Even as NBC claimed that it registered record audience for its prime-time TV coverage of the Olympic Games, Twitter was flooded with complaints about the U.S. network's streaming efforts and telecast delays of the key competitions.
Reports on several leading publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Reuters, showed how Twitter was awash with posters that complained about the quality of NBC Universal's online platform and its failure to live up to its live coverage promise.
Apparently, the broadcaster's decision to tape-delay certain events after promising live coverage irked viewers who took to Twitter hashtags #NBCfail and #NBCsucks to vent their feelings, The New York Times stated.
A few complained about a plethora of ads interrupting NBC's live coverage across broadcast and cable outlets and commentary by NBC anchors, Reuters reported.
However, NBC managed to grab the eyeballs and posted a record 28.7 million viewers for primetime coverage on the first day of competition against 40.7 million viewers for opening ceremony coverage July 27.
Viewers who are keen to catch up with online coverage must have an account with a cable television or satellite provider or download an app from NBC. Over 90 percent of Americans subscribe to either cable or satellite services.
Commenting on the developments, Brad Adgate, Media Analyst, Horizon Media told Reuters: "Whatever NBC does they will receive criticism, especially in Social Media Olympics, you can't please everyone. TV though remains the big ad revenue producer and they paid 1.18 billion dollars, so what do you expect?"
Finding the strong ratings for the London games surprising, Adgate added: "It's one thing to run ahead of Beijing, but quite another to be running ahead of Atlanta."
How NBC Responded To Criticism
The Mashable reported how Jim Bell, the Today Show Executive Producer who took over Olympics coverage from star producer Dick Ebersol, answered fans' queries on Twitter. Bell said NBC would make it explicit whether or not an event is live or tape-delayed and also warn viewers of spoilers.
NBC Universal, in which Comcast Corp is a majority stakeholder, paid $1.18 billion for the U.S. telecast broadcast of the London Games. So far, the media house has won $1 billion in advertising for Olympic broadcasts.