ANCA Protests NBC’s Snub of Armenia’s Olympics Team

NBC Olympics

WASHINGTON—The ANCA joined thousands of frustrated Armenians across the U.S. and around the world Monday in expressing frustration with NBC’s short and silent coverage of Armenia’s Olympic team during its coverage of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremonies in London on July 27th.

In a letter sent to NBC CEO and President Stephen Burke, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian noted “We were troubled by the absence of any commentary or background – scripted or otherwise – about Armenia, a nation with a history of thousands of years, and a proud legacy of participation in the Olympic games.  In the place of information, your viewers were treated to a single line – “Armenia, now walking in” and then nothing more about Armenia during the very short on-screen time devoted to broadcasting only a single member of the more than two dozen athletes on the Armenian team.”  The ANCA letter called for an explanation and apology, as well as a commitment from NBC to provide meaningful coverage of Armenia and her athletes during the remainder of the games.

The ANCA first voiced the community’s concerns on its Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ancagrassroots – on Friday, and issued its letter earlier today. These concerns have been echoed by Facebook and Twitter posts from around the world.

The full text of the letter is provided below.

I am writing, on behalf of your many U.S.-based viewers of Armenian heritage, to share with you our disappointment over the very short and inexplicably silent coverage of the Republic of Armenia’s team during your broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

We were troubled by the absence of any commentary or background – scripted or otherwise – about Armenia, a nation with a history of thousands of years, and a proud legacy of participation in the Olympic games.  In the place of information, your viewers were treated to a single line – “Armenia, now walking in” and then nothing more about Armenia during the very short on-screen time devoted to broadcasting only a single member of the more than two dozen athletes on the Armenian team.  The

inadequacy of the coverage provided to Armenia, relative to that provided nearly every other country, was underscored by the hundreds of community complaints we continue to field on this matter. NBC’s dismissive treatment of Armenia was disrespectful not only to the citizens of Armenia, but to a world-wide Diaspora that includes over 1.5 million Armenian Americans. Such actions undermine NBC’s longstanding relationship with its viewers who care about Armenia.  We call upon you to explain and apologize for the shortcomings in NBC’s broadcast of the Armenian team, and to ensure proper coverage of Armenia and her athletes during the remainder of the Olympics.

Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.

Sincerely,
Kenneth V. Hachikian
Chairman

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52 Comments

  1. John Ahmaranian said:

    Not only there were four words about Armenia,
    but even the commentator had difficulty to pronounce the word ARMENIA.

      • Leslie Kalaydjian said:

        They panned over the ENTIRE Turkish Olympic team, over and over and over again, and STAYED THERE…for a VERY LONG TIME….I know because Opening night of the Olympics, I was away and we all gathered around the tv to specifially watch…I paid extra attention to Armenia, U.S.A, and Turkey…It made me absolutely sick. They looked like they intentionally left out certain countries,as I stayed up late to watch it until the end…Others in the room noticed it too. It was terrible and embarassing, especially for NBC, to be so incredibly unprofessional. My friend was tweeting, she is Korean, and said that a lot of people were upset on Twitter about the inequality of televsion coverage for the different countries…There was definitely a disparity. Not cool. Not professional. No acceptable.

        • Leslie Kalaydjian said:

          P.S. Oh, yeah, when they showed Armenia, they VERY QUICKLY threw the camera on the first person, the flag bearer?, for 1/2 a second and then just as quickly, took the camera away. Armenia was treated like a non-entity. If I hadn’t witnessed it myself, I would never have believed it…It was extraordinarially rude, considering how LONG they stayed on the Turkish athletes, and kept showing their same people over and over, for a very long time…Was the cameraman Turkish?? Can we find out??? It was too weird…Having seen it myself, it was definitely NOT a coincidence…Not logical…

  2. Gary_S said:

    I personally don’t think it was intentional. Remember, they’re 100s of countries there. It would take too much airtime if they did that with the hundreds of countries there!

    • sona Manuelian said:

      I disagree….they were announcing all the counties that came before Armenia. It’s not as if Armenia was in the middle! If they did not announce the USA or another country..IE. China and a number of others…..it would be front page news. There should have been something!

