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Shooting Industry December 2012 - Page 52
Setting A By Shari LeGate Shooting Shou pic ym Ol Of ge ra ve Co ble ra vo Fa C’s NB ld Be Applauded I The 2012 Olympics brought unprecedented television coverage of the shooting sports. A record 308 athletes from 108 coun- Record-Setting Coverage n today’s very fast-paced world, what happened yesterday is quickly forgotten. The 2012 Summer Olympic Games is no different. While millions watched the Olympics on television, much of what happened in London is no longer a topic of conversation, and is certainly out of the headlines. But for the shooting sports industry, the London games was a defining moment. I’m not referring to medals won or records broken, although those were impressive. I’m referring to the amount of publicity — exposure and mass reach the shooting sports received during and since the London games. There are times the industry sees the mainstream media as an adversary — one we must constantly defend against and keep a vigilant Media swarm around Jamie Gray following her Olympic record-setting gold medal watch on. However, that perception is not always performance in Women’s 3-Position Rifle. NBC carried the event’s final live. accurate. Yes, some in the media make a living at tries participated in 15 shooting events. Of those 15 events, 12 being adversarial, but not all of “the media” is anti-gun. Do we actually feed that perception, making it stronger by event finals were broadcast in their entirety on one of NBC’s not acknowledging positive media coverage? Do we “encourage” family of networks. The other three were covered in highlights. the anti-gun media when pro-gun stories or positive television Several were broadcast live and re-aired later in the day. That’s record-setting coverage. Never in the history of the coverage hit the airwaves, and our response is one of criticism or backhanded compliments? No matter how good it is, it’s just not shooting sports has there been such coverage — Olympic or othgood enough. Do we deserve good coverage when every effort is erwise. Yet, there is constant criticism of NBC and their coverage. “It should be on primetime.” “It’s just on cable and not on met with scorn? the network.” “They should show all the qualifying rounds.” During the Olympics, some tragic events took place in our country that could have negatively impacted the SI DIGITAL shooting sports. NBC could have pulled all coverHot Link age of the shooting sports in light of those incidents. Yet, the network chose to continue broadcasting the competitions, portraying them in a positive light. The Women’s 50-meter 3-Position Rifle event was not scheduled to air, but when USA’s Jamie Lynn Gray set an Olympic record in the qualifying round, NBC took notice and made an on-the-spot decision. Producers and on-air talent scrambled to get into position to air the final live, giving Jamie and the sport tremendous coverage. NBC’s Olympic website still has coverage of U.S. Olympic shooters, including Vincent Hancock’s final shot to win a gold medal, and Kim Rhode discussing her gold medal performance. Visit www.nbcolympics. com and search “Shooting.” A Positive Light Continued on page 54 52 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com • NEW BUSINESS YEAR SUPER ISSUE 2013