NBC Proud That It Made It More Difficult For People To Watch The Olympics

from the really-didn't-think-this-through dept

We've already explained how screwed up NBC's Olympic coverage policy on the web turned out to be. Its use of proprietary technology and annoying restriction severely limited its online audience -- even though the company admitted that its own research found that the more people watched online, the more they watched it on TV as well. So, given all that, you have to wonder why NBC Universal's Rick Cotton is somehow claiming a "victory" in preventing other sites from showing Olympics coverage. After all, his own company admitted that online viewing didn't cannibalize TV viewing, but only encouraged more of it. By that measure, Cotton's efforts to prevent clips of the Olympics being shared elsewhere on the web actually shrunk NBC's audience. Yet, according to Cotton: "It was a great, great success." Then again, this is the same Rick Cotton who once tried to convince Congress that it had to stop movie piracy to help poor corn farmers and claimed that no one at NBC Universal could come up with a working business model for TV content without government help, so logic might not be a strong point.

Filed Under: olympics, piracy, rick cotton, web video
Companies: nbc universal


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2008 @ 5:48pm

    There is no reasonable method to deliver video content to desktops without relying on "proprietary technology"
    Delivery in flash still relies on proprietary technology it just so happens that it currently has a much more substantial market share than Silverlight.
    Using SL for a massive event encourages greater adoption of an alternative proprietary technology. That being said there likely are components to that choice of SL over flash that we, the general internet ravaging public, are not aware of.
    The restrictions placed on the content are simply a result of an archaic structure still in place around broadcast. If instead of suggesting this is a massive failure, we look at it as a small step forward in the shift from traditional broadcast media there is some good to be found in the Olympics broadcast this year. Sure there is a long way to go, but the more high quality content that makes it to the web the more useful data points broadcasters and content creators have to figure out how to actually make money doing it.
    I'm not trying to be an NBC apologist here, but it's not a fair conversation if you don't recognize that NBC is working within the boundaries of the broadcast industry.
    Now, is there *spin* in the claims, of course... But seriously aren't we all really savvy enough at this point to recognize that for what it is without having to make absurd statements like I'll never watch NBC again because they used a MS plug in and didn't broadcast outside the only market they were allowed to broadcast in...

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