NBC's Online Olympic Video Not Even Remotely Compelling

from the sharing?-stuff-we-want-to-watch? dept

NBC is hyping up how it's really embracing the web this year in its Olympic coverage. However, the details suggest that (as per usual with NBC Universal) it's taking a very old school approach -- meaning the web is treated as a second class citizen and that it won't be either useful or interesting to people online. That is, there are some restrictions that make its online efforts close to pointless. First, the videos won't be embeddable elsewhere. In other words, one of the key factors for online videos these days -- the shareability of those videos -- won't be allowed. NBC is trying to control and hoard the content -- which goes against everything the web should have taught the big shots at NBC Universal.

Secondly, while NBC is talking up 2,200 live hours of competition being shown online, it's sounding like those 2,200 hours will be of the content that people aren't as interested in watching. That is, the stuff that's being shown on TV will not be simulcast online. In fact, it won't be available to watch online until after it's been shown on TV (so, hardly live). So, any of the big important stuff will have to wait until NBC has shown it on TV (most likely on tape delay). So the only really "live" content you'll see is the stuff that isn't particularly interesting.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    eleete, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 3:33pm

    Too Bad

    Imagine the things that could be built, such as a timeline of comments on the video, to see everyone cheer on their country/athlete, but no, we live in a more monopolistic society, so they take the ball and go home, no game to see/enjoy.

     

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  2.  
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    Erik, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 3:53pm

    Works for me, I'm boycotting the Olympics anyway. China should have never been given the games, it disgusts me even more than professional basketball players playing in an amateur competition (and that's saying alot!).

     

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  3.  
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    Fushta, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 4:00pm

    Big Deal. Just be happy

    So what if there are restrictions. I'm just happy we'll have the Olympic online at all. Previous attempts were nonexistent or lame. This year...we'll see.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 4:01pm

    Re:

    Then the Olympics are really for you then, are they? Go back to watching "So You Think You Can Act Like a DB?"

     

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  5.  
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    A. L. Flanagan, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 4:06pm

    boycott?

    @Erik:

    But, but, we have to send pro players! Otherwise we could lose...

    And who cares if the Chinese government is an oppressive, totalitarian regime. They're buying stuff and selling us other stuff!

     

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  6.  
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    Chunky Vomit, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 4:06pm

    I have just about had it with old people.

     

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  7.  
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    jaf, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 4:11pm

    Re: a lot

    a lot is two words, you wouldn't write alittle would you?

    But more importantly, I'm with you on the China thing

     

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  8.  
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    Doug, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 4:22pm

    In my opinion people would really like to see this near real time on the web, probably more so than on TV. And the tough part about making money is to find something that people want/need or make it convenient. I'm sure this is about the bottom line and TV ads must bring in the real $$$$ hence the good content will be on TV and the not soo good stuff will be online. Now if NBC could just figure out how to make money by putting this on the web, live.............hmmmmmmmmm........ And really if they can't figure out how to make money doing that.....then they are really lame.

     

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  9.  
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    Robin, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 4:26pm

    interesting to some

    hey mike; on paragraph #1 i agree, and paragraph #2 i disagree.

    remember that each sport out there, no matter how obscure, has behind it a community (though i really dislike that word now!) of fans, participants, tournaments, national and local organizations, families and individuals. alot of whom are very interested in the competition in china.

    certainly not interesting on a lowest-common-denominator largest possible audience vector, but interesting none-the-less. and it's these small groups of intensely interested people who will think the worst thoughts about nbc when they come face to face with it's old-school restrictions and behavior.

     

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  10.  
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    dave, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 4:49pm

    internet is world wide just like the olympics

    I can't imagine the usa has full control of a every video taken during the Olympics. I guess NBC might have control of their people and content, but I seriously can't believe they can block me from watching a net broadcast from Europe.

    End of the day, if they don't want to use a format that works on my MAC, then they simply loose my business.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    John Wilson, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Here we go again

    You're right, dave.

    NBC is the national broadcaster for the United States.

    Canada has its own which is still the CBC this time out.

    So does every other country.

    The Chinese broadcaster holds the world rights along with the IOC as the host broadcaster.

    At last count only the United States and Holland are using Silverlight, which allows for this sort of silliness.

    NBC can't block you from much whether it's from CBC.ca or the Beeb (if you can stomach iPlayer, another Microsoft product) or anyone else.

    My guess is that their target audience isn't gonna go hunting down other national broadcasters as far as NBC is concerned.

    ttfn

    john

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 10:50pm

    Re:

    $100 says a majority of the parts in your computer, all of it's components & peripherals, and your modem were made in China, but you aren't boycotting those are you? Nor are you boycotting 70% of every other manufactured commodity. Point being boycotting the Olympics is pointless. Without China the US simply wouldn't survive, we have way too much industry invested in them.

