London 2012: NBC Spoiled Missy Franklin’s Tape-Delayed Olympic Victory With 'Today' Promo
Viewers watched the 17-year-old swimmer smile with her gold medal moments before the east coast broadcast of her race had concluded.
Olympic viewers already know to steer clear of the Internet to avoid their spoilers, but now NBC is facing heat for spoiling their own tape-delayed coverage.
Shortly before broadcasting Missy Franklin’s 100-meter backstroke victory on Monday, the peacock ran a promotional spot for Tuesday’s episode of the Today show. The seemingly harmless commercial said, “When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with.” The message was paired with an image of Franklin smiling with her gold medal and a video of Franklin hugging her parents, presumably after she had won the race.
NBC has been criticized for its decision to run its entire prime time program on tape delay due to the five-hour time difference between London and New York. Many viewers have dutifully avoided the Internet and other mediums that would spoil the Games’ results, but few expected to face those spoilers on the very network that was broadcasting the event.
Additionally, the network has become the subject of a widely spread Twitter trend, #NBCFail, which is being utilized by social media users to air their grievances.
Still, NBC is recording winning ratings as it continues to outpace the most recent summer games in Beijing. Sunday night’s delayed broadcasts of women’s gymnastics, men’s relay swimming and more brought in 35 million viewers and an 11.4 rating among adults 18-49. This year’s opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, was the highest rated non-U.S. Olympics opening ceremony in television history, averaging 40.7 million viewers.