Less Live Coverage During China's Olympics Adding To TV's Lack Of Spontaneity

There are now 5-second and 10-second delays of live TV award shows. There are more and more edited reality shows. And soon there'll be no live broadcasts from the home of this year's Summer Olympics -- or at least no live broadcasts from the cultural and photographic center of Beijing, China -- Tiananmen Square.

Due to increasingly possible unrest from protesting Tibetans and others, China has now told Olympics broadcasters there'll be no live shots from its key landmark during the Olympics games to be held this August.

All this hurts NBC and other broadcasters who frame their sports anchors and their anchor desk sets with live shots around key location markers -- this time around Tiananmen Square, the heart of Beijing.

NBC will still be offering up plenty of live Olympics sport events from China on its traditional TV airwaves -- some 75% live on any given night -- and increasingly more for on its digital platforms.

Still, the lack of live establishing shots during the Olympics is part of the decrease of [spontaneity on TV. Even though a number of shows are so-called live or live to tape, including some episodes of "Dancing with the Stars" and "American Idol," less ad-libbing is making it on TV this days.

Since the Janet Jackson breast-baring incident in the Super Bowl a few years ago, networks have looked to eliminate any fleeting profanity -- or fleeting boobs. But with that goes improvisation and other possibly interesting moments -- left now to the likes of YouTube and the rest of the Internet.

The word censorship hasn't been used against the networks -- but many will use it when describing China's elimination of live shots during some of the Olympics.

Then again, in this still-growing video and TV world, plenty of stuff is edited -- which is sometimes a nicer word



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