NBC Rations Olympics Content While Social Media Grouses

You can't see all of your precious Olympic sporting events live on NBC, even though the Olympics are in North-American-friendly time zones. 

The men's downhill skiing event is an important piece of any Winter Olympics -- but it didn't run live. NBC ran it delayed in prime time.

NBC saves its best stuff for prime time -- some live, some not -- and then parcels out events over a three- or five-hour period like crumbs for pigeons.

We're the pigeons -- and we continue to follow the trail.

I watched some live women's curling on CNBC Tuesday afternoon.  Tell me what the ratings were? Maybe a little better than what CNBC does when telling us that unemployment has risen over 10% -- or that the Dow sank 100 points.

NBC is going to lose some $250 million on these Winter Olympics -- and you want it to run a men's skiing event live? That means it'll lose $260 million. Who do you think you are? NBC's consumers? Better luck getting an upgrade deal from Toyota.



Everyone is pissed at NBC (Conan O'Brien fans, move over!) - except, perhaps, TV advertisers, who have fewer high-rated TV shows overall to advertise in.

The International Olympic Committee keeps adding new events, making it harder to squeeze in everything. If every single sport could be found on, or some other place, from end to end with no commercial interruptions, happiness might prevail.

Social media blogs complain about too much advertising on NBC's Vancouver Olympics.

And yet NBC has released new viewer data showing that in virtually every single category - including brand recall, engagement, and other marketing metrics - numbers are up for advertisers who bought into the winter games. 

Viewership is up right now, too: some 25% higher than the 2006 games in Torino, Italy.

If viewers hate NBC, they have a weird way of showing it.  TV advertisers take what comes these days until viewers stay away from what's showing, or demand alternatives.

5 comments about "NBC Rations Olympics Content While Social Media Grouses".
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  1. Kris Olszewski from Independent, February 17, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.

    If you saw my Facebook feed you would really see how angry people are at the abundance of figure skating and the shortage of downhill coverage. Popped over to Universal midday today to see if the coverage would be live and show more events....nope there was a skating costume comparison with talk of "man cleavage" and tours of the Village. Yes people are watching because it only happens every four years and they are not waking up to the morning news telling them who won.

  2. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace, February 17, 2010 at 4:48 p.m.

    Watching the Opening Ceremonies this past Friday, I have a question for NBC.


    Watching it from Florida, one could BARELY hear the Sportscaster's Narration during the Program, but when they went to a Commercial Break, if you didn't "Mute" the volume, you got BLOWN FROM YOUR SEAT!

  3. Arthur Lynch from Creative Communications, February 17, 2010 at 5:06 p.m.

    The Olympics is not a live sporting event, it is a television event. It is programing. The live events are for the wealthy who can go there. Face it, we live in a class society and the bread and circuses for the masses is prime time television, the Internet has not changed that basic fact

  4. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, February 17, 2010 at 5:08 p.m.

    Last night I was watching the womens snowboard cross semi finals. I Binged Maelle Ricker and found a link to her sponsor a Swiss Snowboard Manufacturer. They had up on the site that she won gold. I turned off NBC and went back to the movie I was watching and didn't watch the finals. Kind of ruined the suspense. There really should be a place to view events live since NBC is unable to hide who wins from the public if the event is tape delayed. They better be careful with men's hockey. If the men lose a big game and it is on tape delay the ratings will drop below the floor all the way to the center of the earth.

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, February 17, 2010 at 6:15 p.m.

    Wanna bet the next Winter Olympics somewhere in Russia - 8 maybe 10 hour difference - are going to make mince meat out of Vancouver about live coverage? True the coverage has been awful. Let's give them credit for getting better camera angles than before. I really don't mind ads, but this is ridiculous. However, many sporting activities live could get really boring with long waits between competitors. And more figure skating ! A lot of that other stuff is very boring to watch (participation in a sport and watching it are not the same) with some very dumb commentary and interviews. I know Canada is a beautiful country, but this focus should be more on the athlete's performances, especially if there are more sports than time.

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