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Tuning In to TV: Another day of record Olympics ratings for NBC
Another day, some more record Olympic ratings for NBC.
The Nielsen company said that NBC’s prime-time coverage of the Olympics on Sunday was seen by 36 million people. That’s the largest audience ever for the second night of competition for an Olympics taking place outside the United States. Three nights in a row, including Friday’s opening ceremony, NBC set viewership records.
NBC is averaging 35.8 million viewers in prime time over the three nights, up from the 30.6 million for the same period in Beijing.
Many online complaints about NBC’s tape-delay strategy have flooded social media - but many of these complainers seem to be watching.
Twitter suspends reporter’s account
Twitter has suspended the account of a Los Angeles-based reporter for a British newspaper who included the email address of the NBC Olympics president and asked his followers to write him to complain about the network’s coverage.
Guy Adams, a correspondent for the Independent, was upset with the network’s decision to broadcast the opening ceremony on tape delay when he sent his critical tweet Friday afternoon.
“The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think!” it read, before going on to provide his corporate email listing.
Mr. Adams checked his Twitter account Sunday and received a message it was suspended. He then received an email Monday that attributed the move to his tweet that included Mr. Zenkel’s email.
Rachael Horwitz, a spokeswoman for the social media site, said the company never comments on individual users for privacy reasons. But she said Twitter considers work emails private unless they’re publicly shared.
NBC has racked up record ratings through the first couple days of the London Games, but also has faced harsh criticism online, largely from American viewers upset with tape-delayed coverage. Angry Olympic fans used the hashtag “nbcfail” and even set up at least one parody account poking fun at the TV wait.
The network is streaming the events online, but that clearly isn’t enough for some viewers who shelled out thousands of dollars for big-screen TVs and want their live coverage.
“If this Gary Zenkel doesn’t want to hear from the many tens of thousands of customers he upset with his network’s coverage, I think he’s in the wrong job,” Mr. Adams said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.
When Twitter receives a complaint like the one against Mr. Adams, its support team does its own investigation before deciding whether to suspend the account.
Mr. Adams said he found Mr. Zenkel’s email with a simple online search, but said he didn’t grab it from an NBC website.
“His address is not a private email address,” Mr. Adams said. “It’s a corporate address. It’s not his private email address. It’s a corporate account. It’s company information.”
Twitter and NBC have partnered on some social media-based projects surrounding the Olympics. But Ms. Horwitz said the site doesn’t actively monitor content.
‘Face the Nation’ to remain in hour-long format
“Face the Nation” is remaining an hour long.
CBS News says the Sunday interview program will stick with its hour length beyond its provisional expansion that began in April.
Until then, the broadcast had been only 30 minutes in duration, half the length of rival shows “Meet the Press” on NBC and “This Week” on ABC. Roughly one-third of CBS stations still aren’t airing the second half-hour each week.
CBS News President David Rhodes says the announcement Sunday is meant to assure those holdouts that the show’s expansion won’t be short-lived.
The announcement was made at the Television Critics Association conference.
“Face the Nation,” with Bob Schieffer anchoring, has grown in viewership in recent months and is now the top-rated Sunday morning public-affairs show.
FTC clears Comcast’s $3B-plus sale of A&E stake
U.S. antitrust authorities have cleared Comcast Corp.’s more than $3 billion sale of its 15.8 percent stake in A&E Television Networks to the Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Communications Inc.
The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that an early end to its 30-day review period for the deal was granted on Friday.
The A&E networks contain History Channel, Lifetime, Biography as well as its namesake network.
Comcast said in May that it exercised the option requiring Disney and Hearst to buy back its stake.
Comcast will receive about $1.95 billion in cash and a note from A&E for $1.072 billion.
• Compiled from wire reports
By Tom Fitton
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