Despite a flurry of rumors ignited by a post on the website Media Bistro, NBC restated today that the network will not air any live coverage of Michael Phelps on the West Coast. Yesterday, there was some speculation that NBC might halt its practice of airing tape delayed coverage out west in favor of a coast-to-coast live broadcast of Phelps' possible run at Olympic history. It's not going to happen, says an NBC spokesman:
"It will not be shown live on the West Coast. This is a baseless rumor and I don't know the genesis of it.
The situation will remain the same as it has for all of our prime-time broadcasts. The reason that we're showing this in the normal prime-time patterns on the West Coast is because this is when the majority of people are available to watch."
Say what you will about NBC, but on some level, you've got to admire its stubbornness on this issue. Virtually everyone outside 30 Rockefeller Plaza thinks NBC should at least be airing Phelps' weekend swims live throughout the country. But even in the face of criticism from all sides, NBC is standing firm.
So, West Coast friends, it's time to resign yourself to the fact that you won't be getting any live swimming or gymnastics during these Olympics. Rest easy, though. We're all in the same boat when track & field starts; NBC won't be airing any live prime time coverage of those events on either coast.
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