For US audience of Beijing Olympics, NBC (including CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Telemundo and Oxygen) is the only place for extensive coverage, because the exclusive broadcast deal between NBC and IOC. While NBC did unprecedent largely positive coverage of this event, Beijing and China, I can still felt the “colored glass” of some of the comments from the anchors from time to time.
The good: the scale
NBC nearly sent all the best crews to Beijing, it is doing live broadcasting for more than 2,000 hours, covering topic from sports to the Chinese traditional snack food in Beijing. And it is airing the regular programs such as “Today” (Matt and Meredith), 5:30 PM evening news (Brian), Meet the Press (Tom) from Beijing, in addition to extensive Olympics coverage. So in other words, NBC News Operation division is essentially moved from New York to Beijing these days.
Because NBC has experience in technology, their camera crews did the opening ceremony better than CCTV (the delayed video playback was a business decision). It also has so many channels so popular sports such as gymnastics, swimming, women volleyball etc are well covered.
Let me borrow the ad slogan from Li Ning’s apparel and shoes company: anything is possible. His performance in sky demonstrated this idea very well. So as the opening ceremony, I think it blew away a lot of people’s expectations. So congrats to Mr. Zhang Yimou and each of 15,000 performers, and their families, for the hard work and dedication. For Li Ning, this is also a personal redemption: after winning 3 gold medals in 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Li Ning failed badly in 1988 Soul Olympics, and was blamed and ridicued when he came back from Soul. He kept his mouth shut, built China’s own sports brand (Li Ning) in last 20 years. Now he got this honor.
(Li Ning run in the sky to light the Olympics cauldron, source: CCTV)
Yes, the game already started, e.g, the women’s soccer. This morning I saw the team USA vs. team Norway on MSNBC. The US lost 2 goals in first 5 minutes, not a good way to start a game.
BTW, here is the TV schedule on NBA family (NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, USA, Oxygen). You need to type in your zip code to get exact listing. Personally I can not wait to see the opening ceremony on 7 PM Friday.
CFA level I December exam
I registered this one again, this time I will take it in Shanghai (Dec 7 Sunday). Note December is more like a make up test, so there are not as many test centers as the June exam. For instance, St. Louis does not have one. Here is a link to December test centers. Click on the December 2008 (PDF) file there to find your nearby testing place.
In the US? Today my coworker reminds me Aug 8, the opening ceremony is only a week away.
(Update Aug 7) More up to date stuff from mitbbs (go to the end of this post to get the instructions in Chinese).
So far NBC family (NBC, MSNBC, CNBC) has no plan to do it live. NBC will show the video at 6:30 PM local time instead.
“Coverage of the Opening Ceremony from Beijing’s National Stadium, where athletes from over 200 nations will converge to ignite the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. ”
UUSee: go to uusee.com and install the client software. But according to some source, the IP outside China will all be blocked because UUSee only got broadcast rights inside China (source: ChinaNews).
Sohu: same restriction as UUsee? To be confirmed.
Maybe some smart techies can provide us a solution? After all, that’s the first time China hold the Olympics, but the overseas Chinese can not see the opening ceremony live. Shame on the IOC and NBC 🙁
Olympics buzz at work place
As the Beijing 2008 only 8 days away, I am hearing quite a bit Olympics query from coworkers lately, mostly from curiosity and good will (wish Beijing and China will do well). As a Chinese living in America, I certain also hope things also work out well, amid all the security challenges, air quality, traffic, etc. One interesting story I read yesterday (Chinese) is some Beijing Si He Yuan (wiki: tradional Beijing house) are opening to foreign visitors. They call it 奥运家庭旅馆 Olympics Family Hotel. This is real neat, and I think it’s a better experience than staying at 3 star hotels.
At the same time, I sincerely hope my goverment can improve the living for ordinary people. I know those migrant worker worked on the BirdNest may not have oppertunities to watch the game. This is ok, as long as they get paid fairly, their kids education get taken care of, they get affordable/good health insurance, and last but not least, they don’t have to wait in lines for days to get a train ticket to go home in the Chinese New Year.
A subdued Olympics rally?
The Olympics is coming. But we are not seeing much sign of an Olympics stock market rally, both in Shanghai, or in New York. The Shanghai composite index is barely above 52 week low, at around 2800 to 2900 range. Two of the Beijing 2008 Sponsors, China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) and Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU), were not strong performers in the US market either. For instance, Sohu reported a strong 2Q 08 (transcript seekingalpha), but its stock is down today. I guess it’s just selling on the news, 11 days before the game?
Last night is the last trading day for Chinese domestic stock market, for the year of pig. According to Google Finance, the index is up 72.09% in the year of Pig. The index closed at 4,599.70, a tiny bit shy of 4,600. Shanghai composite has been up BIG two years in a row. Guess that’s the reason for people to take caution 🙂
I listened to the conference call of Sohu and Ctrip lately. Not surprisingly, both companies mentioned the positive effect of 2008 Beijing Olympics. Sohu is the Internet content service sponsor, and Ctrip should enjoy the booming of China travel industry before Olympics. But I think this Olympics effect is already priced in the stocks, and to make things worrysome, the effect may not turn out as big as people thought. The SOHU and CTRP stocks got punished partly because of this “irrational exuberance”.
On the other hand, Chinese economy is still in fast growth mode and I am bullish on some of the companies whose growth does not solely depend on Olympics. Or at least their PR person does not mention Olympics all the time 🙂