Olympics 2012: Is It a Spoiler? Use Our Handy Guide to Find Out

Categories: Sports
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The Today show's Missy Franklin reveal: Is it a spoiler?
We've seen a lot of misty-eyed homages to British history since the London Olympics kicked off on Friday: at the opening ceremonies, or in montages about the 1948 London Olympics. But the execs at NBC are probably feeling most nostalgic for more recent history -- specifically, the days before the Internet turned covering the Olympic games for American audiences in the face of a five-hour time zone difference into a real bitch.

Whether you're the type of Olympics fan who wants the results now now NOW, or the type who just wants to surprise yourself with the results whenever you have the time, chances are you've been pissed at NBC at some point in the last five days. Last night, an NBC commercial revealed the result of a swimming race before the channel had actually played the tape of the race, causing many to accuse NBC of "spoiling" the Olympics.

Spoilers don't usually apply to newsy events like sports; it's like getting angry at a reporter for revealing the result of the Super Bowl. But NBC's time delay has put us all in a strange, unfamiliar state of spoiler limbo. When is it cool to break down the results of the day? When is your outrage justified? We break it down after the jump.

Live Coverage
Who's doing it: NBC, occasionally; NBC-owned channels like CNBC and Bravo more regularly. There's also an app you can download to your iPad or similar tablet so you can watch pretty much any event in real time.
Pros: You're seeing it live, duh. Also, the "expert commentary" that's gotten NBC into trouble during its nightly tape-delayed replays is largely absent.
Cons: How important is that table tennis match? Because it's starting at 6 a.m.
Is it a spoiler? No, obviously. It's news.

Blog reporting
Who's doing it: Us, for starters.
Pros: If we're doing our job right, it's almost as instantaneous as live coverage. You also have the questionable benefit of taking your Olympics with a side of Internet snark, as opposed to the earnest musings of TV commentators.
Cons: No matter how well we write about these Olympic feats, it's not going to be the same as seeing it unfold in front of you without knowing the outcome. Also: Internet snark.
Is it a spoiler? Nope. Still news. Stop whining.

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