There might not be a bigger lasting complaint about the London 2012 Olympics than results getting posted early for events NBC is delaying to show later in the night. Tape delay in 2012 seems laughable if you cover sports all day like I do.
London is the first Olympics where the internet is having a major effect on how quickly we get information. Now with streaming video, Twitter, Facebook, and a multitude of websites; results are at the touch of a finger.
Smart phones now give us updates no matter where we are as long as we have internet access. Four years ago smart phones, Twitter and Facebook were in their infant stages when Beijing held the Olympics in 2008.
I have seen several sports writers, radio host, sports bloggers and more post tweets about complaints of releasing results early. Most see it as their job to get information out to people regardless of when the event will air.
No longer do we have to wait for the morning paper or NBC to show results. Results can be found instantly on a multitude of platforms and that is not going to change.
In the race to post first, give instant analysis, and direct readers to web traffic; it is going to get harder and hard not to see results before they air on NBC primetime. Complaints about getting early results are not new.
Once 24-hour cable news and ESPN found their footing, they have been giving away results for a while now. But London is the first Olympics where viewers are bombarded with early results.
Each media outlet has to decide how they want to handle the tape delayed events. It becomes, do we want to be first in information or not ruin the experience for viewer.
There is nothing wrong with releasing results early. I want to know what happens as it is happening but this is what I do for a living so I understand wanting information or watching early does not work for everyone else.
As we enter the new digital media age, more questions will arise about covering events across the world. One thing that won’t change is finding out results early.
Media outlets like ESPN, Yahoo Sports, Sports Illustrated and other are going to keep posting results on tape delayed events. This will not change unless NBC can reach a gentleman’s agreement with other media outlets and I for one believe that will never happen.
Figuring out how to hide from early results might be the harder question to answer.