Jamaica's runner Usain Bolt defied time when he won the men's 100 meters final in a record winning run of 9.63 seconds (Second fastest in the world), Bolt as his name appropriately suggests bolted through the race, as the Jamaica Observer says, "he was racing against the clock, not the competition," and While 20 million people tuned in to BBC to watch the historic moment, NBC refrained from airing it live. Instead, the broadcast network aired it on the prime-time television slot.
In a statement released Monday, the spokesman for the International Olympics Committee, Mark Adams was reported by NBC-17 saying, "It's certainly not for us to tell them how to reach their audience...If you wanted live, you could get it live," referring to NBC's live online streaming of the race. NBC is one of the biggest financial backers of the Olympic Games.
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The race which took place Sunday at 4.50pm in London, but the channel did not air the race till its evening prime-time show. The move was clearly to attract more audience and increase ratings, by preparing viewers so that they would all tune in to the channel to watch the historic moment.
But the move also generated a lot of criticism from viewers, who immediately took to the social media to vent about missing out on the live broadcast of the 24-year-old's great victory. The social media of Twitter was inundated with tweets with hashtags reading #NBCfails.
With tweets such as "How can NBC be so inept? How many senior execs will be canned? How high will the cleaning go? It'll probably be delayed," "Thank you NBC for showing Bolt winning the 100 meter finals instead of woman vollyball (sic) and horses. Wait you didn't" (#NBCfails).
Many, comically, contrasted the channel's broadcast to NASA's show of the Rover landing: "Still cant believe that in 2012 we can land on Mars but we cant show the Olympics in real time," (@WillHill #NBCfail), "So we're getting pictures from @MarsCuriosity just minutes after it landed on Mars but we can't watch the Olympics live in London," (@herbie #NBCfails).
According to Daily Mail UK, almost 2 billion people tuned in to watch the race live. This is Bolt's third gold medal. Sunday's race is deemed as the "greatest race of London 2012," by dailymail.co.uk.