NBC has already committed some major Olympic coverage gaffes, including refusing to broadcast the opening ceremonies live. While that was mildly frustrating, there were no breaking news events that a tape delay could ruin. That all changed yesterday, when Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte were set to face off in the 400m IM final. Although every event is streaming live on nbcolympics.com, watching on TV is just better. So when 2:30pm rolled around, everyone was ready for the drama to unfold. But no! We got a Dan Patrick interview with a synchronized swimming coach, or something.
That’s right: after months of fellating Michael Phelps and his all-time gold medal quest, NBC thought better of broadcasting the race live. They even skipped a tribute to terrorist victims during the opening ceremonies in favor of Ryan Seacrest throwing softball questions at Phelps, so you’d think any Phelps race would be high on the Olympic broadcasting ladder. Instead, they tape delayed the event, because nobody has Twitter, Facebook or smart phones and won’t find out the results in the 5-hour interim.
One Reddit user summed it up quite well:
“Dear NBC, Fuck you for putting a worldwide sporting event on a tape delay and making me stay offline in order to avoid spoilers. Fuck you very much.
From the onset of the Olympics, NBC has been on the defensive, and finally issued this statement concerning tape delays:
“‘We are live streaming every sporting event, all 32 sports and 302 medals,’ an NBC spokesman wrote in an email to Show Tracker. ‘It was never our intent to live stream the Opening Ceremony or Closing Ceremony. They are complex entertainment spectacles that do not translate well online because they require context, which our award-winning production team will provide for the large prime-time audiences that gather together to watch them.'”
Ah yes, too complex. Context. America, you are idiots. Without award-winning production teams, SWIMMING HAS NO MEANING. Still, though, this doesn’t address tape delaying Michael Phelps, or other big events. But seriously, if you really want to stay away from spoilers, don’t follow NBC Olympics on Twitter because NBC is tweeting about events not available on NBC because NBC thinks you just can’t handle unfiltered sports coverage.
Well, a giant “fuck you” to you too.