Even though airing the London Olympics opening ceremonies on tape delay helped NBC set a ratings record, that hasn’t spared the network from being roundly criticized in media circles for its coverage.
Saturday, according to Yahoo! Sports, the network’s much-vaunted live-stream coverage presented users with obstacles during the 400 meters mens’ swimming event featuring American medal contenders Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte: not only was the event not aired live on any broadcast outlets, but anyone looking to catch it online was unexpectedly asked to have a username and password through their local cable company, something that was not advertised; then, SI.com and Deadspin, among other outlets, tweeted that the stream was failing constantly. Deadspin’s Timothy Burke later tweeted that NBC’s stream had issues on multiple web platforms.
The streaming errors only added to the online criticism NBC has attracted, first by deciding not to air the opening ceremonies live in the U.S., then by omitting a tribute to terrorism victims in favor of a Ryan Seacrest interview with Phelps.
“When unfamiliar facts arise during NBC’s coverage, you can typically count on in-house smartypants Bob Costas to fill you in on the details,” Slate’s Josh Levin wrote Saturday. “But with Costas on the sidelines until the parade of nations, former Today compatriots Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira instead engaged in a reverse battle of wits, fighting it out to see who knew least. Vieira came out on top.”
[image via Agence France-Presse]