NBC has issued an apology for spoiling the results of teen swimmer Missy Franklin’s gold medal-winning race.
In the latest controversy during the network’s highly rated Summer Olympics coverage, NBC ran a Today show promo on Monday night that revealed the outcome of the heavily anticipated 100-meter backstroke before the event was actually telecast. Now NBC’s sports division, which has been pretty adamant about the merits of its tape-delay strategy as public criticism mounts, has issued a statement admitting the network screwed up.
“Clearly that promo should not have aired at that time,” said an NBC Sports spokesperson in a statement. “We have a process in place and this will not happen again. We apologize to viewers who were watching and didn’t know the result of the race.”
NBC’s Today show ad announced last night, “When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with,” and showed footage of Franklin holding the gold medal and with her parents.
NBC attempt to herd viewers to primetime with tape-delayed coverage from London while covering a competition of global interest has sparked plenty of online outrage since the Games got underway on Friday (one critic dubbed the 2012 games “the last great buggy-whip Olympics”). Yet ratings continue to be strong, with 31.6 million viewers watching Monday’s primetime coverage, the biggest audience for a non-U.S. Summer Games in 36 years.
Meanwhile one vocal critic of NBC whose Twitter account was suspended after he tweeted a network executive’s email address has been given his account back. “Oh. My Twitter account seems to have been un-suspended,” tweeted Independent journalist Guy Adams. “Did I miss much while I was away.”