As the London Olympics got underway Friday, fans weren’t giving NBC any medals for blacking out live coverage of the opening ceremonies for many viewers.
NBC was set to air the festivities at the Olympic stadium in a taped and edited format during prime time. That meant millions of Americans were left with no place to turn, either on TV sets or laptops. And they weren’t happy about it.
“In this day and age, no livestream for the Olympics opening ceremony?,” asked @jjwright on Twitter. “You just can’t handle situations right, can you #NBC? Curry, now this.” The last sentence was a reference to Ann Curry, the "Today” co-anchor NBC recently shoved aside.
Someone tweeting as @Theselongwars kept up the British theme and paraphrased Shakespeare: “A livestream, a livestream, my kingdom for a livestream.”
In fact, such a stream could be found, although it took a bit of reconnaissance. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton carried a live stream on his site with the message: “Time to feel all kinds of patriotic!”
NBC executives might welcome such enthusiasm, although probably not such bootlegging.
The network paid $1.3 billion for the rights to the Games and is expected to lose at least $100 million on the coverage.
But disappointed fans were in no mood to be forgiving.
“NBC making an incredible bid for gold medal for Stupidest Network Ever,” tweeted Heidi N. Moore, New York bureau chief for NPR’s “Marketplace." “No livestreaming, no broadcast, just pretending it doesn’t exist.”
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