Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
In this Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, photo, a shopper at an electronics store in Tokyo watches televisions showing recorded footage from an interview with Japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai, who won the silver medal in the large hill and the bronze in team ski jumping at the Sochi Olympics. The program is typical of the localized TV broadcasts in countries throughout the world during the Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Olympics: A different Winter Games on TVs across the world
First Published Feb 21 2014 08:07 am • Last Updated Feb 25 2014 04:47 pm

In Sweden, commentators have fun with Norway’s misfortunes. The Dutch can’t get enough of their speedskaters. Japan is so crazy about figure skating they show warmups. Canada is hockey crazy, Russia struggles to stay positive even when things look down and the U.S. salutes its stars with the national anthem as it’s time to go to bed.

There’s only one Winter Olympics. But in reality, for television viewers around the world, the Sochi games are a different experience depending on where you tune in.

Photos
Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Some 464 channels are broadcasting more than 42,000 hours of Sochi competition worldwide, easily outdistancing previous Olympics, according to the International Olympic Commission. Digital platforms push that number past 100,000 hours. Worldwide viewership statistics aren’t available, but the IOC says more than three-quarters of Russians have watched some coverage, two-thirds of South Koreans and 90 percent of Canadians.

So let’s look at Wednesday around the world. It demonstrates one thing above all: A single day’s viewing from different outposts offers an intriguing window into national passions, prides and peculiarities.

———

SWEDEN

"This is Sweden’s Olympic games, full stop," commentator Per Forsberg said on TV3 after Stina Nilsson sprinted past German Denise Herrmann on Wednesday for a bronze medal in cross-country skiing, an event that barely attracted notice elsewhere. It is the second-best performance by a skiing nation in one Olympics, and Swedish TV is relishing the moment.

More than a million of winter sports-crazy Sweden’s 9.5 million citizens watch popular disciplines like cross-country live during working hours, says Wayne Seretis, TV3 spokesman. It’s even more on the weekends, where 2.5 million people watched Swedish men win gold in a cross-country relay. Smaller numbers of viewers watch prime-time roundups, he said.

On what commentators called "super Wednesday," TV3 focused on the Nordic country’s win over Slovenia in men’s hockey, the medals in cross-country sprints and the Swedish women qualifying for the curling finals.

Swedish commentators congratulated Finland for a "well-deserved" gold in the men’s team sprint but didn’t dwell on arch-rival Norway’s gold in the women’s race, noting that it must feel good for the Norwegians to finally live up to expectations. Earlier in the games, Swedish commentators took pleasure in the failures of Norway, particularly the explanation that the skiers were hobbled by bad wax.


story continues below
story continues below

———

RUSSIA

Wednesday was a plain lousy day for the host country, where Russia’s men’s hockey team was shown live at 4:30 p.m. Moscow time being eliminated from medal contention by Finland. Team captain Pavel Datsyuk later appeared on Channel One’s evening news to thank fans for their support.

During the prime-time figure skating, announcer Ilya Averbukh said "bravo, bravo" following the performance by South Korea’s Yuna Kim, the defending gold medalist. Irina Slutskaya, an Olympic medalist in 2002 and 2006, saluted American Gracie Gold. "She fought to the end," Slutskaya said.

When at last it was time for the diminutive Julia Lipnitskaia to skate, Slutskaya said she was unable to speak and her palms were sweaty. Lipnitskaia started strong, but when she crashed on a triple flip, Slutskaya couldn’t hold back a pained gasp.

Averbukh, a former Olympic ice dancer, quickly jumped in to say that "nothing terrible" had happened. Russia’s announcers have been careful to keep a positive spin on the games.

———

JAPAN

Japan’s figure skating star Mao Asada had a tough day, too. The Vancouver silver medalist finished 16th. That was big news back home, where broadcaster NHK began showing skating warmups just before midnight Tokyo time, and stuck with the competition live until 4 a.m. Thursday.

With Japan six hours ahead of Sochi, many of the high-profile events are shown live overnight, although NHK rebroadcasts much of it the next day. The Japanese broadcasters rely heavily on former athletes for Olympic coverage, with former figure skater Shizuka Arakawa, former tennis star Shuzo Matsuoka and Nordic combined gold medalist Kenji Ogiwara all in Russia.

Japan’s national broadcaster televised the men’s and women’s giant slalom final live in prime time on Wednesday, along with the women’s 5,000-meter speedskating.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.