2012 Olympic Marathon Trials Will Not Be Available Live Online or on TV

By Weldon Johnson
December 1, 2011

Bad news track and field fans.

Next month's Olympic Trials Marathon will not be streamed live. Race highlights will be available on a 2 hour national TV broadcast (NBC 3-5 pm eastern). But unbelievably in today's age of instant everything, the real fans of the sport of running will be left in the dark and have to watch the race on tape delay unless NBC changes its mind.

Earlier this week I emailed Steven Karpas, Managing Director of the Chevron Houston Marathon, on an unrelated matter. I asked him for confirmation that in addition to the 2 hours same day national TV highlight show of the Olympic Marathon Trials, the race would be streamed over the internet.

Steve wrote back saying that would not be the case, saying, "The Trials will not be streamed because NBC wants the focus to be on the 2 hour television production."

While for the casual fan, the 2 hour national TV broadcast is a much better than the half-hour tv broadcast four years ago, four years ago the Olympic Trials were streamed live in their entirety online.

Hopefully, NBC will change its mind. I was so surprised by it and convinced it wouldn't be that hard to convince NBC to change their mind, I didn't even report the news yesterday when Steve told me.  However, with the announcement today of BP as an Olympic Marathon Trials sponsor there is no point for me to delay relaying the bad news.

Our sport is a sport and needs to be treated that way for it to succeed. Two hours of national tv coverage is fabulous and great for the sport's exposure, but give me an example of one sport today that you can not watch live online or on tv.

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