NBC Spoiler Apology: It Won’t Happen Again

    August 2, 2012
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

NBC has gotten a whole lot of attention this week, and unfortunately for them, most of it has been negative. The entire country has been riveted to the television every weeknight, taking in all the joy and heartbreak the U.S. Olympic teams have endured, but it’s been difficult–to say the least–to avoid spoilers during the day, because the games are on a 5-hour tape delay since they’re taking place in London this year. That’s why, when we all got a spoiler from the network themselves, it caused a huge backlash among Olympics fans.

The spoiler in question came moments before swimmer Missy Franklin’s 100-meter gold medal win on Monday and showed the athlete celebrating with her parents for the first time since taking the prize, with a narrator saying, “When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with.” Oops.

NBC has released an apology for the gaffe and says they are ensuring it won’t happen again.

“Clearly that promo should not have aired at that time,” read the 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.”

But it’s not just this one goof that has viewers irritated; since the beginning of the games, many people have been dissatisfied with the coverage NBC is offering. However, that hasn’t stopped millions from tuning in this week to follow their favorite athletes; over 31 million people are glued to the coverage.

  • kay

    I would like to know ahead of the contest because I can not stand to watch our people lose so when I watch an event I aiways turn away when our people compete. How can I find out ahead of the airing.

    • Arnell

      internet. you can get any event before nbc puts them on air

  • Twinkletoes

    NBC has the WORST guest commentators EVER! I actually heard one gymnastic guest commentator talk about the terrible loss of one country and said it was “hysterical”—are you kidding me?!? It’s the worst Olympic coverage I can ever remember. Get rid of that woman with the blonde hair….geeezzzz she is beyond terrible. Some of her questions and comments are just plain grade school level. I hate to be rude, but let’s show some professionalism.

    • Linda Borg

      I agree. The blonde lady who interviews the swimmers is embarrassing. She asks the most asinine questions. These are grown people for goodnesss sake! They are kindergarten swimmers.

      • http://email Martin

        I agree, “How do you feel, what were you thinking, what did you have for breakfast, where you disappointed in only second place?” Questions the viewers are dying to hear the

  • Tina A Brown

    This article is “stoopid”!! Ppl r on fb, twitter n the web all the time n they all give out all the winner info. I watch the Olympics, whether or not i kno the outcome, becuz i like to c the competition. Get over it people!

  • jan

    If you’re a network broadcasting company (NBC) why would you not anticipate this happening and rely on the public to advise you about spoiler situations. These are your own self promotion ads. You have total control over them. Is anyone home?

  • Deb Maddox

    I want to see more than gymnastics and swimming. Judo. Table tennis. Handball. Synchronized swimming. Equestrienne. Even if the USA may not dominate in these sports, I’d like to see us compete and see extraordinary skill — whether the athletes are from the USA or not. My kids don’t even get what these events are about due to your lopsided coverage.

    • http://www.devildips.com Tammy

      I completely agree! I was just saying to a friend that it seems all I’ve seen lately is gymnastics, swimming, and volley ball. While I love watching those too, it would be nice to see some other sports like track. And I’m super curious about the whole trampoline thing.

      • Ratbitw

        Track starts Friday!

      • Kenneth

        Not every event takes place at the same time Tammy. There are two weeks of events. Count the number of feet you have and thats how many weeks the Olympics will be on. Track starts this weekend. Trampoline is a rubber mat stretched over a frame that you jump up and down on. Walmart has them.

    • Zougy

      I couldn’t agree with you more. NBC is doing a horrible job showing the Olympic games.I understand that 70% of US gold medals come from swimming, and I’m proud of our swimmers. However, NBC should allow viewers to see more of boxing, basketball, and other sports. I can understand if their ratings are low. Who wants to watch swimming all day long.

      • Jose

        totally agree !!!!!!!!!

    • http://email Martin

      I agree, it is fine to support our athletes, but I’d like to see
      some of our kids who don’t have the fame, and I want to hear more
      about the foreign competition.

  • Hyper

    there are multiple options on the internet to watch olympics live. Just look for them. I paid 10$ so I can watch any performance live and without the adds.

