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NBC Live Olympic Coverage Not So Live in Las Vegas

Let me start off by saying I love NBC. It is by far the station I watch the most during the year. They have a vast majority of my favorite shows and are generally pretty relevant with their news programs. That is why I was so surprised they dropped the ball like they did with their Olympic coverage.

Last night Megan and I rushed home from dinner with friends to make sure we caught the Women’s Gymnastic Finals, Megan’s favorite event in the Olympics. We got home, turned on the TV, and luckily it hadn’t started yet. We then went on to check our email and work on some projects on our computers while we waited for the event. I had just stepped into the office when Megan shouted, “I’m seeing results online, why aren’t they showing it on TV?”

I checked it out, and sure enough, NBC was posting live scores to their website, but we were seeing Men’s Beach Volleyball on the TV. The local coverage was being delayed to adjust for the time zone. I looked around NBC.com for a live feed, but nothing. They offered no live feeds online of their primetime events. I looked around the internet for other live feeds. CBC was clever enough to block their internet feed to users outside of Canada. I tried a YouTube hack Jesse shared from Valleywag, but YouTube had since patched the hole. Frustrated, I finally went back to NBC.com to send them an email and in doing so, I saw the results of the very event I was trying to watch posted on their main page! Ridiculous.

Luckily, Megan hadn’t seen the results (although the swimming results were spoiled for her by the CNN feed on her home page), so we stayed up to watch the delayed coverage, but every time I saw that “Live” bug in the top right corner of the screen, my blood boiled.

I took this picture at 10:40pm Pacific time. At this point, the US is warming up for their first event, but in reality, the event has long been completed, and I have already seen the results. Notice the “Live” bug floating prominently next to the NBC Olympic logo. There’s no indication anywhere that this “Live” feed has been delayed to compensate for time differences.

This is unacceptable. No other live sports coverage is handled this way. They would never dream of doing this with Football. Why did they decide to delay the mother of all international sporting events? It doesn’t make any sense.

I was okay with the delayed Opening Ceremonies, I am okay with the small amount of events available to watch on NBC. I am okay with them spreading the coverage over their partner stations and the internet. I am even okay with them breaking for commercials. I understand that they are still trying to make money. What I am not okay with is delaying a live feed just to put the coverage in line with the local primetime slot. No other sporting event is handled this way, not even Nascar.

I did not check to see if this problem just affected Las Vegas or if it stretched across the entire Pacific Time Zone, so please, leave a comment if you’ve noticed the delay in your area too. If it has, send an email over to NBC to complain along with me.

Update: Gizmodo has some workarounds that might help you get a live stream online. Let me know if any of these work. I’ve lost all faith in NBC.

  • Crystal

    We watched it last night at about 10:40 too, but our time, so I'm guessing it was probably live for us and they just pushed it back into the slot for later time zones. But I'm not sure when “live” was, so you'll have to be the judge of that

  • infamous donkey puncher

    It was live for me… EAST COAST HUSTLE… and are you surte you want this in cyberspace:

    I rushed home from dinner with friends to make sure we caught the Women’s Gymnastic Finals….

    suspect mi amigo

  • Ben

    I had heard about that at work and thus avoided the internet for an hour before an event I wanted to see. East Coast and Central get the live feed, thus “Live 8/7 central”.

  • I don't care, let it be known. Those girls are hard core: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QA6s7p-zU8

  • Yeah, but what's the point? They don't even do that for golf.

  • Crystal

    We watched it last night at about 10:40 too, but our time, so I’m guessing it was probably live for us and they just pushed it back into the slot for later time zones. But I’m not sure when “live” was, so you’ll have to be the judge of that

  • infamous donkey puncher

    It was live for me… EAST COAST HUSTLE… and are you surte you want this in cyberspace:

    I rushed home from dinner with friends to make sure we caught the Women’s Gymnastic Finals….

    suspect mi amigo

  • Ben

    I had heard about that at work and thus avoided the internet for an hour before an event I wanted to see. East Coast and Central get the live feed, thus “Live 8/7 central”.

  • I don’t care, let it be known. Those girls are hard core: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QA6s7p-zU8

  • Yeah, but what’s the point? They don’t even do that for golf.

  • Crystal

    So if we're so hard core, how come you never came to any of my meets? I was pretty hard core once upon a time.

  • Did you watch the video? She knocked a dude out! You never knocked anyone out.

  • Crystal

    So if we’re so hard core, how come you never came to any of my meets? I was pretty hard core once upon a time.

