AOL to Delay Results of Olympics, at User Request
Scripps Howard News Service is reporting that America OnLine will offer its customers the option of not receiving news about Olympic event results until after the event is shown on NBC.
According to the article, "The Internet giant decided to give its United States customers the options after
75-percent of more than 1,000 users polled said they would prefer not to find out event
results before getting the chance to watch them on TV and experience the suspense."
We have no idea how the poll was conducted or whether its results are reliable. However, the fact that AOL is willing to consider this in the first place is yet another indication that NBC is acting against the public interest by delaying the broadcast of the Olympic events by 16 or more hours.
Why shouldn't the broadcast networks conspire to keep major news events off TV and radio until prime time? After all, that would serve to increase viewership, which is NBC's reason for delaying the results of the Olympic events.
It simply should not matter that the IOC grants NBC monopoly broadcast rights to the Olympic Games in the United States. They should not be able to unilaterally decide to delay the broadcast of certain events. The only justification for this policy, in our view, is if it makes some of the less popular sports more available to sports fans. We thought that this was the intent of using CNBC and MSNBC as supplimentary channels anyway.