  3. Art said:

    Please keep us posted with the final outcome of the letter sent to NBC.

  4. Levon said:

    I remember that during NBC’s coverage of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony 4 years ago, when the turn came for Armenia to be introduced and walk in, NBC went to a commercial and didn’t even show Armenia.

    This should be verified and included in the letter to NBC. Because this is a disturbingly anti-Armenian bias and trend that should not go unnoticed.

  5. Victoria Markarian said:

    Thank, Ken Hachikian, for your quick reply to this insult. Not only was nothing said about Armenia, but as I was viewing it on TV, none of the athletes on the Armenia squad were shown, giving the impression that only the flag bearer represented Armenia. I don’t take to conspiracy theories, but it makes one wonder if something else was behind the slight.

    • Victoria Markarian said:

      Thanks, Ken Hachikian, for your prompt reply to this inslt. Not only was nothing said about Armenia, but as I viewed the scene on TV, none of the athletes on the Armenia squad were shown, giving the impression that only the flag bearer represented Armenia. Makes one wonder if something else was behind the slight.

  6. M.K.S. said:

    I was astonished by the NBC’s short coverage of Armenia’s athletes,therefore, it would be advisable to Armenian Americans to erase (delete) NBC channel from their televisions.

  7. albert said:

    NBC is owned by General Electric one of the largest military contractors. NBC/GE is a part of a vast military/industrial /media complex who has contracts with Turkey and the Azeris.

    • Greg Bilazarian said:

      Albert jan –

      NBC is NOT owned by GE, it is owned by Comcast. And your theory is just so ridiculous (and factually incorrect). You have decided that because the announcers didn’t give enough about Armenia, there was a Turkish/Azeri plot to silence broadcasters from saying something. Do you guys hear yourselves sometimes? You sound absurd. I posted my full name to ensure I wouldn’t get a return post saying “Greg is a Turk” or something crazy. Lav eli, shat aveli medz khntirner@ ka ashkarum.

      • Vahe Y said:

        Thank you Greg! Right on target. Unfortunately, the likes of Albert come from conspiracy driven countries that lack any form of reasonable thinking.

      • anonymous said:

        very well put greg, as i mentioned in my comments below, Armenians we have this idea that anytime something negative takes place i would say “we” but i am not one of those Armenians, they start with the conspiracy theories as you said always saying something absurd about in the fact “this was a plot by the turks” and these kind of ridiculous ideas, and when Armenians like us make these kind of comments we immediately become anti-armenians,, we are not anti armenian but we are realistic and we are not “yes man” about everything, and we dont agree with everything for example this ridiculous article. But i am glad there some level headed Armenians who are not quick to jump the gone and play the victim card. As i said in my comments, just because we are narcisistic about being Armenian, the truth of the matter is we are a very small nation, with a very small country in mass and population including the diaspora, Armenians have a twisted idea of what we are, most people dont feel the same way about us as we do, so once we start to realize what we are and stop this ridiculous narcisistic idea about how powerfull we are and how armenia was a great empire and we are the first nation to accept christianity among other things, we would be in a much better place. I am not a good writed so i apologize for my lack of writing skills i just write what i feel. Thanks

  8. Gharakhanian said:

    Was appolying Matt should be fired now he has too manny issues and a sickening voice it’s time for him to go away so we can watch NBC again he said Armenia like a question, and questioning and could feel the smirk on his stupid face and that horrible nasal voice like that he should be sued and NBC it’s not the first time he has done this ive been wanting him gone since the beginning he is a mistake and has horrible energy .

  9. bedros afeyan said:

    Bob Costas and his handlers ought to have known better than to ignore Armenians as if they do not matter at all on this planet. Only two of the greatest chess players of all time (yes, WORLD CHAMPIONS, among many more world class grandmasters in the dozens) were Armenian, Tigran Petrosian and Garik Kasparov. To many, chess is the ultimate sport. Armenia is the little country that could, surrounded by bloody Turkic hostile states threatening its very existence, and trying to rewrite their filthy hands in genocidal history. NBC choses to ignore it and have nothing to say about it is a pandering mockery of the evil that lurks in bottom line worshipping charlatans like Bob Costas. He owes us Armenian Americans a very big apology. You would think that a person of Greek heritage would know better…This must be reversed, unless NBC wants to turn us off completely.

