A lack of live coverage of the 2012 Olympics from London has left at least one journalist raving mad – and, at least temporarily, without a Twitter account.
The Independent’s Guy Adams has been one of the most vocal critics of NBC’s televised coverage of the games, partially because of what he sees at Matt Lauer’s pointless commentary, but mostly because the network refuses to air much of the content live.
Instead, because of the time difference between London and the US, much of the coverage is aired with a few hours of delay on the East Coast, and 6-7 hours of delay on the West Coast.
In one Twitter message, Adams wrote, “I have 1000 channels on my TV. Not one will be showing the Olympics opening ceremony live. Because NBC are utter, utter bastards.”
It is frustrating. Here in New York, for example, if you tune into the local news at 6:00 PM the anchors will warn you with a “spoiler alert” before they talk about the Olympics, because the actual news-worthy events won’t even be broadcast on TV until hours later.
So Adams finally couldn’t take it anymore and wrote a Tweet that read, “The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think! Email: [email protected]”
Surprisingly, Twitter suspended his account, and NBC would later confirm that it specifically asked Twitter to take action. Adams fired back, saying he violated none of Twitter’s policies. The site is pointing to a rule in its terms of service that users are not allowed to post private information, but Zenkel’s NBC email address is publicly available.
And yet, it is an even more tangled web that has been spun here. Twitter and NBC are actually corporate partners during the 2012 games in London, so the microblogging site certainly wants to do all it can to please the peacock network.
Another side to this story is that the first night of Olympic competition coverage on NBC set a US record – an average of 28.7 million Americans tuned in on opening night, eclipsing the 2008 Beijing coverage by nearly 5 million viewers.