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London Day One: Austrians all let us rejoice

NBC Today studio at the Sydney Olympics

The NBC is copping an absolute bollocking for sticking to a (for them) tried and trusted formula in covering the Olympic Games - or as Americans insist on calling them, the Summer Olympics. Taking the day's highlights, packaging them up and wrapping them in a journalistic narrative worked in the 20th century. Problem is, we are now a dozen years into the 21st.

NBC is streaming all of the Games events online to American internet users and good on them for doing that, but they continue to treat their television viewers, and their advertisers, as mugs. While they and the IOC continue to engage in a mutual mugathon. There is huge money to be made in holding the rights to an exclusive monopoly of arguably the world's single biggest event brand. With the power to extract that money comes the power to distribute a mediocre product.

This they did with their coverage of the opening ceremony, not just delayed so that could present what one of their operatives described as a "complex entertainment spectacle" for which their "award-winning production team" would provide context.

Pity, then, that the award-winning NBC crew had no idea who Sir Tim Berners-Lee was. And far more serious than just a pity was their decision to edit out the tribute to the victims of 7/7 to make the program more relevant to Americans.

As for the ongoing delayed telecast, this is what NBC News/MSNBC Chief Digital Officer Vivian Schiller had to say:

And this is not to say that the NBC's internet division is without criticism. Their country profile of Australia was giving this description until it was updated for obvious reasons on Sunday morning:

"Located in central Europe, bordered to the north by Germany and the Czech Republic, to the west by Switzerland and Liechtenstein, to the south by Italy and Slovenia, and to the east by Hungary and Slovakia. Is primarily mountainous with the Alps and foothills covering the western and southern provinces."

- this text can be found in its correct location here. It used to be here.

Which makes for all the greater achievement as Frauleins Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger overcame the adversity of Alpine training and sneaking across the Liechtenstein border for decent facilities to win their country's first gold medal of the London Games in the women's 4x100 metres freestyle relay.

For my Youtube do Dia, the NBC Today Show from 1994 as Bryant and Katie try to understand what the Internet is. As fresh and relevant eighteen years later:

(with a hat tip to All Things Digital)