EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 18, 2014

Olympic Viewing: Defending Cooper, Costas back


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Highlights from television coverage of the Sochi Olympics:

RATINGS

NBC rebounded from the lowest-rated Sochi night so far to get 21.3 million viewers on Sunday, a night that featured ice dancing and American skier Bode Miller. While below the 23.3 million who watched the comparable night in Vancouver four years ago, it beat the 19.2 million who watched the Italian Olympics in 2006.

UP CLOSE

NBC’s Olympics chief says that criticism over reporter Christin Cooper’s interview with Miller won’t stop NBC from telling stories about the lives of Olympics competitors. There was an angry online backlash to the interview televised Sunday, where Cooper repeatedly asked Miller about his late brother as the skier collapsed in tears. Miller said Monday he wasn’t angry at the reporter, which NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell said “ought to take some of the temperature down on it or should, anyway.” In a case like that, “you’d be irresponsible not to tell that part of the story,” Bell said. It’s even more important with the Olympics because fewer people know the athletes involved, he said.

EYE ON COSTAS

It was a long six days in his hotel room for Bob Costas, waiting for his eye infection to improve enough to return to work as NBC’s prime-time anchor, which he did Monday. NBC made sure he was able to follow the games by having the feed of its American broadcast wired in to his Russian hotel room. Costas watched devotedly, with the exception of a brief break Saturday to watch Syracuse, his alma mater’s undefeated basketball team, keep its record intact by beating North Carolina State.