NBC Pretended to Be Shocked by Plushenko Retirement During Broadcast
NBC has been steadfast in defending its tape-delayed coverage of the Winter Olympics in the face of numerous complaints circulating the internet. NBC Sport’s chairman Mark Lazarus went so far as to tell reporters that “for most viewers, it just doesn’t matter.”
On Friday, the network was called out for their questionable “plausibly live” (but in actuality very tape-delayed) coverage of the men’s short program, in which broadcasters let on that Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko might compete despite him announcing his retirement several hours earlier. According to the AP, “The broadcast presented a pre-taped intro about Plushenko as if he were about to start skating, and then came his “surprise” withdrawal. By this point, it was already 10 hours old and the story of the day.”
Such incidents present that more troubling aspect of such coverage, which came about in 1992, when information such as Plushenko’s retirement wasn’t widely spread on the web the moment it occurred. Cutting off non-cable subscribers from experiencing wide coverage of the Olympics is shortsighted enough as it is. The network’s leadership should think better of their audience than to outright mislead them.