NBC’s decision to air marquee Olympic events on tape delay has put the network’s primetime coverage at odds with the instant information culture of the internet, forcing viewers to shield their eyes as they scroll through news sites to avoid potential spoilers.
KHQ, the NBC-affiliate in Spokane, had to deal with viewer backlash this week after the station posted the headline “US Women WIN Gymnastics Gold!” on its Facebook page Tuesday morning, hours before NBC was set to air the competition.
KHQ web producer Jared Frank responded to criticism from viewers by calling them “whiners.”
In a blog post on a sports website affiliated with the NBC-affiliate, Frank wrote, “You know what else gets me? Whiners. You know what I am talking about: the people on the Internet, complaining about how this person or that media outlet spoiled the surprise by cheering on Facebook or Twitter.”
“We live in the Internet,” Frank added. “The very second Michael Phelps of Missy Franklin hit the wall the world knows about it–whether they want to or not.”
Following the backlash over the gymnastics post, KHQ appears to be taking a more tactful approach in reporting Olympic developments on its Facebook page. All posts about realtime events are now marked “>>>>SPOILER ALERT>>>>” with the results at the end of a link.