NBC’s plan to tape-delay the London Olympics and save the best stuff for prime-time has elicited more anger from people than bank fraud and partisan politics. #NBCfail and #NBCsucks trended over the weekend, as Twitter users expressed the obvious to their television overlords: between email alerts and tweets, spoilers are impossible to avoid in 2012.
But NBC knows what it’s doing. While you think it’s silly that NBC tape-delayed the Ryan Lochte/Michael Phelps 400-meter IM — after all, it was Saturday, they could (and should) have just played it live — holding the race for prime-time led to the biggest Olympics ratings in history.
“Saturday night drew 28.7 million viewers, which topped the first night from Atlanta in 1996 by more than 2 million,” Sports Business Daily reported. “The average rating was 14 percent higher than Beijing (13.9) in 2008 and 34 percent higher than Athens (11.8) in 2004, and the best for any non-U.S. Summer Olympics ever.”
You may disagree, but clearly it’s working for NBC. And it’s led to one of the better parody accounts that Twitter has seen in some time: @NBCDelayed. In about 24 hours, NBC Delayed has picked up more than 15,000 followers — and you can expect that number to rise.