    • K

      Not everyone wants or even has Inter

  • Mark Douglas


  • Rene Gleason

    The commentators especially the gymnastic commentators are absolutely worthless. Who are they speaking to 4 year olds their vocabulary is horrendously primary. They never help the audience know what the judges are looking for during the event, and I am completely infuriated that they almost never give the final scores of the final events. While the entire nation waits to see the scores of the contestations suddenly they are finally released and what does NBC do nothing the commentators don’t tell us and they are not put on screen for us to see….We have had to look them up online at the end of every final event of the evening….it is extremely unprofessional and disturbing.

    • Jim Price

      Agree completely!

    • Meg

      Rene, what state’s NBC channel are you watching? I would think all NBC’s would be the same coverage and they’ve been putting the scores on my NBC channel after each athlete’s performance. Before the event begins or as it is starting the things the judges are looking for is listed on the screen. Meg in Mississippi

    • http://email Martin

      I agree, the graphics are terrible and on and off the screen in
      a second. The event reporters do nothing to add to the event,
      just the same old comments. Very weak all around.

  • JCS

    By turning down the volume we are able to enjoy these Olympics just a bit more.
    Sad for the vision impaired who are forced to listen to the average announcers on Nothin’

  • Will

    I’d rather watch paint dry then to watch this trash

    • Jose

      you got it right…….this is trash!!!!!

  • Ben

    I agree that NBC is ruining the Olympics for the rest of us. I was unable to see 2008 in Beijing, so I was looking forward to this. But since we all can’t afford to fly to London, I guess they will continue to spoil it for us. I mean, come on, would you watch the superbowl if you already knew who won? Sincerely, future CBS viewer.

  • Sherry Bennett

    Nothing about the Today show is worth watching since Ann Curry was fired. They look like a bunch of amateurs.

    • Dawb

      I agree. Ann Curry was the BEST. Now, Today not worth watching (IMHO)

      • Linda Borg

        So true! Ann Curry was very good. A “real” reporter, and why on earth they let her go is beyond me.

    • Lorna Jackson


      • Kenneth

        I agree. I was a huge fan of the Today Show…Ann Curry, Matt, etc. When they let Ann go…i was done. Totally. Switched to the Travel Channel in morning during breakfast.havent gone back to the Today Show. No more respect for Matt Lauer. And for Bob Costas….has he ever been an athlete at anything? I doubt it. I guess Matt and the gang will be over for the closing ceremonies. At least maybe Bob Costas will be gone.

  • SapphireAssassin

    We have no choice except to watch if we want to see anything, hence the ratings. They will drop like a bomb when the Olympics are gone. The spoilers are ridiculous. The comments are generally inane. The same interviews and stories are shown morning, noon, and night. The variety of sports being shown is lame. Shame on NBC. I sincerely hope they take the next two years to figure out how to do the job right in Sochi.

    • Jose

      agree ………shame on NBC

    • Marc

      The WORST coverage of any Olympic Games I have watched. This is one reason I watch ABC. When they had the games the coverage was excellent. None of the BS we are getting with NBC

  • Jim

    Is anyone surprised? NBC Sports is synonymous with lousy coverage.

    • http://email Martin

      Of course we watch, we are Americans, and we have no choice other than NBC. I’ve been watching the Olympics since the 50’s,
      this is by far the worse coverage. We have over 400 contestants
      and we have seen the same few over and over again. During the
      day time I have seen more rowing and water polo than I have seen in my long life. There are no features on our toughest competitions, we have no idea about the competitors. NBC is making a fortune off commercials, but low grades in the games.

      • Toni

        Seriously this is the WORST coverage for the Olympics EVER! MSNBC airing Rachel Madow instead of the Olympic coverage! Not even to mention I am An AMERICAN and want to see AMERICAN Olypians before watching other countries athletes…..If others want to see Russia versus China or Argentina versus UK…then air those on your streaming video where they can watch….I want to the the Americans on my TV and don’t care what sport it is!

      • Jose

        Totally agree!!!!!! I’m not interested in the games any more. That’s how bad the coverage is !!!!!!!!!

  • Pete Lancaric

    NBC has been becoming very comical for a period of time. Now with this Comcast “relationship” it’s a Joke. I stopped watching all of their stations when Charlie Rose showed up in February on ” another network “

  • Rick

    NBC should air the events live during the day for those that are able to do watch and then re-air them in the evenings as they normally do. It is simple and it satisfies everyone.

