SBD/Issue 85/Sports Media
NBC Universal Plans 835 Total Hours Of Vancouver Games Coverage
Published January 15, 2010
LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN: In Seattle, Ron Judd wrote under the header, "Here We Go Again With NBC's Not-Live 'Live' Coverage." The net is "delaying broadcast of the main event for three hours" to viewers on the West Coast, as primetime coverage will begin every night between 7:00-8:00pm ET/PT. The move is the "same intentional falsehood the peacock network foisted upon the not-fooled public during the Beijing Games." Either NBC "has already reinvested some of that Conan O'Brien money in new time-shifting broadcast technology, or the 'live' designation is a lie to those of you unfortunate enough to live on the West Coast." Judd: "We can only hope the people responsible for [getting] the next Olympic TV contract take note" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 1/14). NBC Sports & Olympics VP/Communications Chris McCloskey said, "Our extensive research has clearly shown that West Coast viewers, more than any other region, wants to see the Olympics when they're available to watch, and that is when they are home, which in almost all cases means prime time." But with NBC expecting to "lose $200[M] with its Olympics coverage," the L.A. TIMES' Diane Pucin writes, "We who love the Olympics want them to be a big television event. But maybe you deserve to lose money if you feel as if live coverage isn't good for the western outposts" (L.A. TIMES, 1/15).
STREAM WEAVER: PAIDCONTENT.org’s Staci Kramer wrote the more than 400 hours of streaming event coverage is an "astonishing amount of live video" compared to the Turin Games. However, that is "far less than the 2,000 hours of live coverage of the Beijing Olympics.” Kramer: "More important, it’s a lot less than NBC has the right to deliver.” The development “isn’t surprising,” as NBCU President & CEO Jeff Zucker last summer said that live streaming “devalues top events like the Olympics or Super Bowl -- and there wasn’t a model that exists [that] could show him how to avoid that.” Given projections that NBC “may lose money on an Olympics for the first time, it’s hard to see that changing” (PAIDCONTENT.org, 1/14).