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NBC Went to Commercial While Gold Medal Basketball Game Was Being Played

Chris Paul
Getty Images

At this point, I’m just going to assume that NBC is giving all of us a giant middle finger as it swims around in a hot tub full of $100 bills from monopolizing American TV coverage of the Olympics once again. But this time NBC outdid itself, going to commercial while live game action was happening in the gold medal basketball game between the United States and Spain.

There was a stoppage in play in which the United States was making substitutions prior to the commercial break, followed by the broadcast crew making what was an obvious segue into a set of spots. The scoreboard graphic on the top corner of the screen faded away, I screamed for it to stop, but we were whisked away into commercial. As the ball was being inbounded.

After a quick spot, viewers were returned to action where we saw Kevin Durant hit a three. The broadcast team briefly mentioned that on the other end, Serge Ibaka had hit a two for Spain in the possession prior. Thanks for the heads up, but I should really be able to see those things for myself, right?

First of all, this isn’t a marathon, things change so quickly in basketball that fans could miss a crucial stretch that impacts the outcome of a game in 30 seconds. Not to mention the most obvious reason not to go to commercial in a situation like that: this was the gold medal game. This wasn’t pool play against Tunisia. This was why we all looked forward to Olympic basketball. I cannot comprehend how someone who decides a quick commercial break is a good idea there is employed by a major network.

This comes just a day after NBC butchered the men’s 5000m race in primetime, going to commercial just two minutes into the race and picking it back up at close to the 9 minute mark. The race barely lasted 13 minutes, yet half of it was replaced with ad space. Just another blunder in a comedy of errors for NBC this Olympic season.

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