Yet again, a reminder that NBC's Olympic coverage was not for you. Not with your internet savvy and your ability to watch online video and your desire for a stream that only freezes up when it's not running ads. The tape-delayed primetime highlight shows were made for real America, the teeming masses who have actual jobs to work during the day, with no time to watch sports or bitch on Twitter. The polls and ratings say they were doing the right thing. NBC Sports' Mark Lazarus says they could have done it even better.
Though NBC drew criticism for not airing more of the games live, showcasing taped events in prime time "undeniably" helped ratings, NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus said. He said he wondered if NBC should have tape-delayed more events, such as the U.S. men's gold-medal basketball game and the men's tennis finals between Andy Murray and Roger Federer, which were live.
"It's undeniable we hurt our ratings by doing that," Mr. Lazarus said in a phone interview. "We have to balance what we're trying to do for viewers across the country and our business model."
He's right, you know. It hurts, but they're a network, not a non-profit, and their only responsibility is to please shareholders and advertisers with a minimum of bad PR. Sure, maybe they could have managed to offer tape delays without insulting their audience's intelligence, and yes, this is going to be extra-annoying when they delay events from Rio de Janeiro, which is just an hour ahead of the East Coast, but...actually, I don't know where that sentence was going. NBC made good money on these Olympics. They're a little mad at themselves they didn't make more.
NBC Wonders if It Should Have Actually Tape-Delayed the Olympics More [Ad Age]