I just watched the Men’s 100m backstroke final race on NBC late night. It says “LIVE” in the corner, so I can only assume the images I’m seeing are, you know, live.
Problem is, the race happened five hours ago. I know, because I watched it live on CBC. And the results have been on the Beijing Olympics website since then.
This isn’t the first time I noticed this problem, either.
So is someone at NBC incompetent, running a tape delay without covering up the “LIVE” thing, or is someone being intentionally deceptive?
…the constant “Live” tag is accompanied by twice-per-hour time stamps that inform West Coast viewers that the event was only live on the East Coast (ex. “10:05 ET”).
“The audience makeup of the Olympics is very much like that of ‘American Idol’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ which have ‘live’ season finales presented in much the same way,” an NBC Sports spokesperson says. “You assume there’s a large amount of intelligence in the viewing audience, so when they see those twice-an-hour time stamps they’ll understand what is being presented.”
You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
Let’s count how wrong this is:
- Lying isn’t OK if you air a disclaimer twice an hour.
- Lying isn’t OK if other broadcasters also lie.
- I’m on the East Coast, and what I saw wasn’t live.
- The difference in time zones between East and West Coast is three hours, not five.
- This isn’t American Idol. The time difference isn’t as obvious, and last I checked the Beijing Olympics wasn’t created by a U.S. or British-based entertainment company.
- None of these things are excuses for presenting a tape delay as live.
It’s either live or it isn’t. It wasn’t. I don’t care if it makes you look bad. It’s wrong to lie. And more importantly, it’s ridiculously transparent.