    So, unless you've been actively fighting with human rights groups since you were old enough to educate yourself about how terrible people in China are being treated, you're just trying to say you're better than everyone else because you pretend to give a damn about injustice. Every nation on the Earth has people who are being treated unfairly because it's our nature to discriminate. Stop trying to be virtuous by jumping on the bandwagon every time it rolls by with a new paint job and help the people around you. Unless you're actually participating by lending some physical help, spare me your self affirmations of ethical superiority.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    C.RAD, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 6:02am

    Weak

    This is probably one of the weaker articles I've seen.
    Readers deserve better.

     

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  14.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 1st, 2008 @ 10:23am

    Re: Weak

    This is probably one of the weaker articles I've seen.
    Readers deserve better.


    If you have a specific criticism, please let us know. It's hard for anyone to know how to make it better if you just claim that it's weak.

     

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  15.  
    icon
    Karen (profile), Jul 1st, 2008 @ 11:14am

    Re: basketball

    I hear you! Ever since they started with the "Dream Team" I stopped watching the Olympics. I used to enjoy seeing all the different sports; now it's all basketball. Blah! Same old stuff.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Abdul, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 11:17am

    Broadcast TV won't go Away Easily!!!

    Well those who are predicting the imminent death of broadcast TV should have to rethink. With the rampant copyright infringements on the internet, don't expect major sponsors of events like the olympics to go internet wise in a craze. TV will continue to be the dominant medium to air such events whislt the internet will still be second class: Broadcast TV's Demise Is Premature ( http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=622&doc_id=156745&F_src=flftwo)

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 11:55am

    I am glad to see the "uninteresting" sports made available.

    Signed -

    A huge archery and biathlon fan, who NEVER gets to see them.

     

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  18.  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Jul 1st, 2008 @ 4:15pm

    NBC, online olympics, another game that ISNT going to work.

    1. they are going to distribute 2200 hours of sports NOT SEEN ON TV.
    2. IF they are going to be on TV, the Net distribution will be delayed??
    3. I WILL BET, they will limit it to USA only links.
    4. No Links, no redistribution..
    5. even with USA only connections, can you see 1,000,000 connections at 1 time?? to ANY SITE?? Can you say SLOW???
    6. the sports not covered in REGULAR TV/CABLE BROADCASTS
    7. NO DOWNLOAD

    http://cagematch.dvorak.org/index.php/topic,4868.0.html

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Stephen - New York City, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re:

    When I talk about boycotting the olympics, basically, since about the late '80's or maybe the early '90's, I just don't watch 'em anymore, regardless of where they are broadcast / hosted from. Once it became a pro event (with all the requisite time-outs and commmercials up the whazzo) I stopped caring about them. There's just way too many breaks. Way too many 'personal stories' just to try and make us sit through just so we can see a couple of minutes of an event.
    I do my best to avoid patronizing the companies that like to wrap themselves in the rings (i.e., be an 'official' this or that of the rings). Like I would buy their product because of their wasting all that money on pushing sugar water or credit card services.
    And let's not get started on the shills, oh excuse me, the athletes. We have enough shills as it is. We don't need any more.
    I am waiting for the day when the event is going to be called The name-your-favorite-company Olympics. The naming rights dance and the official widget dance are the same as the world's oldest profession and I am not talking about baking.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    JD - Tokyo, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 7:19am

    So much NBC-BS

    In Japan, we don't even get a peek at the online content. In fact, they have even taken off the friggin' athlete profiles. As much as I would like to boycott, these games, I am afraid I will likely be reduced to watching only the gold medal performances of the Japanese athletes, over and over and over and over and over for the next four years.
    I like it here, but a little cultural mix would be nice.
    Oh well, SCREW NBC, the cheap bastards!

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Arilus, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 5:23am

    No live coverage on the opening ceremony!!!

    NBC will not show the opening ceremony (which is happening now) until tonight! This is the biggest world event! Many people in other countries are watching it now. I feel like living in a third world country! NBC is ridiculous!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    lawson, Aug 9th, 2008 @ 6:08pm

    Re: boycott?

    storyofstuff.com
    I'm all for the world getting together at anthing besides war... the olympics shows that we can work together within rules....like everyone on the planet earth has the right NOT to be killed. Our fire departments used to be capitalist. If you didn't have the Bob fire Co. badge on your house it just burnt... we changed that, if I need a 4 vessel bypass, our collective contributions to an insurance fund pay for it. I couldn't afford it by myself.

