Posts Tagged ‘#nbcfail’

“You Brits are sooo arrogant”

August 3, 2012

Dear United Kingdom, You can be our colonial masters again if you bring @BBC #Olympics coverage with you. Love, America. — notLikeNormalPeople ‏@notlikenormal

Funny thing #NBCfail, the ads never freeze like your pathetic live stream does. You are abominable. I’d be fired if I did my job like you. — Steve Weinstein ‏@steveweinstein

I am starting to think NBC is intentionally nuking their streaming of events that will be tape-delayed. — Jeb ‏@tatsumaki4ryu

@TVvInce I am adopting the NBC approach to breaking news: my actual article will go up an hour or so after Twitter has learned about it. — Guy Adams ‏@guyadams

And while away on commercial break, NBC Sports Network missed Japan’s second goal. — Steven Goff ‏@SoccerInsider

It started off well enough.

Thanks to our dysfunctional public transport system I was queueing at Guildford Station to buy a ticket, even though I had completed my journey.

In front of me was an American woman, before her a young girl.

The girl had a Union Jack (British flag) painted on her cheek.

American woman: Are you going to see the Olympics?

Young girl: Yes.

American woman: What to see?

Young girl: Basketball.

American woman: Who is playing?

Young girl: Team GB and USA.

American woman: Will you be cheering the American team?

Young girl: No!

That did it. The American woman then tried to impress all with the fact that she had been at college with top basketball players and named at least one of them who was seven foot tall.

Does he drop the ball in the net?

What she did not seem to realise is that Brits have zero interest in basketball.

She then proceeded to slag off the BBC London 2012 Olympic coverage, their commentary was awful as they did not know what they were talking about (they referred to The Ukraine), and that NBC was vastly superior.

Really, NBC vastly superior!

NBC does not show the coverage live, instead it is delayed three hours for the East Coast, six hours for the West Coast.

When this was pointed out to her the reaction was, so. It seemed lost on her that the rest of the world saw it live.

And as for the commentary:

The opening ceremony was chatted over the top, as too difficult for an American audience to understand, Brunel was referred to as George Washington. Who is Tim Berners Lee? The tribute to the victims of the London 7/7 bombings was cut. Australia was apparently somewhere in the middle of Europe. Small countries were where the terrorists came from.

Last weekend the cycle route through the Surrey Hills was apparently lined with châteaus.

Such has been the almost exclusive focus on American athletes, that one person asked on #NBCFail had all the other athletes gone home after the opening ceremony.

Americans have been using the net to watch BBC because NBC coverage is so bad.

NBC has pointed to viewing figures but these are meaningless when NBC has a broadcast monopoly for which it paid a staggering $1 billion.

When Guy Adams, a journalist on The Independent, slammed NBC for their abysmal Olympic coverage, he had his twitter account suspended (now reinstated).

It was suggested to the American she watched through the net (she was complaining a limited choice), she said she had not internet. A little backward, no internet.

When a few of these points were made to her, her response was: You Brits are sooo arrogant!

A bit rich, an American calling Brits arrogant. The pot calling the kettle black?

She fortunately shut up. But at least she kept the queue amused whilst we patiently waited our turn to buy a ticket.

Brits get the BBC, which unlike NBC is there to serve its viewers not the markets. Brits also get free health care too, hence the NHS featuring in the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (Tuesday 7August 2012).

Twitter, NBC, and the “Streisand Effect”

August 2, 2012

By now you probably know at least the outlines of the recent controversy surrounding Twitter, NBC, censorship, and the Olympics.

Let’s very quickly review.

Unlike virtually every other broadcaster on the planet covering the Olympics, NBC decides to delay and edit all non-Internet Olympic programming for prime time, explicitly suggesting that American audiences are “too stupid” to understand events such as the opening ceremonies without NBC’s “expert editing and commentary.” NBC raises ire in England when they cut a tribute to terrorism victims from the delayed, edited, U.S. version.

NBC proclaims that their approach has been vindicated, since viewership of their bastardized coverage is breaking records, and since they’re in business primarily to make money, not to serve viewers in any case. Observers note that since most viewers didn’t know how to use the Internet to find “illicit” live feeds, they’re like any hungry person — they’ll eat what’s put in front of them.

A journalist upset about NBC’s handling of Olympic coverage sends out a Twitter tweet with an NBC executive’s corporate email address, suggesting that viewers let him know how they feel about NBC’s coverage.

Twitter suspends the journalist’s Twitter account, claiming he violated Twitter terms of use related to “private information” and “information not already published on the Internet publicly.”

