With all the issues NBC has had during their broadcast of the London Olympics – from tape delaying, to spoiling results in their news coverage – it seems fitting that they saved their biggest fail for Olympics Closing Ceremony.
Last night, the network cut away from the Closing Ceremony telecast to air a preview episode of fall comedy Animal Practice, pushing the biggest performance of the entire Ceremony – The Who’s four-song mega-set that closed out the show – until past midnight. Additionally, U.S. viewers of performances from Ray Davies of The Kinks (who performed “Sunset Waterloo”) and Muse, the band that wrote the official song of the London 2012 Olympics, “Survival.”
Before going to a commercial, host Bob Costas announced, “We’ll be back from Olympic Stadium in about an hour for the London closing party, featuring The Who,” then, “Stay tuned now for a full episode of Animal Practice, a new NBC comedy, presented commercial free.” The Who’s performance did air after the show and local news, but by that time it was past midnight – a far stretch from primetime.
Music fans took to social media sites – Twitter in particular – to express their shock and frustration with NBC’s delay of The Who’s performance. The hashtag #NBCFail trended big again, after first trending nationally when the network disappointed fans with telecast decisions during the Olympic Opening Ceremony. All was quiet on the band’s active Twitter account, however, where they were tweeting coverage of their performance.
As for the band’s performance, The Who played a collection of hits: “Baba O’Riley,” “See Me, Feel Me” right into “Listening To You,” and finally, “My Generation.” After years of surgery, frontman Roger Daltrey’s voice seems to have strengthened – just in time for The Who’s big Quadrophenia tour this winter.
– Jillian Mapes & Danielle Lehman, CBS Local