    • http://yahoo Kandyce Koop

      NBC does show the Olympics all day. They start about 1:30 here in AZ. They show them on MSNBC, NBCSN and on NBC. I love that I can DVR each individual sport that I am interested in, rather than having to DVR all of it. I think this has been the best year ever as far as viewing it on TV. I’m interested in the equestrian, diving, swimming and gymnastics so I can just DVR those. It’s GREat!!

  • sheila

    I had to laugh when our local NBC news affiliate anhor made the comment about being back for the news at 11PM assuming that Bob Costas can shut up in time. That man drones on and on and on…Apparently even the local news anchors are getting sick of waiting around for NBC to finish up their messed up coverage.

  • Darrell

    NBC coverage has been out of control since opening night.
    I have tried to watch, and with the commentary trying to outdo

  • Ed

    I like how apparently none of the competitors the whole world over have names. American athletes have names but no one else. “This is Kathryn Luogo shooting for the USA, BAM! she gats a 10. Bullseye!! And now the mexican, she hits for a ten. The mexican is favored in the match but its a good start for Luogo.” Really? The Mexican?

  • Julia

    Please have commentators refrain from saying “They had to SETTLE” for medals lower than gold. Any medal is a wonderful achievement and is EARNED, NOT settled for in any competition.

  • Darrell

    NBC coverage has been out of control since opening night.
    I have tried to watch, and with the commentary trying to outdo
    the competition. Matt with his insults all thru opening coverage
    to Viera trying to sing along with the presentation.It was hard
    enough following the presentation with all the content, and I wont
    start with Bob Costas, enough, the athletes are performing not
    the announcers

  • Rob

    I can’t understand in the day and are of the DVR and online access why NBC decided to Air these games during prime time. We all read about it anyways before we see it. If they broadcast it over the internet live, that would have been ground breaking. Really dissapointed about this whole spoiler alert crap, I want to see and know now!!!

  • Roland

    NBC. Sports fans are not surprised. Your network is so greedy. Why not air the events in real time. We live in modern times. You can get all the sports info from the internet. NBC, you missed it again. Hoping you don’t bid on anymore sports contracts. Glad the NFL is on Fox.

  • Rachel

    The whole “spoiler” concept is ridiculous in the age of immediate information. I have known the winner of every major event before the evening telecast and I have watched anyway. Silly people! Immediate info is what the internet, twitter, etc. are all about. Get with the 21st century!

  • Ben

    If there is anything positive to say about NBC’s coverage (not that any of them give a damn about us and will read these comments) is that at least with that network covering it so much, it takes us away from the other circus that happens every four years, A.K.A the presidential election.

  • Charlie

    critics, critics, critics. If one is going to criticize it is much more mature to wrap it in comments about the many positive things about the coverage. THANK YOU NBC for all your hard work it providing commentary, good background info on the atheletes and for all the good camera angles. You are to be commended.

  • gary carter

    What is the reason no female gymnast has duplicated Olga Korbut’s uneven bar routine from 1976?

    • j

      The “Korbut flip” is no longer allowed in Internation competition

      • Sandy

        They keep saying Nadia was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10. That’s wrong…Olga Korbut scored one before she did

  • Gary Filice

    IMHO ABC coverage of the Olympics under Roone Arledge was the best, even for that time where communication technology wasn’t what it is today. Reporters like Jim McKay, Curt Gowdy, Bill Flemming, Bob Beatty, and Chris Schenkel did one hell of a good job of factual and interesting reporting on all aspects of the games. All of us kids longed to be in the games they broadcast, and we watched these guys do the broadcasts with real class! Give the games back to ABC! Just say’in!

    • Elizabeth

      Gary – I agree with you. One of the problems with NBC’s coverage is that they do not know when to SHUT UP! We can WATCH things without all of the drama given by the likes of Tim the gymnast, etc. Also, not EVERYTHING needs commentary. I think this has to be the worst Olympics coverage I’ve ever seen.

  • Jonathan

    NBC is my favorite Network. I think they are doing well. Everyone makes mistake. People cry for everything.

    • Pat K

      Whom is NBC fooling? the Olympics is not being covered by the “News” Division.

  • John

    Who cares.

  • Joseph

    NBC just completely neglected the men’s indoor Volleyball team.

  • mike

    True I was watching the Water polo yesterday and “The Spanish Goalie” was called just that….I think the average American commentator has trouble with names that don’t sound like Jones or Smith…

    • Sanary Surmer

      Then, they shouldn’t be chosen to announce the games. I have the same issue with MLB. If you’re going to be an announcer for MLB games, with 28-32% of the players Hispanic, then you should do your profession and yourself a service and learn how to say their names. All the effort would take would be to go to the team officials before each series and ask someone on each team to teach you how to say the names of ALL the players. Is that too much to ask? The late Jack Buck was great, and fluent in Spanish, and he knew how to pronounce players’ names. Folks, it was not Tony Pe-REZ’ of the Cincinnati Redlegs, it was Tony PER-ez. Jack used ot say that saying Tony Per-EZ’ was like saying Pete Ro-ZAY (Rose)!

  • vinnie

    why not just show everything live,like during the world cup,whwtever part of the world you are in you watch it then.

  • http://www.webpronews.com/ tdinphx

    NBC..your favorite network..Gimme a break. I am surprised that NBC even plays the Gold medal National Anthem without the whole newsroom gagging.
    As far as the Olympics..In this digital age of instant information, for anybody to keep what happened 8 hours ago a secret is living with their heads in the sand…NBC does that all the time anyway.

  • Don

    all I can say is thank goodness for the Canadian networks broadcasting live so I don’t have to wait 12 hours to find out who won. Ultimately being disappointed when some family member calls to say…Hey did you see that event! and blurt out the result before I have a chance to stop them. hey NBC…I know you have a monopoly but this prime time thing really sucks.

  • http://www.ourhappyacres.com Dave

    The entire country is NOT riveted to the TV watching the Olympics. I’ve not watched a minute of it, and I don’t plan to. NBC and the other media outlets have over-hyped it to the point of nausea. The medal counts of the U.S. are displayed at the top of Yahoo’s main page every time I go there, so I can’t escape it even if I try. Even CNBC is showing boxing in the afternoons. I need a break!!!

    • stephen

      Boohoo, you poor thing. Having to go through the agonizing pain of hearing about a two week event that only happens once every four years. How will you make it? (With any luck you dont)

  • Sanary Surmer

    The Olympic coverage is almnost fine – EXCEPT when the smug, death mask wearing Bob Costas is on camera and making his know-it-all comments. God, the make-up job they have on him makes it look like they just pulled him out of a casket. Can’t short-man syndrome Bob deal with the fact that his boyish looks along with his boyish charms are fading? Has he NOT actually looked at a tape of his look and seen how ghoulish it is? And is anyone ever going to “slap” him for his 20 year smugness? Please, save us! Does he really think he is so far above us, and the athletes? Plus, he’s ignorant. When commenting upon English Cyclist Bradley Wiggins victory in the time trial only 10 days after his win at the Tour de France, Costas remarks something to the effect that “This bloke Wiggins” might be worthy of some further attention. Yikes! Does Costas, obviosuly not knowing anything about cyling, think Wiggo just showed up out of nowhere? He is the most successful Olympic cyclist of ALL TIME, with SEVEN Olympic medals and FOUR of them GOLD! and he has won SIX cycling World Championships! Bob should be prevented on commenting up on something he doesn’t know about – Hey, there’s a idea that covers a LOT of territory.

    Another thing that has really bugged me about the announcers is that if the USA athletes make a mistake, say in gymnastics, it’s always called a “little” or “small error” mistake, whereas when the mistake is made by an athlete of a different country, there is a noticable gasp and comment about how bad it was. Let’s be fair and equal – in the spirit of the Olympics!

    Oh, and can we get Tim Daggett out of the gymnastics announcing. Yes, he was a great performer for us, esp. I remember on the rings, but his squeaky voice is driving me to drink!

  • Sanary Surmer

    and why is Prime time ONLY covering Gymnastics, swimming and female volleyball? To get the female viewer? WELL, THEY’RE LOSING THE MALE VIEWER! Why not show a sample of other sports? Sculls, rowing, archery, boxing? Yeah, I know they’re on the opther channels during the day, but why only the baove in prime time. Even my wife is bored with the same things on every night!

  • Kim

    We also noticed that the last person to perform in gymnastics never gets their score posted because the camera shot of a close up of their face is more important than showing their score.

