NBC, the United States' official broadcaster of the 2012 London Olympics, experienced another tape delay-related snafu on Monday. NBC later apologized for the error (see update below).
Due to the time difference between London and the U.S., NBC decided to air its official coverage of the London games on delay during U.S. prime time hours. The decision ignited an onslaught of criticism from dissatisfied members of the media and Olympics enthusiasts who could not escape spoilers from social media, the Internet, and more.
On Monday, NBC was its own spoiler. Moments before broadcasting a tape of teen sensation Missy Franklin's gold medal-winning race, a competition that the network highlighted due to Franklin's young age and immense talent, NBC aired a promo for Tuesday morning's "Today" show in which images of Franklin as a clear winner and hugging her parents in celebration flashed across the screen. Viewers, who were on the edge of their seats awaiting Franklin's race, now knew that Franklin not only won a medal, but that the victory was going to be a top story on the NBC morning show.
The Franklin spoiler is the latest in what is becoming a list of delay-related issues. In addition to airing the Opening Ceremony hours after the event occurred, the network also edited out portions of the performance, including what many considered a tribute to the victims of the 2005 London terrorist attacks.
Critics took to Twitter and other social media platforms to voice their frustration with NBC's coverage of the Olympic games. On Monday, news surfaced that a Los Angeles-based correspondent from The Independent had his Twitter account suspended after tweeting the corporate email address of the president of NBC Olympics. NBC Sports said that they complained to Twitter about the tweet, and that the social media site decided its own course of action.
UPDATE: NBC apologized for airing the "Today" show promo and spoiling the results of the race. "We have a process in place and this will not happen again," a NBC Sports spokesperson said in a statement tweeted by ESPN's Darren Rovell.