SURVEY SAYS: Are You Watching the Winter Olympics?

February 18, 2010 ( - The 2010 Winter Olympics are underway – so I asked readers - are you watching, and if so, how?

Just over half are watching them with some level of enthusiasm – nearly a third (32.3%) said they were watching them at least occasionally, while another one-in-five (22%) are checking them “every chance they get.”  In fact, another one-in-five (21.2%) said they were watching the Winter Olympics, “but not much.”      

Meanwhile, roughly 3.4% said they were just watching the highlights, just under 6% said they hadn’t gotten around to watching them yet, and 8.5% not only said they weren’t – but they weren’t planning to, either.  As for the remaining 7% – well, mostly they would seem to be in the “no” category – well, maybe with a couple of exceptions:

“Snowboarding is about all that interests me for the winter games – and the Flying Tomato competes tonight – go Shawn!!”

“I’ll watch Shaun “The Animal” White tonight.”

“I struggle to sit down and watch the Olympics. The fact they will not stick with showing one event and constantly jump from Skating to Skiing to whatever. I get frustrated and watch what I have recorded on TIVO.”

As for how they were watching the games, most (76%) were checking it out on live TV (a number of West Coasters were pretty upset with the scheduling, including one reader who said, “wish I could watch live, but living on the west coast it is not possible. I am disgusted with those east coasters that schedule television, making the west coast watch taped delay even though we are in the same time zone as the olympics. Why do we always need to accommodate to New York. We need to get up and be at work by 7:00 to accommodate to east coast hours so we can not stay up until midnight to watch TV.”) while 29% were switching over from other programs during the commercials. 


A full 10% were recording the events and watching them later, while 7% were checking it out via the Internet, and 1% on Twitter (yes, more than one answer was permitted).   


Now, as for reader observations, there were many – both pro and con.  Here’s a sampling:

I am so over Shawn White and Apolo Ohno...and if I hear another Vonn story I'll go nuts.  I think NBC is running around looking for an athlete with a relative on death's doorstep so they can say, "It was always Aunt Flossie's wish that Jane win a gold medal, and Aunt Flossie knitted Jane this sweater to wear...(sob sob sob sob)".  If Miss Vonn has an Aunt Flossie, I know we'll see one of those special segments featuring her. If you're just a "regular" athlete with no angle (i.e., sob story), NBC has no interest in you.

Go Team USA!

I want to go back to Vancouver for another visit. It has to be the most beautiful city on the planet.

On my bucket list - to one day go and watch live!

Al Michaels should stick to football.

I was really bothered about the young athlete who died in the accident last week.

Too many commercials!

Ironic how there is excessive snow and cold weather everywhere EXCEPT Vancouver!

I would pay good money to see someone tie that fruitcake Johnny Weir to a luge sled and send him down from the top.  That would be entertaining!!

I'm hopelessly addicted to the Olympics.  I normally don't watch this much TV, but I figure for 2 weeks, I can rearrange my calendar, get less sleep, keep my school-age child up late, and park myself on the couch for the chance to see the wonderfully compelling stories of athletes working hard, making sacrifices, and doing their very best - it's beyond inspiring!

NBC is terrible at broadcasting the Olympics...ah, for the days of ABC's coverage....seems like the first time in a while that NBC learned to show that there are other competitors than Americans in the games and they can show everyone competing.  Does give the Games better context.

NBC is doing a better job this time - more sports, less "up close and personal." Now a fan of snowboard cross - HD TV makes everything look wonderful.  

I've mainly been watching the Olympics because there isn't anything else on. I am not personally fond of cold weather so winter sports aren't that interesting to me. I do find it interesting to watch the skill exhibited by the athletes.

I wish I had the time to watch more!

Coverage in my area is terrible. I couldn't watch on TV even if I wanted to. I might try the Internet next.

It would be nice to see more Olympics and less commentators.

Women's curling rocks.....NOT!!  It's worse than watching bowling on TV!

Something to lift our spirits in the dullness of February!

USA! USA! Go Ryan Miller & the hockey team!

I'm ready for warm weather and find it hard to watch too much snow on TV right now, even though I live well south of the snow impacted regions. I'll likely watch more as the hockey progresses and when the downhill skiing finally gets going.

Given the weather issues (i.e lack of snow!), perhaps the first question on the Winter Olympics questionnaire should be, "Does it snow that time of the year in your location?"  I heard the average temperature in Vancouver this time of year is 44!

Snowboard Cross is AWESOME!  So is short-track speed skating.  Actual competition you can see, what a concept...

I bet a bunch of those "fans" at the bottom of the snowboarding course and the downhill skiing runs are really orthopedic surgeons who are passing out business cards.

There certainly isn't much coverage this year.

Among my favorites were:

“Not intentionally, but unfortunately sports bars are finding little else worth showing.”

“The Winter Olympics are underway?”

“No, but we did watch part of the Westminster Dog Show.”

But this week’s Bonus Survey Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said “I will watch any event, provided no sequins are worn by any of the participants.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!