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NBC Issues Apology Over Olympics Spoiler

Missy Franklin Olympic Gold Medal H 2012
Getty Images

The network accidentally ran a promo for “Today” showing swimmer Missy Franklin holding her gold medal before the race had been broadcast to U.S. audiences.

NBC is sorry for spoiling the Olympics.

Shortly before broadcasting Missy Franklin’s 100-meter backstroke victory on Monday, the network ran a promo for Tuesday’s episode of Today showing the swimming sensation holding her gold medal.

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After viewers lashed out about the spoiler and their increasing frustration with the tape-delayed coverage of the Games, NBC issued an apology on Tuesday.

"Clearly that promo should not have aired at that time,” said a statement from NBC Sports. “We have a process in place and this will not happen again. We apologize to viewers who were watching and didn’t know the result of the race.”

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The Today commercial said, “When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with,” and showed the U.S. swimmer holding her gold medal.

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NBC has received plenty of criticism from U.S. viewers because of the network’s decision to tape-delay the Games, herding viewers into watching during the primetime hours. Because of the five-hour time difference between London and New York, this forces U.S. viewers to avoid spoilers the entire day so they can enjoy watching the Games in the evening.

Despite some viewers’ frustration, NBC is reaping ratings success, outpacing the most recent summer Games in Beijing. On Monday night, 31.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the broadcast on NBC, compared to 30.2 million who watched the first Monday of competition in Beijing four years ago.