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NBC, Twitter and the London Olympic Games

08.08.2012, Uncategorized, by .

NBC has come under a lot of criticism for their coverage of the XXX Olympics in London.

Because of the five hour delay and NBC wanting to put together the best prime time show, everything was tape delayed. But NBC presented it as if it was happening in real time. The results of the events were known, but NBC acted like they were not. It was like some 1950s movie about controlling the message and reporting the news in an edited manner hours after it happened.

People on Twitter (myself included) were not happy with being treated this way. We knew the results (although it was not that easy to find at first) and felt a bit insulted that NBC acted like the news was not out there.

Then many people started to reply that they wanted to remain in the dark and actually enjoyed the spoon-fed NBC prime time show. That threw me a bit. I thought we all wanted news as fast as we could, when we could get it. But not everyone. After all, NBC has always treated the Olympics like an extension of the Today Show. Not trying to break news, but package it to make people taste a bit of this and that — and to be happy.

The NBC prime time Olympics is treated like the Today Show. It is meant to be valium and chill people and not really tax their brains. Relax.

Whereas Twitter is rapid fire, cocaine-fueled, hit me with more and more. Bring it on. Now. Immediately. Uncensored.

I get it now.

NBC did the right thing by devoting basically an entire night to Michael Phelps. This is how the Today Show would have done it. This gets the ratings. Although not feeding the sports fix for many of us.

I wish NBC would have used it’s cable channels for more. The full-time basketball and soccer channels are a waste. The erratic MSNBC and CNBC schedules are confusing. I wish one of the channels was a “SportsCenter-like” up-to-date Olympic News channel. Give me hourly shows that cover all the highlights and news. It would have served sports fans and Twitter fans.

I also think NBC failed by not embracing the web-site and actually using Twitter to help promote. Don’t ignore the results, but use Twitter and promote them. Show more of the gymnastics and swimming live. Sure it would be showing the key events before the Prime-Time show, but that is fine. People will still turn in for the Today Show Olympics at night. But some of us would watch during the day too.

NBC is trying to control this too much.

In a world of social media and instant information, NBC should relax a bit and embrace it — and not try to fight it so much.



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