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Social Media Plays Olympic Spoiler

Social media has thrown a wrench into the traditional methods news organizations have used to cover the Olympics, as people on the other side of the world can watch the London games on the Internet and read real-time reports of results from journalists before the events are even aired in the U.S. Still, NBC, which decided to stream all of its Olympic coverage live on its website for the first time, drew in quite a crowd for the first three nights of the London games—35.8 million viewers—the biggest for any Summer Games’ first weekend. On average 1.4 million more are watching NBC’s London coverage than watched the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and 5 million more are watching than paid attention to the 2008 games in Beijing. NBC Sports Group head Mark Lazarus said, “I don’t pretend that everything will be perfect.”