NBC Screwing Up Wimbledon Online, Too

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After we lit into NBC earlier for wrecking the Wimbledon quarterfinals (by showing finished matches on tape delay while other great matches were going on live), several readers pointed out that NBC is actually showing those matches live–on its web site.

Well, how about that?!

So we went to the web site, eager to tune into the amazing Hewitt-Roddick match that’s going on right now (second-set tiebreaker), because NBC TV is now showing its second tape-delay of the morning–a Haas-Djokovic match that Haas won an hour ago.

On the NBC Sports site, we clicked the nice big WIMBLEDON LIVE! link.  And we got a big popup saying we needed to upgrade Silverlight.

We pushed the buttons we were supposed to, and we downloaded some things, and we refreshed our browser like we were supposed to, and then we pushed the button again like we were supposed to.  And we got another big popup saying we needed to upgrade Silverlight.

[Repeat until you want to shoot yourself].

So now we’re back to watching the ancient-history Haas-Djokovic tape delay, praying that the Roddick Hewitt shootout will still be going on at 1PM ET when the TV rights revert back to ESPN.  (It probably won’t be.  Roddick just took a 5-2 lead in the breaker and is already up a set).

Meanwhile, we have some questions for the people at NBC:

  • Why on earth are you showing matches on tape-delay on TV when you are also showing them live on the web?  Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of hosing viewers by making them watch tape-delays on TV?  Why wouldn’t you just show the live matches on TV and let the fanatics watch tape-delay online?
  • Why are you forcing viewers to “upgrade Silverlight”?  Hulu and YouTube and uStream, in case you hadn’t noticed, just work.  We assume this has something to do with your MSNBC/Microsoft/Olympics deal.  But you know what?  We really couldn’t care less about that.  All we want to do is watch Wimbledon live.  And you’re making that impossible for us.

We assume that this is the usual Big Media case of the right hand fighting the left hand while the business development brain insists that both hands also rub the tummy.  But we wonder whether it is too much to ask to suggest that the network finally just get out of its own way.

Now it’s 8-9 in the Hewitt-Roddick second set tiebreaker that NBC TV isn’t showing.  We’re on the edge of our seats!

(And now it’s one set apiece!  ESPN, here we come…)

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