  10. Stepanian said:

    I wonder how much money did the Turks and the Azeris feed NBC?

  11. M. Morris said:

    Dear NBC,
    You do owe your American viewers an explanation for your unique lack of comment as the Armenian team marched in during the Opening Ceremonies. The Cleveland Ohio area people watching could not believe you used filler comments of general information intead of showing the representatives of the Republic of Armenia and talk about their potential areas of strength.
    We are waiting to hear from you NBC, continued silence will be its own message.
    Sincerely,
    M. Morris

  12. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Well said …Kenneth
    (You name is very English as well)

    We don’t need their olympics
    We are well known in Chess
    We use our Brain cells—
    astrocytes…dendrites
    Not to Alzheimerate
    More than we use our legs…
    We are powerful as well
    We are generous
    We give our names
    For other nations …
    But our names are Armenian
    No one can confiscate…!

  13. MAZOD said:

    Dude, I totally agree. That Bob Costas is a jackass…absolute SILENCE when Armenia entered. He and NBC should be slammed. Nice work ANCA.

  14. gayane said:

    That was my initial and immediate reactions when i took a picture of our Armenians right off the TV and posted a note immediately after on facebook about “the silence” and not enough showing of our team members.. it was absolutely frustrating and uncalled for.. They had plenty time to now only speak about the Armenia and plenty of time to show the rest of our athletes…

    Just simply dissapointed. absolutely rude…

  15. Hayk said:

    Honestly this country USA reminds me soviet or any other dictator regime.
    when you watch Olympic coverage you see politics involved big time thay are picking certain countrys to talk about and broadcast.
    Worst part is that this same channel NBC is screaming about .

  16. Hayk said:

    Honestly this country USA reminds me soviet or any other dictator regime. when you watch Olympic coverage you see politics involved big time thay are picking certain countrys to talk about and broadcast. Worst part is that this same channel NBC is screaming about democracy.

  17. George said:

    For many years I was a loyal Today show watcher, but stopped watching when Matt Louer during his where is Matt tour went to turkey in the month of April. It was like he was reading a script produced by the turkish government about what a wonderful place turkey is. Never once did Matt mention the genocide. Thats when I stopped watching the Today Show. Now NBC, slighted Armenians again, by snubbing the Armenian Olympic Team during the opening Ceremonies. Now I will completely stop watching NBC.

  18. Sonya said:

    Perhaps that was better than London coverage which showed the face of only two athletes – one who looked miserable and then commented on the fact that the government of Armenia was awarding cash prizes as incentive to its participants should they win any medals….not exactly the kind of coverage one could be proud of. Funny that wasn’t mentioned about Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan or Georgia when their athletes walked in…
    http://www.rferl.org/content/olympic-medalists-set-to-cash-in-at-london-2012/24653095.html

    • Hayk said:

      Sonya every country promises cash prize that is not a new thing USA gold medalists get $3 million.

    • Tsoghig said:

      Apparently most countries do this, but how disappointing that they said that only about Armenia. I am glad you wrote about the English coverage, it would be interesting to hear about coverge in other countries…Hayastan, Lebanon??

  19. Levon said:

    Armenians had a big influence on Pankration Wrestling when Olympic games started around 776BC or having one of the most number of medals per capita in Beijing 2008 games. Why was this or many other great facts not mentioned. I say because we do not speak up about our culture and accomplishments we do not teach or promote our culture and history. Be proud of being Armenian and unite by promoting our culture and history ( play real Armenian music (NOT RABIZ), eat real Armenian cuisine, dance our traditional dances so that others know about us.

  20. Stewie said:

    WHAT A BUNCH OF WHINERS YOU PEOPLE ARE!!! When Bob Costas cut the Turkish team off completely during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in SL City, Utah (by cutting to commercial just after they had come back from a commercial), we were understandably upset, and other than a letter or two to NBC, we certainly didn’t WHINE like you people LOVE to do!!! FYI…No one owes any of you anything!!! As for George’s comment…WHO DIED AND MADE YOU GOD?!!!!

