NBC’s Olympic strategy can’t last

Steve Safran has a noteworthy rant over at Lost Remote. As a news guy, he’s upset with NBC’s restrictions on the use of Olympics highlights. I posted a comment:

The commercialization of the Olympics has grown to the point where it threatens to self-destruct. In all honesty, I don’t give a hoot about them anymore. What used to be THE world event to highlight the talents and gifts of amateur athletes has become the most over hyped dog and pony show ever. NBC ownership of the Olympics extends beyond “rights,’ methinks, and that’s pathetic.

Two things are inevitable downstream. One, the athletes will demand compensation. Two, the ratings won’t provide the ROI to justify such staggering amounts of cash.

We all must remember that the media scenario today is vastly different than it was in the Jim McKay days. Back then, we were content to wait, because that’s just the way things were. Today, however, it’s “I want what I want when I want it,” and technology is making that possible. And having that appetite for immediacy filled makes the NBC Olympic strategy unacceptable.

Before this Olympics is complete, we’ll be reporting on stories of pirated highlights being spread across the Internet. It’s just the beginning.


  1. Matt C. Wilson says

    They can’t stop the global footprint of the Olympics from reaching the internet though, can they? Won’t there be major broadcast channels from other countries (BBC, off the top of my head) running Olympic coverage on their websites?

    How can they ignore that NOT running online coverage is simply making web surfers surf elsewhere?

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