NBC's "Live" Olympics Fraud: Never Broadcast Currently

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
2008 Summer Olympics

There is plenty of uproar over NBC delaying broadcast of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Stephen Kaus of the Huffington Posthas expressed his fury over the NBC Olympics policy:

As much as I enjoyed the victory of the Brazilian soccer team over North Korea this morning, not to mention the exciting Poland vs. Estonia badminton match that is presently on in HD, I would much rather have seen Michael Phelps break the worlds record in the men's 400 meters individual medley.

NBC knows this and that is why they won't let me see it. They want to hold it for their prime time show. Undoubtedly for the end of their prime time show, at which time I plan to be asleep.

This is ridiculous in 2008. It is now 8 a.m. and I know the result. Much of the fun of watching sports is not knowing the result. They are going to show the race in 15 hours.

Of course Kaus knows the results. In these days of Internet news blogs, sites such as the Huffington Post are typically first to break news....long before the networks actually do. But the Huffington Post is not broadcasting the Summer Olympics either. Actually, they were banned from attending by the Chinese government.

Kaus goes on:

NBC is not catering to sports fans. It is catering to the ignorant sheep who are used to having "reality' cut up and organized by the likes of Mark Burnett. As Jay Leno demonstrated last night in his Jaywalking episode (link coming) , they don't know the score in more ways than one. But they buy stuff. It's the Olympics as a soap opera.

This "plausibly live" coverage, as annoying as it has been for years, is hopelessly anachronistic in 2008, when even NBC is offering thousands of hours of video on the web and seemingly dozens of TV networks. In fact, the Phelps story (and I just used Phelps because he was the one when I started writing: he already has been eclipsed by the loss of the top US men's beach volleyball team to Latvia, also delayed, although I did not check for it on the web) is the lead on the NBCOlympics.com site, there just is no video and, of course, no drama.

Why can't NBC broadcast the most important events live on one of one of its subsidiary networks or even on its web site? Then I could choose: USA at 5 a.m. or NBC at 11 p.m.

They could do it complete with commercials targeted at the audience: think Bud instead of Olay.

But that would be outside the box. The current thinking is more from the school that blacks out home NFL games if there is not a sell out. Think Mad Men.

Kaus does have a point.

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