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Maggie Hendricks

NBC taunts viewers with the word "live"

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As we have discussed, NBC is really proud of the fact that they are able to air live some marquee events, including swimming and gymnastics. Of course, when they say air live, they only mean that it will be live to the Eastern and Central time zones. For some reason, viewers in the Mountain and Pacific time zones watch taped events.

To add insult to injury, the broadcasts shown on the West Coast still have the word "LIVE" on their screen, as shown in the upper right hand corner. Is this necessary, NBC? Television technology has given us the world record line, stop action photography for diving and softball and graphics to make Andy Warhol stand up and cheer. Is it that hard to remove a tiny little graphic that pours bushels of salt into the wounds of your viewers? The insult is not limited to the West Coast. My colleague Pat Imig, who was watching from the Central time zone, tells me that boxing coverage on CNBC also included a live tag yesterday, though the fights had been completed hours before. At the very least, add a "previously recorded" tag somewhere on the screen. Don't insult your viewers' intelligence by trying to make them believe that they are watching something live when it was completed hours ago.

UPDATE: Rumor has it that NBC might televise Michael Phelps' last race on Saturday live to all time zones.

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