If you're stationed in Europe or in Afghanistan as a U.S. military member, you get one advantage when watching these Olympics: The time difference is smaller. But of course they're screwed, too.
AFN—the American Forces Network—is tape-delaying all Olympics coverage, preventing an audience of "365,000 military and family members, civilians, retirees and State Department workers throughout Europe, Southwest Asia and North Africa," from watching live coverage, reports Stars and Stripes. And the complains are pouring in on AFN's Facebook page:
A July 27 post complained about not being able to watch the opening ceremonies live: "I don't understand how hard it is to watch the Olympics live when I live in Europe … why must I watch it on a German channel … thank you for your caring support to put it in English at 1:30 am for Soldiers living in Europe … crazy its not like the Olympics comes every 4 years or anything."
Most complaints have been similarly worded, Smith said. People are saying: " 'We understand that you are getting the feed from NBC. But we're thinking, gee, we're in the same part of the world. Why can't we get a live feed?' " he said. "They want their Olympic coverage live."
Heh, how familiar! And why is AFN tied down? According to Stars and Stripes, the network is bound by Defense Department regulations to carry a U.S. feed, i.e. NBC, which provides its Olympics coverage to AFN free of charge. And remember, NBC tailors all its coverage to an American audience except when it doesn't.
Tape delay: It's unpatriotic, too!
Photo of U.S. troops watching football, via Getty