For the first time this Olympics, NBC Sports has spoken out on its decision to tape delay the most interesting events and show them for the first time in the U.S. in its primetime coverage. Guess what? It's not exactly regretting the move.
NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus spoke to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, and gave the sort of response you give to nettlesome Internet criticism when ratings are enormous:
"I think what we’ve proven is that the American viewing public likes the way we tell the story and wants to gather in front of the television with their friends and family — even if they have the ability to watch it live either on television or digitally," Lazarus said. "I inherently trust that decision is the right one and that people want to see these events."
That NBC is so easily able to defend "the way we tell the story" (Lazarus also mentioned "a formula around story arcs" in the interview, and said, "We think we created the best experience") is less news and more evidence that staggering ratings serve as TV network Teflon. Lazarus saying things like, "It’s not everyone’s inalienable right to get whatever they want," which is empirically true and unquestionably corporate, is not going to quiet any critics, though.
It might, however, help NBC's cause if it could actually pull off the story arcs it suggests it does so well.
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