Everywhere you turn, people are crabbing about NBC’s tape-delayed coverage of the Olympics, which definitely seems like an idea whose time has come and gone. But then I see the prime time TV ratings, and they’re through the roof; so far, the Games are on a record-setting pace of almost 35 million viewers a night.
But everyone is unhappy about the media. From the tape-delayed Opening Ceremonies to Twitter’s exile of Guy Adams to the hysterical @NBCDelayed Twitter account to the glitchy live stream of the Games, it seems like NBC and its fledgling partner Twitter have really screwed up the London Games. Some people are even willing to fake their country of origin in order to watch a little more.
But then why are those ratings so sky high? Maybe we don’t care if we already know the results, we still want to see the drama? Is it because three decades of video rentals has left the viewing public numb to knowing the ending? Or are there 35 million Americans who somehow avoid all sports news during the day?
Most of the fury about NBC’s dubious delay decision has been churning on Twitter. And this is certainly the first Twitter Olympics. There were a measly six million Twitter users for the Beijing Games, and now there are 500 million on it.
So, here’s the thing about Twitter. It’s an awesome newsfeed to keep you in touch with the world, and it’s a great way to have a conversation – or even start a revolution – with like-minded individuals. At its best it can bring down a corrupt government.
But at its worst, it’s an angry mob.
The angry mob has a point with all of the bitching about NBC’s coverage. The suits at Comcast/NBC need to realize the genie is out of the bottle and just show everything live.
After all, people – even members of the angry mob – are still watching prime time, even when they know the winners and losers.