August 1, 2012 - 12:35pm
BY PROMA KHOSLA
I’m sorry that I even have to write this letter, but I cannot continue to ignore the strain in our relationship. I realize now that I am just one of many whom you have consistently disappointed.
I just don’t see where we went wrong, NBC. I loved you, supported you, had a vested interest in your television content. I adore your Thursday night comedies, jumped right on board with “Smash” — I even watched “Heroes” as far as the beginning of season four. You cannot fake that kind of loyalty.
Of course, looking back, there were red flags. When I finally gave up on “Heroes,” it was the first television show I had outright abandoned, but it was simply unwatchable. I forgave you for not distributing Mindy Kaling’s pilot, since you would still back the production. When Twitter was in uproar about questionable renewal of “Community,” “Parks and Recreation” and “30 Rock,” I bit my tongue and had faith that you would make the right decision.
And then the Olympics happened.
It is clear to me now, NBC, that you severely underestimate your viewership. Just because cerebral serials don’t bring you the same ratings as “The Voice” doesn’t mean content should be dumbed down to reach the widest audience. When your network was criticized for time-delaying the opening ceremonies, you responded that the event was too complex to air without commentary. Said commentary probably lowered my IQ several points when it finally aired.
And the memorial tribute to the London 7/7 bombings! Are you kidding me?? What if the U.K. cut a 9/11 tribute in an American broadcast? Would “our content is tailored toward [a British] audience” legitimize that??? We’ll see plenty of Michael Phelps and have already seen too much of Ryan Seacrest — why on earth did that seem like a good idea?
As an added offense, you cut one of my favorite Arctic Monkeys songs. That made it personal.
As if the outrage wasn’t widespread enough, you went and spoiled the results of Missy Franklin’s race mere minutes before airing the footage. Let me just recap: You did that to yourself. Isn’t it enough that viewers with time-consuming jobs and lives have to wait to watch results in primetime without being spoiled at the last minute by the HAND THAT FEEDS THEM?
You still have your moments. I am fortunate enough to work in a place where I can stream Olympic events to my heart’s content. The live streaming is the best part of your coverage these games — but remind me again why I need a cable subscription to stream the games, when I don’t need a cable subscription to watch them on your channel?
Now that it’s all out in the open, NBC, I feel like I finally see you. You care so much about popularity and ratings that you hurt those who have been loyal to you. If there is one result I want to see from these Games, it is you turning to the endless criticism on social media and using it as a way to learn and do better in the future. When you are ready to give this relationship the respect it deserves, I will be here.