Note: This post has been updated.
This morning, one of my Facebook friends grumbled about people posting results from the 2012 Summer Olympics hours before the events actually air in prime time. I tweeted a similar sentiment on day two of the London Games, when I accidentally learned the outcome of a race I had hoped to view in blissful ignorance that evening. I didn’t quit following the culprit, but I thought seriously about it. No doubt The New York Times is happy I’m still there. (Where is a sarcasm Emoticon when you need one?)
My Facebook friend and I are roughly the same age, so I guess all the years we’ve watched the Olympic broadcasts from distant locales have accustomed us to this form of delayed gratification. Still, I can see the value in making use of all the digital tools and channels available to provide real-time coverage for those who want it. NBC officials, responding to criticism of the network’s handling of the Olympics, say knowing who won what doesn’t seem to affect people’s plans to tune in at prime time.
To be honest, I’d like the best of both worlds. Just serve that new-style coverage with a spoiler alert, please.
Update: Here’s more on the subject from Steve Myers at The Poynter Institute.