Aug. 7 - The American broadcaster NBC is drawing criticism from viewers for its decision not to show Usain Bolt's races live. Tens of thousands have now signed an online petition demanding live TV coverage of future key races. Sonia Legg reports.
The American broadcaster NBC is drawing criticism from viewers for its decision not to show his races live. Tens of thousands have now signed an online petition demanding live coverage of future key races. Usain Bolt strolled through his 200 metres Olympics heat. But we can't show you the video because we don't have the rights to it. In the States viewers are relying on NBC for their live coverage. The broadcaster paid 4.4 billion dollars for the rights to four Olympic Games But despite promoting live tv coverage they're showing most events with a time delay. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEON RADCLIFF, PERSON ON STREET, SAYING: "That's horrible. That's like the worst Olympics I've seen. What's the point of having the answer before the actual event happened?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) JORDAN SALL, PERSON ON STREET, SAYING: "I'd rather see it live. It's obviously not as fun when you know the score." An online petition has been signed by tens of thousands of sports fans. They say with Twitter and Facebook it's almost impossible to avoid the results. The issue has even reached Olympic Organizing Chairman Sebastian Coe. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SEBASTIAN COE, CHAIRMAN OF LOCOG, SAYS OF NBC'S U.S. TV BROADCASTS OF OLYMPICS: "I am not sure the 100m final has been shown 'live' in the U.S. for many years. I don't think that is, I don't think that is unique to London. It clearly has to be for the broadcaster to decide. You know NBC is a very good partner." Pupils at Bolt's old school in Jamaica had to rely on a radio for their coverage of the 100m after a power cut. But at least it was live. NBC say they stream the big races live on the internet. And say their strategy of showing recorded highlights in peak evening slots has made the London Games the most-watched Olympics ever. But media experts say it could be the last time they get away with it as demand grows for live content on any device at any time. Sonia Legg, Reuters.