NBC’s exclusive U.S. coverage of the the 2012 London Olympic Games has not, to say the very least, been a hit in the tech world. Twitter has been buzzing since last Friday about NBC’s delayed showing of major events, endless commercials, insufferable commentary, cheerleading for U.S. athletes, mawkishness, sentimentality, and a hundred other sins. All of it is true, and all of it has marked coverage of every Olympics I can remember.
There are two important things new. One is the ubiquity of social media, which have grown tremendously since the 2008 Beijing games. Twitter, Facebook, and the rest give us a global water cooler where we can we can grumble and complain to anyone who will listen. The other is the ubiquitous availability of streaming media on our phones, tablets, PCs, game consoles, and just about anything else with or connected to a screen.