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How is it live if it's already been blogged?

here in Los Angeles, this wonderful moment of Michael Phelps getting the gold medal wasn't live as it said on the tv screen

No, this isn't going to be another complaint to NBC whining that the Olympics are being tape delayed.

I get it, you wanna make money. And, not surprisingly, the best way to make money is to present your hottest events when the most people can watch them. And it seems to be working for you.

Besides, anyone with a high-speed Internet connection, or a local sports bar, or a decent proximity to the Canadian border can see these games live if they want to. And for that I am truly grateful.

My problem is, don't tell me it's "live" if it's not.

Last night I knew perfectly well that Michael Phelps had won the gold medal and broke a record in doing so. I knew because I was working on this lil Olympic blog and we already had two posts up, and because I follow things on Twitter which had hundreds of tweets, and because I got a breaking news alert from the LA Times on my iPhone. It's safe to say that early last night pretty much everyone knew that Phelps won.

But for some reason when presented their evening assortment of Olympic tape to us here in Los Angeles, they put the words "live" on the screen.

here in Los Angeles, this wonderful moment of Michael Phelps getting the gold medal wasn't live as it said on the tv screen

When Phelps dove into the pool, there it was "live". When he swam around in front of everyone, my Sony was saying "Tony what you're seeing is happening now". Even when they messed up the National Anthem, there was Michael Phelps smiling like a champ as the president and the first lady waved at him, and there was that chyron swearing that what I was seeing was happening right then.

Later I paused my DVR and took a picture because I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Like I said, I understand why things are being delayed for American viewers, and even for we West Coasters. And trust me, I don't mind staying up late to see it, I don't even mind waking up early. And I'm totally happy that these Olympic games aren't getting yanked prematurely in favor of Australian Rules Football. 

All I ask, which I seem to be seeing today, is if it's not live, don't say it's live.

It's bad enough that it's not live.

Update: during tonight's gymnastics and swimming events NBC still had the "LIVE" bug on the upper right portion of the screen even though the competitions were over. What the hell, NBC?

-- Tony Pierce

photos by Tony Pierce / LA Times

 
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Comments (13)

thank you for pointing that out tony. that "live" bug is starting to really bug me.
how is NBC getting away with this?

Hey, I'm watching the coverage in NZ... but following it all 'live' online... as someone from CA I think we always get screwed... I think the LIVE BUG is because it is actually LIVE for teh EAST coast. They did pay loads of money for it... but why not show it LIVE on the west coast as well? Thats what I don't get? Then replay it? I was talking to my mom online while I watched it live (in the middle of teh day here today and she didn't get it til at least 5 hours later, and to not spoil the excitment she had to stay offline the rest of teh day!)

What about during the opening ceremonies... where the broadcast was taped and delayed for hours and hours... and after returning from a commercial break, the commentator would say "and what you missed during the break was xxx". Huh? They couldn't hit 'pause' during the commercials???

so-called media ethics experts giving NBC a pass for that are crazy.

No way was their lack of firm disclosure acceptable. I am really angry about it - it is a slippery slope. and if viewers are angry, maybe there is a darn good reason. NBC is not journalism

sorry- to clarify on the ethics post - i mean the bogus footage NBC used during opening ceremonies of the firework footsteps crossing the beijing sky -- it was fake footage NBC got someone to make because NBC didn't want to take a helicopter to get the real thing, then they failed to disclose it.

Keep rockin', Tony. Your blog is Riellely cewl.

Im an Aussie living in the US and despite the Australian coverage being interrupted for some football I'd still kill for the Australian coverage over this NBC one.

NBC's seems to be basically one six hour block that is repeated throughout the day. Why am I watching Phelps win his race and Liesel Jones win her race at 10:30PM western time, hours after it happened? It's not even 2PM in China - where's the so-called "live" coverage.

To me this showing of stuff that's already been on when there's other stuff currently happening is much worse than showing an AFL match and then getting back to it.

Why is NBC screwing up everone in the west coast who wants to watch the games live? Many people don't have cable/satellite TV. There are no live Internet videos/TV for the games besides the ones on NBC.com because.. ? Don't say Live or put the LIVE logo on the screen when it's not live ! ! It's so annoying.

Aussie visiting losAngeles.

It's an absolute joke. They could've shown various swimming finals live the other day from 730pm to 930pm but instead they showed Gymnastic delayed and showed the swimming at like 10. What the hell. Are Americans that #%#$$ up. It's perfect timing to show it live. Luckily I got a slingbox connected to my Foxtel streaming channel 7 to my computer. Could NBC be anymore annoying.

Many other countries around the world watched the opening ceremony and all the events live. In addition, they get a number of different TV stations to choose from (all different ownerships). If they dislike the coverage of one channel, they switch to others. In results, all the broadcasters are competing to do their best on the coverage of the game to attract the viewers. In the US, the freedom land, we don't even have the option to choose in this matter. The exclusive broadcast right entitles NBC to have this attitude: take it or leave it. Shame on you NBC. NBC should NEVER be allowed to get the broadcast exclusive rights of any future Olympic game.

Many other countries around the world watched the opening ceremony and all the events live. In addition, they get a number of different TV stations to choose from (all different ownerships). If they dislike the coverage of one channel, they switch to others. In results, all the broadcasters are competing to do their best on the coverage of the game to attract the viewers. In the US, the freedom land, we don't even have the option to choose in this matter. The exclusive broadcast right entitles NBC to have this attitude: take it or leave it. Shame on you NBC. NBC should NEVER be allowed to get the broadcast exclusive rights of any future Olympic game.

I'm absolutely FURIOUS about this!!!! I am currently watching the "live" womens' beach volleyball gold medal match. At least I thought it was live from the "live" logo on screen. When I went online just now to learn a little more about May and Walsh I found they had already won the match on May's website. They aren't even 5 points into the "live" game on NBC! If I had known that it was tape delayed by 3 hours I never would have ventured online. Now my viewing this "live" match is completely ruined because I know they've already won. Thanks NBC... I hope ESPN's 2014 Olympics bid is accepted by the IOC.

We're getting screwed as usual. Everytime I go online just to check my mail - all the results are already there. I can't even avoid it!!!


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