Mass interest in the story ensues, making the NBC executive’s email address one of the best known in the world.

NBC claims they only filed a complaint about the journalist’s tweet after Twitter itself suggested they do so, and NBC says they did not realize this would result in the journalist’s Twitter account being suspended.

Twitter admits that their team partnering with NBC for the Olympics did indeed notice the “offending” tweet and suggested to NBC that a complaint be filed. Twitter stipulates that while it’s possible to argue about whether the specific email in question actually contained private information, it was clearly wrong for the Twitter team to have triggered this chain of events.

Journalist’s Twitter account is restored (this might have happened anyway after a warning, according to normal Twitter policy).

I’m very pleased to see that Twitter has clearly admitted that proactive stream monitoring and dispute filing of this sort by Twitter itself are inappropriate, and that they will take steps to avoid this sort of confrontation in the future. The confidence of Twitter’s user community is perhaps its most crucial asset — once really lost it may be difficult or impossible to regain.

Of perhaps broader long-term interest is the whole question of public information and censorship on the Internet.

We can make short order of the “was it public?” question in this particular case.

The NBC exec’s corporate email address was of the form “” — a format that is not only highly standardized for public email addresses, but explicitly exposed on NBC Universal’s own media contact Web page.

What’s more, in this case the executive’s address was already specifically noted on various Web pages (including a page protesting NBC from 2011), making his address public by an even more obvious measure.

An argument has been made that his address didn’t appear on many pages, so it wasn’t “widely” known.

I don’t know what “widely” is supposed to actually mean in this context, but the bottom line is that a simple search would find his email address in seconds, so the absolute number of pages where the address appeared is really utterly irrelevant. One is as good as a thousand from the searcher’s standpoint.

Clearly, this email address was public. Twitter could have quickly made this determination to a reasonable level of confidence.

Which leads us to another question.

What if the journalist in this case hadn’t tweeted the actual email address, but rather tweeted the simple search terms required to find the address? What would Twitter have done in that case?

I don’t know the answer to this one, but the question itself points to the fundamental issue.

Attempts to control the dissemination of information on the Internet that has already been made public, are almost always doomed.

As regular readers probably know, I call this concept “public is public.”

We can be upset that certain information is out there, we can wish it weren’t,
we can dream of turning back the clock and stuffing the genie back into the bottle.

None of this will usually make any difference at all, except that efforts to limit the spread of such information will often trigger the notorious “Streisand Effect.”

The Streisand Effect — named for entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose efforts to block the dissemination on the Net of information regarding her Malibu home led to vastly more attention to that property than would have been the case if she hadn’t complained in the first place.

We see this sort of situation play out in various related forms again and again.

Efforts to takedown already published data result in even more copies appearing all over the Web, creating an impossible Whac-A-Mole nightmare for anyone trying to remove the data, and sometimes media attention that attracts orders of magnitude more people who then access the data.

In the NBC/Twitter case, that tweeted email address would have likely had virtually no impact if Twitter hadn’t suspended the account, creating a cause célèbre in the process.

That’s not to say that Twitter — like all Web services — doesn’t have a legitimate responsibility to act in cases of actual, real abuse.

But it’s important for us all to suppress the urge to err on the side of censorship, on the side of control. This is especially true considering the reality — like it or not — that once information is out there on the Net, it is in most cases effectively indelible, and that efforts to retroactively delete such data will not only almost always fail, but can easily do a great deal of collateral damage to innocents in the process.

You need not necessarily revel in this state of affairs, but it is the reality, and to fight against it is like trying to hold back the ocean with a sandcastle.

As always, I appreciate your thoughts on this and other issues, at my own email address of

And that’s one address you can share without fear of page takedowns, account suspensions, or even guilty feelings in the dead of night.



Posted by Lauren Weinstein on his blog.

#NBCFAIL Abysmal London 2012 coverage by NBC

July 30, 2012
twitter fail

twitter fail

London 2012 twitter fail

London 2012 twitter fail

London 2012 NBC greed

London 2012 NBC greed

London 2012 NBC fail

London 2012 NBC fail

NBC tape delay coverage is like the airlines: its interest is in giving you the least satisfactory service you will still come back for. – James Poniewozik, Time magazine TV critic

Who is running NBC? It appears to be entering the final for Olympic reputational meltdown in several categories at once. — julia hobsbawm

If we cannot rely on Twitter to protect our free speech, then it is no platform at all. #twitterfail #nbcfail. Prove me wrong, please. — Jeff Jarvis

If there was a gold medal for bad TV coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games then NBC would be the winner.

