Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympics News Roundup 8/11

A brief update on the latest Olympics news bites:

* Part of Olympic fireworks faked in broadcast - The spectacular fireworks flyover of Beijing at night was completely bogus. While the fireworks in and around the Bird's Nest stadium were real, the rest were digitally animated (using no doubt pirated CGI software) in a presentation that even Pixar would be impressed by. Now, when I initially watched this on Friday night, I thought it looked computer generated myself, though didn't think much of it. What I find more amusing is that this has become a "big story", which is probably only due to the fact that the Chinese organizers weren't forthcoming in saying it was staged. It was still pretty impressive.
* NBC Universal off to fast start with Olympic ratings - Friday night's opening ceremonies averaged 34.2 million US viewers, despite its 12-hour tape delay on the east coast (and 15-hour delay in Pacific time). The Beijing games currently have the highest viewership of any Summer games held outside the U.S. NBC's obvious attempt to increase advertising revenue by time-shifting everything to prime time is worth it to them, as they have apparently secured over $1 Billion in ad revenue (NBC payed a record $800 Million to be the US broadcasting network for the Olympics, so it seems to be paying off).
* Chinese hush up serious injury to acrobat - In what I can only describe as "an extreme case of mistaken priorities," apparently the opening ceremonies were not without injury, as one acrobat apparently fell during a rehearsal and was left for nearly an hour before receiving medical attention due to the high level of secrecy surrounding the ceremony preventing an ambulance from arriving. Insanity.

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