News & Events

Rick Gentile Appears on NewsHour
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Watch Rick Gentile's interview on PBS' News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll and sport management professor, recently appeared on PBS' NewsHour with Jim Lehrer to discuss NBC's 2006 Winter Olympic coverage in Turin, Italy, the reasons why the coverage produced the lowest overall ratings since the 1992 games in Albertville, France, and to publicize the results ofthe Seton Hall Sports Poll, which showed a 26 percent drop in interest among viewers.

Gentile, who produced the Olympic games in Nagano, Lillehammer andAlbertville as a CBS sports executive, highlighted a number of mis steps by NBC, including the network's decision to promote a handful of 'star' athletes, who then failed to live up to their reputations; NBC'sdecision to broadcast nearly all of the coverage during prime time,where it was over shadowed by shows like American Idol; and its decisionto not air coverage live, which allowed potential viewers to learn results through news media accounts before viewing the sporting competitions.

"[NBC's coverage] was a little too focused on American athletes,particularly in terms of their pre-game promotion. They picked selectedathletes and said these are our stars. And they turned out not to be,"Gentile told interviewer Jeffrey Brown.

But the network has an opportunity to bounce back with the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, according to Gentile, if NBC reexamines theway it covers the Olympics.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll Conducted by The Sharkey Institute is the first university-based, on going polling service to delve into the multi-billion dollar sport industry. For its debut, student pollsters, primarily Stillman School marketing and sport management undergraduates, interviewed 631 U.S. households February 17-21, who had been watching the Games. The sample was based on a U.S. population random-digit-dialing probability design, giving all numbers – listed and unlisted – a known and equal probability of being selected.

The News Hour with Jim Lehrer

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer appears nightly on PBS stations nationwide.

Rick Gentile

Rick Gentile discussed the shortcomings of NBC's Olympic coverage.

Jeffrey Brown interviewing Rick Gentile

Jeffrey Brown interviewing Rick Gentile.

Richard Sandomir and Rick Gentile

Richard Sandomir, New York Times, appeared with Rick Gentile.

For more information please contact:
Jill Matthews
(973) 378-2695


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