I recorded NBC’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York while I watched the coverage on CBS (ABC did not bother to cover the parade at all).
That was fortunate because as it turned out, CBS gave about the same amount of coverage to the parade as ABC did. Instead, they used the parade as a backdrop for their endless promotions of CBS sitcoms and interviews with various celebrities. Throughout the three hours of their parade broadcast I would guess you might have seen about 10 minutes of actual parade coverage, and that was mostly the brief snippets as they were fading to or coming back from a commercial.
NBC did slightly better in their coverage, although it was mostly confined to watching actors dance and lip-synch to current Broadway show tunes. The only way to get the TV cameras to pay attention to any of the floats was to have some current pop star onboard ready to lip-synch on cue to their latest “hit.” Funny how I had never heard any of these songs before and they all sounded the same. I guess that means I’m getting old.
I always loved watching the Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day parades when I was growing up so it is really upsetting to see them get such short shrift today. I don’t particularly like big crowds, so the thought of actually going to a big parade is not high on my list of things I want to do, but it looks like that is what I may have to do if I want my children to ever see a real parade.
Here is what I would like to see a network do with its parade coverage: Set up a camera in one spot and show the floats and bands and balloons as they pass by. That’s it. If the announcers don’t have anything interesting to say about the particular float or band that is on camera at that moment, then have them put a sock in it because I could really care less about whatever it is they were gaggling about the other day.