Nbc Skating On Thin Ice In Vancouver
NBC, which has already acknowledged that it expects to lose $200-250 million on its coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, has insisted that it won't attempt to save money on it by cutting corners. However, NBC spokesman Chris McCloskey told the Associated Press that the network plans to introduce "efficiencies" into its coverage, employing 600 fewer people in Vancouver than it did in Turin for the 2006 Games. The network, which has been lampooned for its handling of the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien fiasco, will reportedly be working hard at Vancouver to repair its image. Shari Anne Brill, an analyst for the ad firm Carat USA, told the A.P. "In light of the events of the past few weeks, I don't think they need any negative press about anything. ... The show must go on and the show must go on as well as it always has been." However, NBC's coverage of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Sunday produced troubling signs that the network may face yet another calamity. Just 3.6 million viewers tuned in to the contest, putting it in third place. Moreover, figure skater Sasha Cohen, the centerpiece of much of the network's promotions for the Games telecasts, was eliminated after a disastrous performance. Even on NBC's Nightly News , the loss of Cohen, perhaps the country's best-known figure skater, was lamented. Correspondent Rehema Ellis commented that Cohen's failure to qualify represented a "disappointment for some fans of the sport that thrives on stars who skate and dazzle in the arena and beyond."