    • Random Armenian said:

      Stewie,

      Oh come on. Turks are whiners too. They whine about how the world is out to get them, while at the same time are insanely proud of the Ottoman days when Turks went around conquering other people and their lands. I bet Turks posted to Turkish sites complaining about the winter games you mentioned.

      Nobody owes Turks anything either. :-p <— giving a raspberry, just to show how silly this whole conversation is.

  21. art hagopian said:

    Contray to NBC, the Canadian broadcaster CTV was quite a bit more accomodating. As the armenian team marched they announced that armenia had won 6 bronze medals in Peijing and named the flag bearer. I would like to know what they said about Georgia and Azerbaijan?

    Art

  22. anonymous said:

    ANCA are you seriously protesting this?, i mean how ridiculous is this?, these are the kind of actions that make me crazy as an Armenian, is this that much of an important issue that would generate this type of response?, is there nothing the ANCA will not protest?, everything is a protest, this doesnt mean anything, it was not just Armenia many countries didnt receive coverage during the opening ceremonies, is always Armenians protesting about something, i mean come on pick your battles, not everything is worth protesting about, i mean as an Armenian the first thing i thought when i read this article is how ridiculous are we getting, did we ever come to realize how small our nation is, not only the people living in Armenia but including the Diaspora, just because we are narcisistic about being Armenian doesnt mean other people care about us, we dont even care about eachother, for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Random Armenian said:

    This was incompetence on the part of NBC, but is all these knee-jerk reactions (even conspiracies) necessary?

    I agree with gayane in how she describes NBC’s treatment of Armenia as rude. But one can’t be overly sensitive either.

  24. Hamasdegh said:

    I think we are exaggerating. Do not look for slights where none was intended.

  25. Tsoghig said:

    I agree with all of the comments above. The coverage was so disappointing. I am starting to think that Matt Lauer was the problem and not Ann Curry. They not only showed the Turks and Azeris but they spoke more about the tiniest island nations that bought like 5 athletes! But while they were rushing through the countries that walked during the commercial, it was clear that what they were saying was scripted which makes it worse because they had time to think about one or two sentences they could have said about Armenia! It was so idappointing! The picture in Asbarez is the first I am seeing of the whole team and i have to say they are dressed so well! Much better than the silly out of date double breasted bs my country (the US) was wearing!!

  26. Steven Kocay said:

    I dont think that it was meant to be done like that. Armenians think that Armenia is a huge and important country but it is not.

  27. Harutik said:

    America’s idiotic Armenian community deserves every single insult and disappointment they get from representatives of the empire. Only the clinically insane would have any kind of regard for anything American or Washingtonian…

  28. Hovik said:

    I was excited to see and hear about the athletes from Armenia i was glued to my TV waiting for armenian delig. I was very disappointed too like alot of people for NBCs ignorant coverage of Armenia. Not surprised! Real disapointed

  29. GENERAL EDDY said:

    DEAR S WHO CARES ABOUT THEY SAID ARMENIA NAME OR NO .THE IMPORTANT THIS SMALL NATION HAVE GOT MORE MEDALS (1 SIKVER 2 BRONZE) AND ALL TURKEY WITH 75 MILLIONS THEY RECEIVED 1 BRONZE .ALSO WE HAVE AN ARMENIAN WHO WON THE GOLD MEDAL UNDER RUSSIA DELEGATION.HIS NAME IS ARSEN GALESTYAN .BRAVOAND GOD BLESS OUR NATION AND PEOPLE/EDDY

    • GENERAL EDDY said:

      GENERALEDDY
      DEARS UNDER LAST RESULTS ARMENIAN HAS 3 MEDALS 1 SILVER AND 2 BRONZE, BUT TURKEY HAVE 1 GOLD 1 BRONZE WITCH MEANS COMPARING TO THE GREAT NATION ARMENIA. TURKEY NEEDS SOME PUSH PUSH……. FOR PRINTING MISTAKE SENT AT 11.03/EDDY K

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