  • Did you watch the video? She knocked a dude out! You never knocked anyone out.

  • I'm still sad you decided to quit gymnastics Crystal – you were pretty good. I was hoping to go to some meets if I was just living at home.

  • I’m still sad you decided to quit gymnastics Crystal – you were pretty good. I was hoping to go to some meets if I was just living at home.

  • Jeff

    Yup – I just had the Men's 100 meter dash final ruined for me. I knew it wasn't coming until the primetime slot tonight, but wanted to check for the scheduled time. I went to the http://www.nbcolympics.com site and right on the main page was a headline and photo proclaiming the winner!! Why on earth, when they are delaying coverage of such a huge event by at leas 8 hours, aren't they hiding live results behind a spoilers link or something. I am pissed.

  • Jeff

    Yup – I just had the Men’s 100 meter dash final ruined for me. I knew it wasn’t coming until the primetime slot tonight, but wanted to check for the scheduled time. I went to the http://www.nbcolympics.com site and right on the main page was a headline and photo proclaiming the winner!! Why on earth, when they are delaying coverage of such a huge event by at leas 8 hours, aren’t they hiding live results behind a spoilers link or something. I am pissed.

  • I thought I was actually watching LIVE coverage when that is what I saw on the screen. To find out later I had been tricked by NBC is disappointing. It is not ethical. Now I check results first at the official Olympic Website and decided if I am going to watch NBC later. They need to be called on this trickery. I have contact NBC also.

  • I thought I was actually watching LIVE coverage when that is what I saw on the screen. To find out later I had been tricked by NBC is disappointing. It is not ethical. Now I check results first at the official Olympic Website and decided if I am going to watch NBC later. They need to be called on this trickery. I have contact NBC also.

  • Sunny

    I feel bad for the U.S. viewers that have no other viewing choice and are being lied to by NBC and basically forced into believing NBC's covereage of their favorite events is actually live.
    I'm in Canada and watch most of the Olympic events on CBC and they are broadcast live as they happen.
    I watched the women's marathon live on CBC right to the end including the medal ceremony.

    Over 3 hours later, NBC covered this event “live” – yeah right.

    If they (NBC) want to delay an event, then broadcast a taped replay later on to suit their schedule, then fine but why lie about it and try to BS people into actually thinking that they are covering an event “live”.

    Stop the BS NBC.

  • Sunny

    I feel bad for the U.S. viewers that have no other viewing choice and are being lied to by NBC and basically forced into believing NBC’s covereage of their favorite events is actually live.
    I’m in Canada and watch most of the Olympic events on CBC and they are broadcast live as they happen.
    I watched the women’s marathon live on CBC right to the end including the medal ceremony.

    Over 3 hours later, NBC covered this event “live” – yeah right.

    If they (NBC) want to delay an event, then broadcast a taped replay later on to suit their schedule, then fine but why lie about it and try to BS people into actually thinking that they are covering an event “live”.

    Stop the BS NBC.

  • Thanks for the heads up. I've decided to avoid their site at all costs.

  • Amen. That's what confuses me. Why don't they take the live bug off of their delayed time zones? The least they could do is scroll some sort of notice explaining the delay every so often. It's one thing to delay a sporting event, and a completely different thing to keep calling it live after the delay.

  • Thanks for the heads up. I’ve decided to avoid their site at all costs.

  • Amen. That’s what confuses me. Why don’t they take the live bug off of their delayed time zones? The least they could do is scroll some sort of notice explaining the delay every so often. It’s one thing to delay a sporting event, and a completely different thing to keep calling it live after the delay.

  • David

    I agree….they are unethical….especially with that live bug in the right hand corner….notice today …my Live time Mountain Standard Time….17 Aug at 10:03 p.m. that they seem to have gotten rid of the “Live” bug…..hmmmm….maybe they are trying to head off the bad publicity about their duplicity….can't fool all the people all the time…

  • David

    I agree….they are unethical….especially with that live bug in the right hand corner….notice today …my Live time Mountain Standard Time….17 Aug at 10:03 p.m. that they seem to have gotten rid of the “Live” bug…..hmmmm….maybe they are trying to head off the bad publicity about their duplicity….can’t fool all the people all the time…

  • Thanks to NBC live Olympic coverage………….I hope next time it will see better……..

  • Thanks to NBC live Olympic coverage………….I hope next time it will see better……..

  • archi218

    thanks!

  • archi218

    thanks!