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How does NBC justify tape delaying the Olympics? Pretty easily

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
February 20, 2010
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You can't throw a rock on the internet without hitting someone frustrated by NBC's handling of the Winter Olympics. ESPN and The New York Times can barely hide their giggles while posting event results hours before they air and West Coast viewers have to endure an additional delay to watch an event happening in their own time zone. Compare these quotes by NBC Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol, first in 2001, then later in 2008 posted by Deadspin and The Bastard Machine:

2001 - "A domestic Olympics cries out to be telecast live across the entire country as previous U.S. games have been," he said. "I am emphatic that delaying our primetime Salt Lake coverage is a mistake."

2008 - "...the viewers have repeatedly told us that the vast majority of them, well in excess of 80 percent, want to see the Olympics when they're available to see the Olympics. They don't want to see the key events of the day happening at 4 or 5 o'clock their time."

Meanwhile NBC CEO Jeff Zucker a.k.a. the guy who keeps Heroes on the air appears completely pleased by the ratings results in this video interview with CNBC embedded after the break. Whether it's still the local affiliates who are to blame or simply a silent majority of tape delay loving Luddites, it doesn't appear NBC plans on changing course for any reason. Still, feel free to drop by their message boards and let them know how you really feel about it, and hope ESPN nabs the rights for future Games.













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