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August 15, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Mark Lazarus

NBC may have boasted on Tuesday that its coverage of the London Olympics drew more viewers in the U.S. than any event in TV history, but it apparently believes it could have done better — if it had only tape-delayed a few more events for primetime viewing. Turning aside the sometimes vociferous complaints about the lack of live events, NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus said in an interview with Bloomberg News that he wishes the network had aired the U.S. men’s gold-medal basketball game and the men’s tennis finals between Andy Murray and Roger Federer in primetime. “It’s undeniable we hurt our ratings by doing that,” Lazarus said. “We have to balance what we’re trying to do for viewers across the country and our business model.” And Andy Donchin, director of media investments for the Carat North America ad agency, agreed, telling Bloomberg that in some ways, audiences’ awareness of the winners boosted ratings. “In a way, knowing Michael Phelps or Gabby Douglas won a medal may make you watch even more,” he said. “Even tape delayed, you still want to see it.”