NBC’s researchers are finding that people who know the results of London Olympics events before they are shown on tape delay are more — not less — likely to watch them.
The preliminary research unveiled Thursday undercuts an assumption that has guided production of Olympic broadcasts from locales outside of U.S. time zones for decades. NBC has been criticized for not televising live some of the London Games’ marquee events like swimming and gymnastics so they can be aired later in prime time.
Two-thirds of people questioned in a survey Sunday said they watch the prime-time Olympics telecast even if they know the results ahead of time. People who watched the events live earlier in the day via computer screen watched the tape-delayed broadcast 50 percent longer than those who hadn’t, said Alan Wurtzel, NBC’s chief researcher.