NBC, who are the rights holders for Olympic broadcasts in the USA, have taken the decision throughout the Games to offer highlight packages of the day's action in their primetime slots.
They showed the London 2012 Opening Ceremony several hours after it had finished (and came under fire for cutting out a poignant tribute section to London terror victims), and have missed out on hundreds of hours of footage as it happens.
The decision will be hard to understand in the UK, where viewers have been treated to rolling live coverage throughout the day.
But despite the 100m final taking place at 1645 on Sunday on the east coast of the US, and around lunchtime on the west coast, the race was not shown until primetime.
"Dear NBC - you may have heard that we Americans occasionally watch live sports on Sunday afternoons. You incredible doofuses," tweeted Forbes contributor Tom Watson.
"Usain Bolt finished so fast, NBC's delay will only be 5 hours," joked Jennifer Healy.
"Shameful, selfish and stupid," was the verdict of Twitter user TLanceB.
NBC did offer a streaming service online for fans who wanted to see the race live — but that too was reportedly struck down at the crucial moment.
"Streaming the 100m final live online... buffering right as the runners get into their blocks," tweeted Jake Willis.
Matt Erickson added: "Tried to watch 100m final live online. Started buffering right before start... and picked back up right after finish. Thanks, NBC!"
- Sports & Recreation