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Westchester Olympics Fans Debate Delayed Coverage

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — As customers watched the London Olympics at the  Rain Water Grill in Hastings Thursday they offered their opinions on NBC delaying coverage of major events until prime time.

"I have to know what's going on live," said bartender Richard Davis, a onetime soccer player in Jamaica. "I hate waiting for the later TV coverage to know the outcome."

Bruce Johnson, a former lacrosse All-American at the University of Virginia, sipped his drink and took the opposing view.

"I'm a beach volleyball guy," he said as he watched the USA-Spain women's match live on MSNBC cable. "The delay doesn't bother me. I work evenings, so this is great. The problem for me is, I don't like that professionals now play in the Olympics. Some of the great stories about the amateurs are gone."

Alexander Hamilton High School track coach Rich MacLeish has been following the delayed coverage of popular events like gymnastics and swimming in prime time and loving every minute of it.

"I think people are very spoiled," he said. "I love the coverage. I think its great. I also understand that there are times zones [that effect coverage]. I teach earth science. I have been loving the online coverage and have been watching Olympics all day."

Fans who can't watch during the day are upset that results of major events have been  revealed hours before the delayed broadcasts at 8 p.m. Many were angry about the delayed coverage of the men's swimming 400-meter individual medley, where American Ryan Lochte triumphed and teammate Michael Phelps finished outside the medals.

Yonkers Public Schools track and field coach Arnold Shell was definite in his assessment of the coverage.

"I don't like sports on delay," he said. "It takes away from the event."

White Plains track star Tom Johnson, a Section 1 and state champion in the long and triple jump, says learning results from other media takes away from the excitement.

"Personally I don't like to watch the taped version only," he said. "To get told ahead of time by the anchors what has happened isn't good. NBC has severalchannels. I think they can devote one of them to live coverage [of big events] in the Olympics."

American Dana Vollmer's world-record performance in the 100-meter butterfly came hours before fans could watch it. Some complained about results being revealed via Twitter, Facebook and other social media, nullifying NBC's blackouts and "spoiler alerts."

But MacLeish is using that technology to make his Olympics experience more fulfilling and offers advice for those who can watch throughout the day.

"I just stay away from the "big events" during the day, so I can watch them in prime time on TV," he said. "I dug out an old computer and am watching three and four live events at once, all for free. I don't know what people are complaining about. I can't wait for track and field to start."

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