The Networks and Their "Live" East Coast Debates

Okay, perhaps I’m bitter about the All East Coast Super Bowl right now, but as a West Coast guy, I’m also not happy about these tape-delayed debates.

NBC did it again. ABC did it earlier.

To us folks out on the Left Coast we have to wait three hours to watch the debate because of the antiquated system the networks use to broadcast in 2012. I know why they do it, they feel ratings will be better if they broadcast at basically the same time in each time zone, but I think it’s long past time for the networks to stop this old-school silliness. Tape delay 30 Rock and The Office, but not a presidential debate.

Out west, we should be used to this stuff, but I hope not. The morning shows are actually three hours old by the time we get them and they look old when they are broadcast. Oh, they will sometimes cut into programming if there is really breaking news (as opposed to fake breaking news, which they do all the time,) but usually when they do that, their edits are bad and sloppy and you can tell it was an “insert.” Then when the networks actually do a live news show in the morning or evenings to the west coast they brag about it to the point that it sounds silly. Take the Nike theory and “just do it.”

Another problem with the NBC tape-delayed debate was that the first network analysis was on MSNBC. I had to watch Larry O’Donnell and Chris Matthews tell me how horrible they thought the Republicans did. I watched it because it was the first live analysis I was given, plus, I actually enjoy listening to lefties talk. It reminds me of the silly talk I heard for 30 years in TV newsrooms.

Of course there is always the internet for the networks to “webcast” these news events live, but what does that say about the future of the nets? Are they going to push us sooner to the internet, where all of this is eventually going anyway? If it’s important enough for the east coast to watch it live on TV, give it to us on the west coast live as well.

Now, this was Republican debate #18 (yawn—this was another sleeper) so I guess I shouldn’t complain about some of them being tape-delayed, but as you can see—my issue is more that just Republican debates. The networks have always treated the west coast like we don’t exist. Ugh. New England Patriots against the New York Giants?

NBC is broadcasting this years Super Bowl. I’m assuming XLVI will be live to the West Coast.