As a US citizen living abroad during these Olympics, there have been some things that I can't ignore that were different about my experience watching the games. Part of it is the obvious, I get coverage as the events are happening, not with NBC's crazy nine-hur delay. There is more to it than time zone favoritism, though.
Little things are different, like that I haven't heard what I call the Olympic Song, but apparently is a piece called "Olympic Fanfare" composed by John Williams who did the music for Star Wars, Jaws, Jurassic Park, and the first three Harry Potter films, and so whom NBC pays royalties in order to play that song. Which means if you are in Europe (I've tried multiple countries so far) and want to hear that song, you have to turn to your husband's iPod, because apparently Greg has it on his iPod. I didn't ask why, I just enjoyed the crescendoing do-do-do's.
The tv coverage focuses on what I assume are different sports from what I am used to in the US. Handball gets equal coverage with boxing or the track and field events (which are called athletics but I assume that is a British English thing.) I have seen as many dressage and equestrian event highlights as football (US soccer) highlights, but I hear absolutely no mention of basketball: men's or women's.
On the BBC, commentators are generally intelligent about the sport and competitors, and pleasant to listen to, overall behaving respectably and professionally. On the German coverage, the former swimmer they had as a commentator was quite annoying. Not that I could understand a word she said, but she wore very tight t-shirts with logos that drew attention to her chest; not exactly the business casual of NBC commentators or the buttoned up proper attire on the BBC.
BBC ends coverage each night with a couple minute montage of highlights from the day, interspersed with images from around London and with mellow music playing. Having just visited London, I appreciated that, although I suspect if NBC tried it, it would be overly melodramatic, only US athlete clips, and just annoy me.
Saving the best for last though, the BBC had no commercials or athlete sob stories, the German channel had minimal commercials and no sob stories, and both mostly just showed the events. I presume NBC in the US did like in years past, where there was minimal actual sports footage and lots of Bob Costas blathering on about feel good stories on the US athletes.
Moral of the story, next Olympics go around, tune to the BBC.