NBC Admits It Was Wrong To Worry About Online Olympics Watching Cannibalizing TV Viewing

from the who-woulda-thunk-it? dept

NBC Universal has a long history of totally misunderstanding the relationship between online video and TV video. Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary (including from NBC’s own competitor, CBS, which was quick to point out that more online watching resulted in more TV watching), NBC has insisted that online watching somehow cannibalizes TV viewers. That explains why its online Olympics offerings are so weak — not showing any of the really interesting stuff until many hours after its been broadcast on TV.

Amazingly, NBC execs seem to actually be admitting they made a pretty big mistake here. In going over their own research, they’re finally realizing that rather than cannibalizing, people watching on either TV or online only seems to get them to watch more of the other, as it just makes them more interested in the Olympics as a whole. Of course, given how NBC has behaved in the past, don’t expect it to recognize this in other parts of its business (or, say, start broadcasting stuff online before the tape delay on TV). Also, don’t expect it to realize that perhaps its lawsuit against Redlasso is totally misguided, even though Redlasso helps more people see NBC content online.

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Companies: nbc universal

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Comments on “NBC Admits It Was Wrong To Worry About Online Olympics Watching Cannibalizing TV Viewing”

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13 Comments
stephen says:

olympics online

I haven’t watched the Olympics since Sydney, when NBC delayed showing the rubber game of a women’s volleyball match between the US and China for a tour of the city by Ahmad Rashad. At 1am.

This year I’ve watched about 10 minutes on TV (the first Phelps race). But holy crap am I addicted to it on the web. I’ve watched so many sports you’d never see on TV: the individual archery, weightlifting, trap shooting and skeet, and I still want more (I just can’t get into judo, wrestling, air gun, or, to my horror, table tennis and badminton). The best part is, there are no announcers to digress about inspirational narratives and other nonsense. Instead the web just has the stadium announcer and an on line commentator, who is invariably far more knowledgeable and interesting than anyone who’d be tasked to go on TV. They are also a bit more uncensored. The judge during the women’s rifle finals said of the Cuban competitor and her surprising run: “I’ve never heard of her before. I hope she defects.”

The best announcer is the stadium announcer at the archery range who sounds like the announcer for the Westminster Kennel Show and is full of interesting comments. For instance, during the women’s finals: “And with that 10, Miss Park destroys the pinhole camera in the target just as she did in 2004.”

One thing: will some please explain to me why the women archers enter for each contest to an instrumental version of the Scorpion’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane”?

commonsense says:

limited coverage = different coverage

Your knee jerk reaction ignores the basic and most important fact – the events available to watch online were very limited and had to buffer repeatedly. So the coverage was very different online than that available in broadcast television.
To have an accurate comparison of one medium stealing from the other, the coverage would have to be much more similar in content and availability.

Twinrova says:

NBC Covers the Olympics on TV? WRONG!

NBC doesn’t cover the Olympics. Instead, it favors 2-6 minute long advertising campaigns for Corporate America. What pisses me off more is the fact it breaks during a competition simply because it can last longer than 5 minutes!

NBC can go to hell and their stupidity over viewership habits proves they really don’t care about the viewer unless they can push ads to them.

What’s interesting here is that NBC has created additional cable channels which shows specific games (such as soccer and basketball) and during these events, not a single damn commercial is ever played. EVER. Not even between matches. So if they could do it for these channels, why not it’s primary channel?

Brighthouse also included two other channels, one for Korean viewers, the others for (Mandarin) Chinese viewers. I’ve been watching these channels more than the NBC channel because of the VARIETY of games offered instead of just basketball, beach volleyball, gymnastics and swimming. Damn, NBC, America’s won over 46 gold medals but you wouldn’t know it given all you show is the same 4 damn games (making it worse is REPLAYING games in case Americans were sleeping during the real match).

And to think NBC would think I wouldn’t watch their TV based programming because of the internet.

Assholes, you lost me because you’d rather focus on McDonald’s rather than an Olympic game.

Fix this by the time the winter games get here.

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