    Socialism isn't a disease, it's the world working together...like the olympics. That NBC is hogging the event won't last for long cause soon I'll be able to choose the video stream I want from 1000's of different viewpoints. enjoy it while you can capitalists... we are soon to be all united.
    IMHO
    Lawson.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Joe, Aug 9th, 2008 @ 11:19pm

    NBC

    I just watched the online broadcast of the Olympics an well unless I went to sleep NBC cut out my home country Canada from its rebroadcast of the opening ceremonies. Check out the timeline the US enters near the end of the parade of nations but all through the broadcast there shown out on the feild visiting with other countries athletes. "lol" Leave politics out of the games is all I heard from the announcers .....they should take there own advice and stop bashing ever country thats dissagreed with the US

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    John Meyer, Aug 11th, 2008 @ 10:49am

    NBC Olympics Online Video Not Working for Me

    I have tried five different Windows XP computers and am unable to play even one video from the NBCOlympics.com site. By contrast, I watched "March Madness," The Masters, and Wimbledon online with no problems whatsoever. I have now tried for three straight days. It appears that NBC's attempts to restrict viewing in order to protect their rights has also kept many legitimate viewers from seeing content. Hopefully their advertisers will realize that NBC is failing -- perhaps significantly -- to deliver the promised audience because of these failings.

    Oh, and several attempts to send "feedback" via the link provided on their page all get rejected. Why bother having a link if you are just going to reject the incoming emails? Clearly NBC has a long way to go.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 9:53pm

    i am sitting here watching "live" coverage now, and it is dark in china. Well, it is 12:50 am in nyc. how is it dark in china then? it must be around 12:50 pm in china, meaning it should be daytime not night time there. How is this live? what an absolute lie? How dumb does nbc think we are? Coverage on the korean, spanish, and chinese channel have at least given me some options.

    Keep your head in the sand nbc. good luck.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    peter, Aug 18th, 2008 @ 5:48pm

    NBC is broadcasting "America is got talent" LIVE, and chose tape delay the Olympics events when all the talents are over Olympic. WTF.......

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Paul, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:41pm

    NBC online coverage...

    ...is terrible. Nothing of significant interest is available until after the primetime TV broadcast?

    So I know who won the 400m which was run several hours ago, but won't be broadcast for several more hours here in the states, and NBC won't allow it to be viewed online. They seem to be going to great lengths to have it pulled from other sites too, unless you connect through a proxy server outside of the US.

    It's great to have all of the obscure events available online, but they are still forcing everyone to the primetime TV broadcast for everything else. Not exactly embracing the web.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    chris ellison, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:24pm

    nbc messed up this time

    I've really enjoyed watching the Olympics and NBC brought them to me, which I appreciate. And they've done a great job on the TV end. But they really messed up on the web end. Things web users take for granted now, like finding exactly what you want in a search and leaving comments, NBC was unable to deliver to users of its web site. It would have been much better for NBC to partner with Youtube. Plenty of opportunity to advertise and the architecture is superior in every way. It's too bad because it's a missed opportunity now. But on a positive note, there's no way a network will get away with dumbing down its web experience in 2012.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    chris ellison, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:24pm

    nbc messed up this time

    I've really enjoyed watching the Olympics and NBC brought them to me, which I appreciate. And they've done a great job on the TV end. But they really messed up on the web end. Things web users take for granted now, like finding exactly what you want in a search and leaving comments, NBC was unable to deliver to users of its web site. It would have been much better for NBC to partner with Youtube. Plenty of opportunity to advertise and the architecture is superior in every way. It's too bad because it's a missed opportunity now. But on a positive note, there's no way a network will get away with dumbing down its web experience in 2012.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    chris ellison, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:25pm

    nbc messed up this time

    I've really enjoyed watching the Olympics and NBC brought them to me, which I appreciate. And they've done a great job on the TV end. But they really messed up on the web end. Things web users take for granted now, like finding exactly what you want in a search and leaving comments, NBC was unable to deliver to users of its web site. It would have been much better for NBC to partner with Youtube. Plenty of opportunity to advertise and the architecture is superior in every way. It's too bad because it's a missed opportunity now. But on a positive note, there's no way a network will get away with dumbing down its web experience in 2012.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    The NBC streaming videos have turned out to be a gift. NBC has streamed events that niche fans want to see, full length. They may not be great for the short-attention-span public, but for practitioners they are great.

    The streaming videos also give a much more accurate view of what attending the Olympics is like. I little more "real" and a little less flashy, but just as moving. I have been very impressed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    fdf, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 11:06pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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