Why Olympic Results Are Known Before Broadcast

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When the Olympics are in far-off locations, some listeners get mad at the airing of results of events before they've aired on TV in the United States. Anticipating the blowback, here is an explanation for why this is done.


Okay, we need to talk. Over the next several weeks, some of you are probably going to get mad at us and our Olympics coverage. We know that because it happens every Olympics, at least every Olympics that takes place in a time zone that does not conform to the American prime-time schedule.

We get calls and e-mails from listeners who say we've spoiled things by reporting results before some events air on TV. So we asked our Olympics editor, Uri Berliner, to explain.

URI BERLINER: It can be frustrating for some people, and I can sympathize with that as well, but you know, we see the Olympics as a news event, not simply a sports event, and we really don't feel that we can withhold the news, whether it's about pollution or whether it's about the results of events. So we feel that we should we report them as we know they happened.

And we live in a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news cycle right now, and these events are available in so many different places. I think if we just were the ones that were postponing or delaying the results, that would put us in sort of an odd situation.

BLOCK: So you heard it from Uri first. We may spoil it for you. Oh, and this just in. Swimmer Michael Phelps lost today in the 200-meter butterfly - just kidding. Swimming finals have been deliberately scheduled for mornings, China-time, so Americans can see Phelps race live in the evening, no chance for spoilers.

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