NEW YORK (AP) — In Rio and any other Olympics, broadcasters are frequently criticized for a concentration on a home nation's athletes that causes it to miss interesting stories involving others. Some of it is fair, much of it isn't.
So it's worth noting the time and care NBC took to acknowledge the core of the Argentine men's basketball team that has been together since winning gold in 2004 and will now split up.
That team got off to a fast start in a quarterfinal game Wednesday, taking a 10-point lead against the United States. But the U.S. team overwhelmed the Argentines with depth and defensive intensity, going on a 27-2 run. The game wasn't competitive thereafter.
"This may be the last run for what has been a magnificent group," NBC's Marv Albert said of an aging team led by San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili.
Albert and Doug Collins spent considerable time on that team's history during an otherwise uneventful fourth quarter, and cameras kept with an emotional Ginobili and his teammates at the end.
SEER: NBC analyst Ato Boldon didn't hesitate when colleague Tom Hammond asked him prior to the women's 100-meter hurdles about the chance that U.S. women could sweep the medals. "I think it's highly likely," he said. Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Catlin then made the prediction come true.
STAR TIME: Usain Bolt seems to understand the responsibility of being a star, doesn't he? Bolt had only a semifinal race to run Wednesday, but made even that seem entertaining in his by-play with Canadian competitor Andre de Grasse.
SAFE IN BROADCAST BOOTH: Play briefly stopped in Wednesday's handball match between Brazil and France, with Brazil's goalie woozy from being smacked in the head by a shot. The goalies wear no protection as the ball comes whizzing by, or at, them. "He's just dinged a little bit," NBC analyst Dawn Lewis said. "He'll have to gain his composure again." Replied her partner, Chris Carrino, "that's easy for you to say!"
QUOTE: "The samba party is on in Rio de Janeiro." — NBC soccer announcer Steve Cangialosi as a goal gave Brazil a 3-0 lead in its men's soccer match against Honduras that it won 6-0. Brazil will now play for gold.
FAKED OUT: Any rec league basketball player could identify with Collins as he watched American guard Kyrie Irving score on a brilliant shake-and-bake move against Argentina. "My knees are hurting and I didn't even guard him on that play," Collins said.
LOCHTE: NBC devoted 10 minutes of its prime-time broadcast to the murky story of American swimmer Ryan Lochte and his teammates, who said they were robbed at gunpoint during their time in Rio. Two of Lochte's teammates were removed from their plane to the U.S. on Wednesday as authorities continue their investigation of the case. NBC's Matt Lauer reported on a phone interview with Lochte.
YOUR DEVICE MATTERS: NBCOlympics.com is the place to go for DVR-like controls such as forwarding, rewinding and a 15-second instant replay button. On the NBC Sports app on phones and tablets, you're limited to a pause button for live events, with no ability to start from the beginning or create your own instant replay. For pre-taped events, you get a slider that isn't easy to control. Also, live isn't really live: Because of the constraints of streaming, it takes time for video to turn into data and travel to your phone or computer — about a minute behind one recent night. For Bolt's 200-meter run, the race was over on television by the time the stream started.
RATINGS: NBC reached 24.1 million viewers on Tuesday for a telecast that featured Simone Biles and Aly Raisman taking the top two medals for the gymnastics floor exercise. The prime-time viewership increases by 6 percent to 25.6 million when cable and streaming are added in. Consistent with every other night of the Olympics, that lags behind the 2012 London Games, which had 30.1 million viewers in prime time for the corresponding night.