Seemingly every sports fan on Twitter hates NBC and the network’s insistence on televising Olympic events on tape delay. NBC hasn’t done much to mitigate the displeasure–and has even made it worse on itself, by suspending the Twitter account of one of its most vocal critics and spoiling one of its most hyped tape-delayed events. Media critics like Jon Stewart have raked NBC over the coals for some of the network’s decisions. It’s fair to say that the #NBCFail hashtag has gotten quite a bit of use on Twitter.
Ultimately, however, it appears that NBC’s unpopular decisions are paying off in a big way. America seems to love complaining about NBC’s Olympic coverage almost as much as it loves watching the Olympics on NBC. With the games still less than a week old, the network is seeing record viewership numbers. The network is averaging over 30 million viewers, the best ratings of any Olympics in history.
Part of the reason for the tremendous ratings has been the wide array of interesting story-lines in the Olympics so far. From Michael Phelps’ quest to become to most decorated Olympian ever to the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team’s incredible performance (including a vault that was literally jaw-dropping), there has been plenty of great content for NBC to air.
Ratings are likely to remain high throughout the remainder of the games. The track and field part of the Olympics, featuring arguably the biggest star present in London (Usain Bolt), should offer plenty more drama.