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Monday, July 30, 2012

Twitter Users Lash Out About #NBCFail at 2012 Olympics

It is 2012 and content providers should know by now the importance of second screens, live streams and real time alerts. It is also the London 2012 Olympics and the entire world is watching, not the mention most Americans turing in at some point to get in on the action. So why is NBC receiving a flood of criticism on social media? Because the network is not providing Americans with the level of coverage they expected.

From the onset of the #NBCFail hashtag on Twitter (that came about when a user discovered NBC's promise to provide a streaming app for Olympic coverage came with the caveat that the user be a cable subscriber), the Twitterverse has exploded with more the 20,000 tweets featuring the hashtag in the first three days of Olympic coverage. But why are so many upset with NBC's coverage?

Aside from Bob Costas (my personal gripe about the coverage),  Americans are upset because they are receiving text alerts from CNN and reading tweets from their social connections that are spoiling the events occurring in London. It is time for content providers to realize that it is 2012 and Americans are not receiving their content from broadcast television alone anymore. We have instant access to information from across the globe at any given time. Twitter itself can inform millions of an event within a matter of moments. To assume delayed coverage is acceptable to a general public in 2012 is a huge miss for NBC. To the network, I offer this bit of advice: get your act together before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, realize the importance of consumer choice in the modern business environment, and accept the responsibilities of broadcasting (rather than holding a monopoly over the content until 2020). Otherwise, you are going to continue to be inundated with #NBCFail posts across the social web and all of the negative publicity a viral movement can bring.

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