I haven’t been following the Olympics religiously, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve caught. While in Seattle, I stayed up too late watching NBC’s coverage until midnight, messing up my sleep schedule for the next day. And, while I’m not gah-gah over Phelps, I’ve found his chase for 8 golds exciting enough and interesting enough to tune in.
So, the other day, I was heading to the store, with ESPN radio in the back ground. In their SportsCenter update, they mentioned how Phelps had won gold number 6. Cool, I thought.
I got home maybe 30 minutes later, and NBC was announcing that Phelps’ race was coming up in about 30 minutes. What, I thought? Was I confused? Did I mishear ESPN? I checked the official swimming results and, sure enough, he had raced and won. It’s just that NBC hadn’t shown it yet.
It turns out, NBC is showing the Olympics on the west coast (Pacific and Mountain time zones) via tape delay. The east coast gets it live, but we don’t. And maybe that wouldn’t bother me at all, except for the fact that they paste live on every damn screen and Costas says “live from the water cube” or “live from the national indoor stadium” every other line. Never once do they tell us that the broadcast is tape delayed. I had no idea until I stumbled on it.
It seems particularly dishonest. NBC should be saying “tape delayed” somewhere on the screen if, in fact, that is what it is. To say “live” with no clarification is down right lying.
It seems that NBC negotiated hard with Beijing to have the crucial events (gymnastics, swimming, etc) at a time that was prime-time in the US so they could show them live. Then, they don’t. Why not show them live and show us more stuff? At midnight, we’d get stuff on the west coast that the east coast guys didn’t really have a chance to see and they would see stuff in prime time that was on while we were still at work.
Even more annoying, to me, is that, even though it is tape delayed, we get all the damn filler and fluff. And then they choose to show synchronized diving. Is that the most exciting event on during that time? Definitely not to me, and I’m guessing not the majority.
In the end, NBC can do whatever the hell they want, but they should be honest with what they are showing. If it isn’t live, live shouldn’t be shown on the screen anywhere.