Michael Phelps versus Ryan Lochte in the 400 IM. The event was promoted as a competition for the ages. Teammates going head to head after Lochte won a recent race after following in Phelps’s wake for years.
Unfortunately, all of the electricity created by NBC was grounded after the station’s decision to continue to broadcast the Olympics using a delay to air the events in prime time. (It should be noted that you can watch the Olympics live via NBC’s web site.)
You can no longer ask people not to share a score or a victor’s identity. You will come across the results by chance unless you lock yourself in a room without any technology.
Since everybody, and their mother, and their grandmother nowadays, found out via social media (Twitter in most cases) that Phelps came in fourth and Lochte took gold, there is not much need to tune in later.
NBC seems to be confused by the simplicity of sharing information or more likely taking the hard line approach of ad dollars over viewer preferences. If someone wants to see the Olympics they will live stream it on their computer or phone, minus the precious ads that were sold in primetime. The results are then tweeted or posted on Facebook. In fact, some people may even email or text each other as well.
After learning of the results people may want to watch it and have a short time to find a video online before it is pulled down by a broadcasting company like NBC. If this happens and the clip has not been viewed, some people will continue to search online until they find it. At this point they will post the link using social media.
This is one of many ways results are being spread and NBC is doing exactly what you are not supposed to do in this situation – ignoring their audience. It will be interesting to see if their viewers stick with them throughout the games.