Tape delayed coverage a necessary evil

The choice made by NBC to run most elite events from the 2012 London Games in primetime on tape delay has caused an uproar with just about everyone.

However, the choice that NBC has made is a necessary one based on the time difference between London and the United States. Not offering any sort of tape delay coverage would be more infuriating to American fans than showing our athletes participate in events that had been decided hours previously.

It is simple math. London is six hours ahead of the US, most US citizens are at work between 11 am and 4 pm when the vast majority of Olympic events will be taking place. Once US primetime rolls around, it is 1 am in London. This is not a good recipe for live television. Of course, sports are always better enjoyed live, rather than in a microwave.

The problem that NBC has run into is two-fold. The obvious spoiler card is in play every day of the Olympics as major events are being decided while most American sports fans are surfing the net or trolling Twitter as opposed to working. Secondly, their coverage has begun to run over events that have yet to be fully televised at times.

The most cardinal of all NBC’s sins was running the Missy Franklin Today Show promo minutes prior to her first gold medal race. In case you missed it, the promo was all about Franklin’s first gold medal and celebrating with her family. This is the same medal most were sitting down to watch her win once the commercial break ended.

Of course that is a major gaffe, but something that surely won’t be repeated. What I think has hurt NBC’s coverage is the fact that they aren’t showing many of the premier events live. Continue reading