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
    brianh, 16 Sep 2008 @ 11:18am

    I agree that NBC's online coverage SUCKED. Their player was horrid, the quality was crap, and it was tough to find certain content. But I don't understand the logic behind advocating that anyone should be able to snag anyone else's content and display it as their own. "...his own company admitted that online viewing didn't cannibalize TV viewing..." - but that doesn't mean that they want other online outlets to cannibalize from their own online content. TechDirt always seems to have this stance, but I doubt they would like it if I took their articles, fed them onto my own site, put up my own discussion forum under each article, then brought in a little ad revenue based on the traffic. Is this not a comparable scenario, or am I missing some key point?

    As for the spin, that's a no brainer - it's his job and carreer hinging on good performance, so of course the online component was a success.

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