NBC says they hear the criticism of their XXX Summer Olympics coverage. “Some of it is fair, and we are listening,” said NBC Sport’s Mark Lazarus today. “We knew it wasn’t going to be perfect,” added the Group Chairman. Asked about NBC editing out the fall of Russia’s Ksenia Afanasyeva in Tuesday’s gymnastics event to create suspense for a U.S. team Gold win, Lazaus said it was cut “in the interests of time”. He added that “it was immaterial to the outcome” of the U.S. team’s Gold win. “All of the drama was about the US performance, not what the Russians did or did not achieve, said Lazarus. “It did nothing to alter the suspense”. In a conference call from London, Lazarus and NBC Research’s Alan Wurtzel sought to address the criticism that the network has received for its tape delay of the XXX Summer Olympics from London, most noticeably the Opening Games on July 27. Noting time zone difference and other limitations, the NBC Sports boss said “our preference is to do things live”. Lazarus added that he hopes the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony from Rio will be live. Lazarus also said that it was a “regretful” moment when a promo was shown on the East Coast of Missy Franklin winning a gold medal before the race was actually broadcast in the States and the network has installed a back-up system to ensure such a mistake doesn’t happen again. “We will continue to innovate our coverage”, Lazarus noted later “There is no way for us to show all live action in the US in primetime,” he said. “With so many simultaneous events going on, you cannot physically show everything live”, added the Group Chairman. “The ratings are strong and our business partners are pleased”, said Lazarus, reiterating that NBC will break even on the Games and predicting they might even make “a little bit of money.” NBC are “over delivering in all areas” on air, online and social media, Lazarus also noted. During its first days, the London Olympics have consistently beaten the 2008 Beijing Games in the ratings. The Olympics from the UK drawing over 35.8 million viewers on the opening weekend, making it the most watched Summer Games opening weekend ever. Wurtzel predicted that the London Games could well end up being in the Top 5 most watched TV events ever.
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