Rio Olympics 2016: Double trouble for blundering TV station

Canadian Olympic broadcaster CBC have had a horror 24 hours with their coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Two of the biggest commentary blunders of the Games have come from CBC's coverage of the swimming, as viewers were first aggrieved and then amused by the broadcasting bungles.

Yesterday, CBC commentator Byron MacDonald was first to mis-step, being forced to apologise for saying 14-year-old Chinese swimmer Ai Yanhan "died like a pig" live on air.

Apparently unaware that he was being broadcast to the world, MacDonald uttered the objectionable phrasing in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay final.

"The little 14-year-old from China dropped the ball, baby," he said. "Too excited, went out like stink, died like a pig."

He later apologised for the blunder.

"I would like to take a moment to apologise for a comment that I made last night after the women's relay," he said on CBC's Olympic broadcast. "I was referring to a swimmer's performance, and not to them as a person. Needless to say, there was no disrespect intended and I'm very sorry."

As soon as that controversy had died down, today fellow CBC commentator Elliotte Friedman unleashed an awful on-air clanger, suffering a case of mistaken identity at the worst possible time.

With Michael Phelps steadily pulling clear of American rival Ryan Lochte in the 200m individual medley final, CBC commentator Elliotte Friedman called the race as though the latter had instead stormed in front.

Canadian viewers were left thinking Lochte had finally beaten Phelps and, instead of claiming his record 22nd Olympic gold medal, Phelps had missed the podium entirely.

Once Phelps had removed his swimming cap and the mistake became clear, Friedman confessed he had confused his lanes.

While the swimming is coming to an end, CBC will be hoping for the remainder of their Olympic coverage to progress blunder-free.

- NZ Herald

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