NBC has billions riding on the Olympics, and no amount of whining from sports fans is going to make them screw it up. Many fans are-not outraged, but mildly peeved-that some premier events at the '04 games were shown on tape delay, after everybody had a chance to find out who won on the nifty internet. So NBC made the Olympic Committee schedule too-popular swimmer Michael Phelps' races when they could be shown during prime time. Oh, the things that hundreds of millions of dollars can buy. And, deep down, we all sympathize with NBC: destroy whatever is necessary to fulfill America's greedy need for live-action gold, we say!
"They have a lot of big commitments to huge advertisers. What else were they going to do?" said Bob Jeffrey, chief executive of advertising agency JWT, a unit of WPP Group Plc. "We're in a commercial business here."
That sums it up. Nobody can be mad at the network, regardless how ridiculous it looked when the fireworks from the opening ceremony were going off behind CNBC anchors who had to ignore them, because they hadn't been rebroadcast in America yet. Or when they faked some other fireworks. Few people have purchased international satellite packages to watch everything in real time. Americans love the Olympics (though not as much as porn), and we're willing to put up with a big, badass media corporation throwing its weight around with the IOC and pushing handball and water polo to the side to ensure what we get our fill of Michael Phelps.
Have you noticed how boring swimming is, though? Pretty boring sport.