Usain Bolt retained his 100 metres Olympics title, but American broadcaster NBC did not show the London 2012 blue ribbon race live for its audience.

While spectators inside the stadium revelled in the privilege of watching the world's fastest man win gold, Stateside, the event would be watched on a time delay.

usain bolt

The fastest man in the world

The extraordinary decision, especially given the surge of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, has baffled many.

Reportedly, NBC paid $1bn for rights to broadcast the Olympics, however this is the third notable mishap by the commercial broadcasting television network at these Games

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  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning gold in the Mens 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning gold in the Mens 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line ahead of Ryan Bailey of the United States, Yohan Blake of Jamaica and Justin Gatlin of the United States to win the Men's 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line ahead of Ryan Bailey of the United States, Yohan Blake of Jamaica and Justin Gatlin of the United States to win the Men's 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica runs ahead of Ryan Bailey of the United States, Yohan Blake of Jamaica and Justin Gatlin of the United States during the Men's 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning gold in the Mens 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after crossing the finish line to win the gold medal in the Men's 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, is congratulated by his mother Jennifer, left, and others after he won gold in the men's 100-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, center, is congratulated after he won gold in the men's 100-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 100-meter final during the athletics competition in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, leads United States' Ryan Bailey in the men's 100-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, and compatriot Yohan Blake hold their national flag and celebrate after winning the gold and silver medals respectively during the athletics competition in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in London. Blake won the silver and Gatlin the bronze. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, and compatriot Yohan Blake hold their national flag and celebrate after winning the gold and silver medals respectively during the athletics competition in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in London. Blake won the silver and Gatlin the bronze. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, center, crosses the finish line ahead of Netherlands' Churandy Martina, left, United State's Ryan Bailey, second left, United States' Justin Gatlin, third right, Jamaica's Yohan Blake, second right, and United States' Tyson Gay in the men's 100-meters final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, celebrates winning gold in the men's 100-meter final alongside silver medallist Yohan Blake of Jamaica during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt runs past the Olympic flame after winning the men's 100-meter final race during the athletics competition in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

NBC did not show portions of the Danny Boyle-directed opening ceremony live either. When tribute was paid to the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks, NBC did not show it because it "wasn't tailored to a US audience".

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A familiar sight returned, unless you were in the US

And in London when interviewing tourists outside Buckingham Palace, reporters failed to notice former champion boxer, Evander Holyfield.


Geoff Ogilvy
....and congrats to Usain Bolt too for the 100. Would have been nice to see it


Paul Kelso
Remarkable. NBC has not shown the 100m final live.


Harry Wallop
How in the age of Twitter/Facebook etc does NBC think it can get away with not showing 100m final live?


Michael Calvin
Incredible that NBC will not be showing 100m final until peak time West Coast in 5 hrs. What planet are they on?