Equestrian? Are you kidding when Bolt is running 100 meters? NBC needs to air more live during weekend

Here is one way to get around NBC’s tape-delay approach to the Olympics.

Spend the weekend at a lake that has limited or no Internet access. Then watch NBC’s coverage at night as if it were live like I did.

What? Can’t get away for the weekend like I did. Well, then you’re screwed.

Once again, Twitter was on fire with angry tweets about NBC’s decision not to provide viewers live coverage of Usain Bolt’s bid for gold in the 100. One positive dividend is the entertaining tweets from #NBCdelayed and elsewhere:

@karljohn  Curiosity actually landed three hours ago, but NBC delayed it until after water polo.

@photoarmy1 Hey everyone NBC is showing live video footage of the landing right now….Neil Armstrong is about to step on the surface.

@bgtennisnation (Brad Gilbert)  Another major foot fault on NBC for not showing the 100 live no other major country would do that still shocked they would do that on Sunday

@EvilMikeTomlin “Usain Bolt leads the 100m after 50m, we’ll be back after this commercial break”- NBC

I think it is going to be tough for NBC to put out this fire. During the week, NBC can justify its line maintaining that people are at work and that it is more convenient for them to watch the big events at night.

But not on the weekend. In case you haven’t heard, viewers watch sports on the weekend. Lots of it.

NBC easily could have shown Bolt’s race live to a large audience. It began late in the afternoon on the East Coast in the U.S. The NFL does fairly strong ratings in that time slot with its doubleheader games.

However, instead of seeing the big race, viewers got taped coverage of equestrian. Yeah, I’m sure horse jumping was second choice on everyone’s list.

Meanwhile, Bolt’s race didn’t air until after 11 p.m. ET. By that time, you had to be on Mars not to know the outcome.

NBC definitely needs to reconsider its stance regarding weekend coverage of the Olympics. We’re conditioned to watch live on the weekend.

And don’t get started with the notion that you could have watched the race live via streaming. The picture quality isn’t nearly the same. Also, by late Sunday afternoon, most viewers need a forklift to pry them free of their big, comfy chairs. Why make it inconvenient for them to have to run to a computer?

As I said, I get the tape-delay approach during the week. But not on the weekend.

You need to be live on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, NBC.

And the latest from NBC:

Usain Bolt still leads after 75 meters. Back in a minute.




4 thoughts on “Equestrian? Are you kidding when Bolt is running 100 meters? NBC needs to air more live during weekend

  1. I don’t get why they don’t do both live and tape-delay. Treat the prime-time block the way they’ve always treated it, but if big-deal events happen during the day, show it live. They’re not going to lose viewers at night, and they’ll gain viewers during the day, and can charge more for ads during the day.

    • Whoops, sorry — so, to clarify, I meant they should re-run the big events during the prime-time block as if they were live, w/o/spoilers. But show them live during the day.

  2. I’ll disagree to a point about the streaming offerings. You don’t need to pry people off their couches in this day and age with the popularity of the laptop, iPad and other mobile devices. Many sports fans, myself included, will actually have one very handy as we relax on the couch.

    That said, while I have no complaints about NBC’s weekday scheduling of Olympic coverage, I have to agree with the weekend argument. More live sports should be available. I’m sure NBC would have had better ratings at 4:45 pm on the east coast if they had shown Usain Bolt’s race live compared to whatever they drew with equestrian. It may have actually been better than their rating at the time they actually did air the race.

    If NBC is going to hang on to the one event the world was watching until the evening, don’t toy with us by hanging on until 11pm to show it. Show it in the first hour (or even in the second hour if you insist). Holding it until 11pm is just cruel, I’m sorry.

  3. It’s actually easier for me not to know what happens on the weekend than during the week. I need my “PTI” fix and that means seeing ESPN’s spoiler-filled ticker. But on the weekend, I don’t have to watch anything that spoils anything if I don’t want to. And I’m not checking Twitter every single second of every day, because I actually have a life.

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