Spoiler alert: Phelps and Lochte raced today. The results are all over Twitter. But the race won’t air on TV in America until tonight.
This is 2012, not 1996. NBC has put all of the events live online, provided you have a cable subscription, but won’t have them available recorded online and won’t air many events, including the most high-profile ones, until a primetime tape delay.
This isn’t a new strategy, just a dumb, outdated one.
This isn’t just the first social Olympics; it’s the first Olympics where we can see in real time the dysfunction of the broadcast monopoly
— Michael Roston (@michaelroston) July 28, 2012
Sums it up pretty well. We’ve already covered the failings of NBC (and the IOC) fairly extensively, but its a topic that bears repeating. Check out #nbcfail for a live (gasp, what’s that?) stream of people’s frustrations with the peacock network.
Now, I like to think that NBC isn’t completely outdated and stupid. They’re doing this for a reason: m-o-n-e-y.
NBC can make more money with its current strategy than it could with a strategy that’s better for the viewers. And it isn’t just broadcasting a run of the mill sports event branded by a for-profit sports league. NBC is benefitting from Team USA branding and national pride, and is using that to fuck people over for better ratings.
So if you’re cool with watching tape delays, having commercials during soccer games and more, then by all means watch NBC tonight and give them good ratings.But if people really want this to change, especially for future Olympics, World Cups and more, then you need to not watch. Scour the internet for bootleg streams, most of which are live; or if you must watch the games tonight, go to a bar where the games will already be on.
Don’t contribute to the ratings.
Or you can cave in and watch and we’ll all suffer through tape delays like Nicolas Cage in, well, every movie ever.