Streaming vs. Tape Delay is not an #NBCFail

NBC has taken a lot of heat in their coverage of the Olympics.  Inspiring a trending Twitter hashtag known as #NBCFail.  Four days ago the hashtag did not even exist but it burst onto the scene on Sunday.

This hashtag inspired criticism in the mainstream media from across the globe.  Here are a sample of top social content talking about the coverage and hashtag.

More #NBCFail Olympics: “Live Streams” Are Not Live – Los Angeles Local News, Weather, and Traffic

#NBCFail: Na era das mídias sociais, críticos se unem no Twitter para reclamar da cobertura atrasada das Olimpíadas | Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Amerikanen uiten frustratie over vertraagd uitzenden van de Spelen: #NBCFail – Internet & Media – VK

But, is the problem as large as it seems for NBC?  TV Ratings are up 10% over the 2008 Beijing games.  Is the tape delayed coverage and posting of results live hurting social activity of the events?  Not according to what we see in this chart monitoring social mentions of NBCFail, which shows people are not complaining during work, they are complaining while watching the games at home.

We analyzed the Women’s Gymnastics Team Final a few nights ago, which is arguably the most popular event here in the United States to see if social mentions were impacted by people watching the live stream.
The answer may surprise you.  Despite the uproar that NBC is failing or no one is watching the Games because media outlets are leaking the results, the fact that last night the Women’s Gymnastics final saw almost a 1000% spike in mentions in prime time during the tape delay.

Even on an average Olympic day, people are more engaged socially in the evening with the Olympics despite knowing the results and having access to the live stream during the day.