Olympic Spectators Watching via NBC Complain on Twitter About Tape Delay
The London 2012 Olympics have started with a bit of anger from spectators watching the coverage from NBC in the form of complaints on Twitter (News - Alert). The problem was that NBC has displayed coverage from the 2012 London Olympic Games with a tape delay, which is normally used to either censor content or edit and refine it before it goes on the air. Twitter transformed into a major fire pit in the last day or so against NBC where its users have all gathered up to bash the broadcaster for showing delayed coverage of the Olympics.
All of the anger was vented into one Twitter hashtag: #nbcfail. People finding these tweets are wondering whether this represents a small percentage of the real number of outraged spectators or the complaints of a minority overall. NBC suspects that the latter is true.
Vivian Schiller, the chief digital officer at NBC, responded to the situation by retweeting a message from executive producer of "Piers Morgan Tonight," Jonathan Wald, "The medal for most Olympic whining goes to everyone complaining about what happens every 4 yrs., tape delay." She also "+1'd" the post.
Here's the dilemma: Other major sporting events have been televised live. The Olympics, on the other hand, has always had a tape delay. NBC has the equipment to make a live Olympics coverage possible. What's the matter, then?
One of the biggest reasons that fans complain is that the commercials are coming on while the Olympics are still running, meaning that you miss some of the coverage whenever a commercial break comes on. One Twitter user said, "You do know there's some Olympics squeezed in between those commercials, right?"
On the streaming end, things were worse. NBC failed to warn people of the possibility that streaming could get a bit pixelated or that users' computers might not match up to the requirements necessary to have a proper video stream. Twitter also went berserk with complaints from fans because of the streaming services. Greg Hughes (News - Alert), one of NBC Sports Group's spokesmen, said, "We're enjoying tremendous success with our digital offerings. And yes, there have been some difficulties. Some on our end; some on the users' end. And we're working around the clock to give everyone a good digital experience. A small number of complaints, relative to the huge number of users, is a very positive early sign."
The streaming service was indeed very used up! Here's an example: On Saturday, the first day of the games, seven million computers were connected to the stream. Compare that to 1.6 million in Beijing 2008.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey