SPOILER: NBC must really think everybody knows the results before showing a tape-delayed race, or else someone was asleep at the switch. The network ran a "Today" show promo about interviewing Missy Franklin on her swimming gold medal — just BEFORE televising the race.
HOME TEAM: NBC's gymnastics team sounded morose after the U.S. men struggled and fell out of medal contention. The surprise success of Britain's team made it one of those rare occasions when a non-U.S. story proved the headliner for NBC.
RATINGS: An estimated 36 million people watched Sunday night's Olympics competition on NBC. Through three days, an average of 35.8 million people are watching the games in prime-time, up from 30.6 million who saw the first three days in Beijing four years ago, according to the Nielsen company. Gymnastics ruled, apparently, for Sunday viewers. A study by the digital video recorder maker Tivo found that the top four moments played back and watched again on NBC's telecast were all about gymnastics. The top moment was Alexandra Reisman's uneven bars performance, with an entertaining reaction from her parents in the stands.
TWITTER: A Los-Angeles-based reporter for a British newspaper found his Twitter account suspended after he posted the email address of NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel in a critical tweet. Guy Adams of The Independent had criticized NBC for broadcasting Friday's opening ceremony on tape delay. NBC Sports said that it had filed a complaint with Twitter about Adams tweeting its executive's personal information, and Twitter disciplined him.
TURNAROUND TIME: The swimming team of Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines rightly made a big deal of Franklin having only 10 minutes between races just before her gold medal run. Maybe it's a swimming thing, but it would be nice to know why she spent some of that precious time in a pool, swimming back and forth. One nice Franklin touch was a profile showing how the 17-year-old swimmer stayed with her friends and family in Colorado instead of leaving home for more intense training.
EXTRA TIME: All of the non-prime time coverage by NBC and its cable networks makes for an entertaining opportunity to see events that wouldn't normally get much focus. The NBC Sports network on Friday showed 19-year-old Iowa resident Miranda Leek's down-to-the-wire archery competition, for example. She lost, and her Olympics were done before noon local time on the third day of competition. Then the cable network aired in full a rerun of Sunday's swimming relay race in which France beat the U.S., complete with the pre-race set-up. Some highlights would have been fine, but couldn't the network have found something fresh to fill the time?
TODAY: Savannah Guthrie may yet work out as a "Today" show host, but when Meredith Vieira is back, it feels as though there is another adult on the set.
EXPENSIVE TASTE: NBC's Jimmy Roberts aired a fun feature about pub crawling in London, running into John McEnroe during his extensive liquid research. After the segment, studio host Al Michaels asked Roberts, "Can you and I go on a caviar bar crawl next week?" We'll call the butler to arrange it.
QUOTE: "I think almost definitely we would have done the same thing." — CBS Corp. Chairman Leslie Moonves to Broadcasting & Cable, backing his rival NBC against criticism for airing tape-delayed events during its prime-time telecasts.
UPCOMING: Michael Phelps will attempt to win his 18th Olympic medal on Tuesday in his signature event, the butterfly. The U.S. women's gymnastics team tries for a better showing than the men's team managed on Monday.
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- Missy Franklin
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