    • kathy

      I agree. The crowd sees the score and knows what happened, all we hear are the cheering and excitement, but not to post the final scores on TV was very frustrating.

  • harry tate

    Censorship of the opening ceremony.
    withholding info . in women s gymnastics to make the USA performance ”more tense’
    blocking twitter criticism.

    ”Chinese style” behavior much condemned in the USA Full investigation needed into restriction of access to info to the public by NBC

    Thank goodness for BBC watching the whole thing live , and there are so many countries participating .

  • Joseph

    If anyone cares, USA beat Brazil in indoor Volleyball today, and it WILL NOT be delayed on Primetime by NBC. The network just completely ignored USA’s most important matchup today, showing badminton and handball on its other networks instead. And guess what, neither badminton or handball had a USA team on air. I can’t believe NBC just completely ignored the USA men’s volleyball team. This exmplifies how poor their coverage is.

    • Joseph

      And no, NBC you do not owe the viewers an apology, you owe the USA men’s Volleyball team an apology–and a public one!

  • Jennifer Stier

    It’s NBC, is anyone really surprised?

  • rob car

    I waiting to watch Baskeball…I want to James, kobi and durant, hope i can watch on tv tonigh…please air that game…..

  • stan

    Nbc seems to think what they wand ppl to see. Chopping it up,missing vollyball sets ect. What a fiasco. Either show it all or put the regular programming back on. If we are gonna have to watch commercials the show might as well be good.

  • todd

    I am very disappointed at NBC’s coverage of these games, absolutely terrible. I hope the top executives at NBC responsible for the programing will be asked to find another job.

  • Tom

    NBC should fire their program manager. Show the live play. Waiting until prime time so we can all watch massive amounts of commercials isn’t television. ADeciding what we should be seeing in prime time is as sad as it gets for TV.

  • Chuck

    Is this a precursor to information control by the media?? Sponsors on NBC should really be irate since this total fiasco will affect them too.

  • GT

    Just happened again…ROFL 8/2/12 here comes the uproar

    • Talitha

      I noticed the same thing! They gave away the gymnastics with the promo clip for Friday’s Today Show. Not happy.

  • Gail

    I am so tired of watching swimming qualifying rounds that I could scream. You only get to see the gymnastics if the USA is doing well. That they chose not to show the USA Men’s final team events, because they were out of the medal runnning early was pathetic. Their last three events were better then their vault and pommel yet we had to again endure qualifying rounds in “prime time”. NBC has really put their foot in it this time.

  • SuperD

    Right from the outset NBC’s coverage has been poor, amateurish and ill-thought. Poor, poor and disinterested commentary with little interest in sports other than swimming.

    Guys, the opening ceremony was amazing and the BBC even put out a version on their iPlayer WITHOUT commentary as, unlike previous shows, this was a story, not just a show. The commentary from the broadcasters here has been exciting but never crass. As far as the sport is concerned we have about 24 BBC channels of sport at anyone time on the digital freesat, full coverage on BBC1 and 3 for terrestrial, BBC.co.uk has an entire branch of the url dedicated to the Olympic Games… In fact, I doubt anyone has pushed the media technology to the limits as these guys have… I mean tape-delay? That should have gone out in the 90’s! No online stuff? Even more crazy!

    Get on a proxy server and get on to the BBC or even one of the Canadian channels.

  • Pete

    It did happen again. They showed Gabby with her Gold medal around her neck on the Nightly News last night without any warning and long before they showed her performance.

  • rikrudy

    nbc please tell the american citizens why cant your network show events live.why do we have to wait till primetime and then we still have to wait up till late in the night to watch the main events.every other country have a tv network showing events live.why cant nbc.its fustrating when we cant c swimming,gymnastic,track and field live.

  • Tracy

    Well they did do it again. Bob Costas clearly stated on 8-7 that Aly won gold on floor – even before floor was shown

  • http://yahoo boots

    beachvolley ball thanks now I don’t have to watch it

    • http://yahoo boots

      this make me mad when I know that the American already won when I was getting ready to watch it tonight.

  • Ticked OFF

    I hope your advertisers get a refund. I won’t be watching the Ladies Volley Ball since you already gave the winner on the news.

  • John

    Didn’t get on internet or watch the news so I could watch the women’s volleyball gold medal match last night… right before it started NBC showed Misty May-Treanor and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrating.

    Bravo NBC!

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