coverage being at very odd hours of the night. I do not have broadband, since the people who own the wires won't string them in the country--cable or phone; and wireless isn't anywhere near here.

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:09 PM
Now I'm really upset about NBC. I just watched Marius's XC, and German TV had the whole ride from start to finish, uninterrupted, with the announcer getting more and more excited as the ride progressed. They were using the exact same feeds as NBC, so it's NBC who should be shot for the way the competition was put together. I think they not only contracted the coverage, but have taken it unedited from the contractor.

Hughes-Carr could learn a lot about how to cover XC from the Germans.

Maybe there will be an unedited DVD with all the rides. Wouldn't that be great?

Guys, there is only one feed that the whole world is watching.
Do you seriously think every country sends it's own TV cameras to shoot all the events. That doesn't happen, and never has. The same when you're watching the World Cup in soccer, everyone is seeing the same thing.
The Olympics has hired someone to shoot each event and then sells it to a network in each country who then has the exclusive rights to that country. Those network then add their own commentary (often the commentator are not at the event and are watching the same feed you are) and splice it and ice it the way they want.
If you saw Marius' whole XC round it's because German TV spliced it together from the different cameras angles after the fact. With several horses on course at a time you can't show each individual horse's run in it's entireity during the live coverage, without missing out on some other horses and pissing someone else off.

vineyridge
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:15 PM
Drvm, if that's the case, and it probably is, then I'm even more upset at NBC for not doing its own editing.

Which brings up another question--y'all remember how Hughes-Carr claimed that music rights kept them from showing the dressage freestyle at the 2007 World Cup in Vegas? Is that going to have the same effect on the dressage freestyle? I can't remember who broadcast the last World Cup; it was either NBC or Animal Planet.

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:24 PM
What exactly could they have edited? You mean afterwards when they are showing highlights, or live? Yeah, in the highlights that evening they could show entire rides. Live, like I said, with several horses on course you're going to miss several other rides, so someone else will be upset they didn't get to see the horse/rider they wanted to see.
They have shown every eventing-dressage ride, every eventing-showjump ride, the whole of XC from start to finish, every team-dressage ride so far, all live, streamed on the net. They will show every jumping round and the rest of the dressage live, every second of it.
That has never happened before.
Yeah, sucks if you don't have a high speed connection, but this is 2008 afterall and it beats the alternative of a handful of rides at some odd hour on NBC, or more coverage (but not total) coverage on an odd cable channel after the fact.

gottagrey
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:29 PM
In the grand scheme of things I think they US TV networks are show much more than they used to so we should give them alot of credit for that. What is interesting is while they show little to no equestrian olympics - CBS, I think was the channel, started of the evening w/ a show called TOP DOG? Hmm let's not even get into all the crazy game shows. OLN used to televise (in US) equestrian events from around the world - at that time I think I was one of a handful around here that knew Meredith Michaels, from US, married a Beerbaum and the rest is history! It was awesome to be able to watch international showjumping from Spruce Meadows, Aachen, Hicksted etc etc. But apparently the logistics of televising equestrian events is very difficult vs the income from advertisers (cannot be any more difficult that televising PGA tournaments but the networks get much more income from advertisers).

And while I could have spent then entire evening watching horse after horse after horse, the general public does not understand the subtle differences in some of the dressage tests unless there is some buckfest. Showjumping and eventing offers a bit more but not really - most people would wonder what is so great about watching all these horses jumping? they don't understand.

Last night I was watching the men's all around gymnastics and rather than showing much of the US men, the networks kept flipping back to Michael Phelps - for his semi-final heats - not even medal..

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:35 PM
And while I could have spent then entire evening watching horse after horse after horse, the general public does not understand the subtle differences in some of the dressage tests unless there is some buckfest. Showjumping and eventing offers a bit more but not really - most people would wonder what is so great about watching all these horses jumping? they don't understand.



Showjumping is very easy to understand, it's objective with a simple scoring system, and it's exciting, that's one of the beauties of the sport. Showjumping at one point (in the 70's into the 80's) was the 2nd largest spectator sport in Europe after soccer. It's still quite popular.
Marketed properly there's no reason it couldn't be more popular in the US than it is.
Dressage will never be a popular sport, even many horse people find it boring.
Eventing, too drawn out, XC is fun even for non-horsey people but on the whole it's impossible to package and display the sport on TV.

danceronice
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:50 PM
We have an expression in skating that's even made its way into urbandictionary.com. It's called "being chacked." It refers to the time when US men's bronze medalist Michael Chack's free skate, which won him the bronze at Nationals, wasn't broadcast on their live coverage. The network (may have been NBC, actually) opted to show an interview with the winning skater while Chack was performing. (There was no possibility Chack would win, but still.) When an athlete is chacked, they are omitted from the broadcast. It happens in every sport. In the case of equestrian, especially GP dressage, i can see where they're coming from. I like dressage, I rode it, and I am bored silly after a few full rounds. It's not a TV-friendly sport.

I also agree with some comments, either on this thread or the NBC-specific one, that riding in general doesn't do much to be welcoming to outsiders. Heck, riding can be viscious with people IN the sport. I'm not saying that doesn't happen in other sports, but it's definitely noticable in riding, probably exacerbated by the massive amounts of money required to participate even at the lowest levels. While not everyone can play volleyball like Misty May-Traynor, almost anyone CAN pick up a volleyball and whap it around. Things like trail rides at Disney World aside, people who start to take up riding end up getting sneered at if they show up with an untucked shirt or the wrong color breeches. It definitely is NOT a feel-good environment for most newcomers.

vineyridge
Aug. 14, 2008, 05:00 PM
I remember in 1980, when cable was just getting started that HBO showed show jumping. I remember watching Melanie at Tampa, and the show was sponsored by Mercedes.

OLN used to be great for people who wanted to watch show jumping. I wonder why they quit carrying Spruce Meadows? Fox has carried it for the past couple of years on their regional sports channels at different times, and now Animal Planet is showing a bit of our sport. As the ever pessimistic viewer, I suppose that won't last either. :(

Dutch
Aug. 14, 2008, 05:40 PM
I am so pleased with Bold TV's coverage of the dressage so far. It really is great having Cara Witham, an FEI "O" level judge as commentator. There is some babble by Nancy, her co-host, but I can live with that. Nancy perhaps brings up points that non-horsey people might find interesting. And the camera crew, my hat's off to them!! The only time they zoomed in on the rider's face or horse's face was during the walk phase. Otherwise, we get to see the entire horse and rider. In some of the slow-mo replays, you get close-ups on the horse's feet, etc. The top rides were also replayed during the breaks, in case you missed them.