NBC Universal's Great Idea: Let's Make It Harder And More Expensive To Watch The Olympics
from the this-is-a-joke,-right? dept
During the last Olympics, we sat stunned as NBC Universal made mistake after mistake after mistake in making it incredibly difficult for fans who wanted to watch the Olympics online to do so. And then, NBC Universal executives bragged about how difficult they made it to watch, when really they just shot themselves in the foot, since even the audience who could actually watch it online watched it more on TV. In other words, everything about NBC Universal’s strategy backfired… and then they talked about how great it worked. It’s hard to understand how the folks involved still have jobs.
But… rather than learn from that, it looks like NBC Universal has decided to make things even worse for the next Olympics. NewTeeVee points us to the news that NBC Universal is working on a deal that will require online viewers to first prove they have a pay TV package before granting them the ability to watch buggy, limited, delayed online video of the event. Oh, and of course, this will only apply to the cable or satellite providers who first pay NBC Universal for the privilege. How a viewer will “prove” he or she is a customer is still being decided, but will likely involve an IP address if you’re at home, or some other convoluted system if you’re elsewhere.
This really is just an extension of the ongoing discussions between the networks and cable/satellite TV providers to lock up their content behind a paywall before online video wipes away the need for pay TV. It’s like watching a trainwreck way in advance. Any attempt to limit what can be done for the sake of keeping an old business model in place has always failed miserably. It’s always disappointing to see people who should know better make the same mistake over and over and over again.