The delay to viewers is so bad that it is better to get live coverage on twitter.

Why a delay? Well it is all about greed. Slip in a few commercials, well actually quite a lot of commercials, 20 minutes of commercials per hour, and show at peak viewing times not when the events take place, then just to rub the viewers nose in it, announce the results on news bulletins before you show the ‘live’ event.

The opening ceremony was not streamed online.

One blogger had this to say:

I still haven’t seen the opening ceremony from Beijing (same reasons, same perp), and I missed the one last night too. Well, I didn’t miss it exactly. When my tweet stream started lighting up late yesterday afternoon with visions of giant babies and Voldemort and flying bicycles and all the other British trippiness I ran to my TV. Work can wait, I want to see this! But I was blocked at every turn. Like an Iranian dissident I finally managed via a secret proxy to get a glimpse. But it lasted only a moment before some well-compensated gatekeeper sussed it out and blocked my subversive stream. I couldn’t deal with the asymmetry of the commentary without the thing, so I just shut down Twitter. Did you know that the in order to use the official iPhone and iPad apps from NBC to live stream events you have to subscribe to a particular set of cable companies, and furthermore you have to be subscribed to a short list of pay channels? The web is no more an open network. It has been reduced (and diminished) to mere media pipe that connects (only) to your monopoly owned app – It’s like the AT&T of old.

For the opening ceremony, instead of letting viewers sit back and enjoy it, they had to chat over the top. The assumption being the average American is too stupid to know what is going on (possibly true).

Not that the NBC presenters actually knew what they were talking about.

The appearance of Brunel: Oh my God, what is George Washington doing there?

For Tim Berners-Lee: Who is he?

I have paraphrased, but you get the gist and yes, it was this bad.

But the worst gaffe of the opening night was extremely offensive. The day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympic Games, bombs went off in London, on the Tube and on a bus.

I travelled on the affected Tube line not long after and it was like travelling on a ghost train.

NBC edited out a tribute to those who were killed by the 7/7 bombings!

Now imagine had it been the other way around, the Olympics had been held in New York (God forbid) and the BBC had edited out a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 plane crashes.

We know what would have happened. All hell would have broken out.

The focus in the US has mainly been on the atrocious coverage, but for the treatment of the victims of 7/7 all I can express is disgust. It is difficult to see how NBC could have sank so low. And to date they have failed to apologise, merely come out with pathetic excuses.

Such though has been the outcry at their failings there is now a twitter hashtag of #nbcfail for people to use when venting their frustration on NBC.

What has been the reaction of NBC, have they got their act together? No, Instead they have run crying to twitter to have critical accounts blocked and twitter to their shame have acceded to the request.

Guy Adams, Los Angeles bureau chief for The Independent, lost access to his Twitter account because he revealed the corporate email address of an NBC executive Gary Zenkel ( on Twitter after complaining about the network’s Olympic coverage, he savaged NBC for making people on the West Coast wait six hours to watch the opening ceremonies and shared NBC Olympics.

People posting hate tweets and using twitter to abuse people is ok, but use your twitter account to highlight that NBC is not up to the job and your account gets blocked.

The same treatment has been meted out by twitter to those critical of the Olympic Games.

So much for twitter promoting free speech and being a neutral platform.

Twitter is now coming under as much fire as NBC. And deservedly so.

What we are seeing once again is the obscenity and all pervasive stench of corporate sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics. The parent company of NBC is one of the corporate sponsors.

Corporate sponsors of London 2012 Games do not own the Games, even though they behave as though they do.

Unlike the backward NBC which has nothing but contempt for its viewers and free speech, the BBC is trialling the broadcast of the future.

The 1948 Olympics saw outside broadcast TV. The 1984 Olympics saw HD which only now is coming into widespread use.

For London 2012 BBC is filming in Super High Vision (16x resolution of HD) and with 22.1 sound channels.

The difference between the BBC was expressed eloquently by Jeff Jarvis:

BBC is supported by its viewers’ fees. So the argument is that the BBC serves viewers because they’re the boss while NBC serves advertisers because they pay the bills.

For one the guiding principle is public service, the other it is greed.

That is why the bandcamp model works so well for musicians. If people listen, share and download music, the musicians do well, if the musicians do well, bandcamp does well.

Media savvy users in the US are turning their backs on the crap NBC London 2012 coverage and using TunnelBear and StreamVia to access the BBC superior coverage.

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