Zucker: Reports Of Net TV's Death Greatly Exaggerated

Jeff Zucker of NBCUWhile its future may be cloudy, NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker reaffirmed Friday his company's belief that the ratings success of the Olympics is evidence that reports of the demise of network television may be premature. Speaking on CNBC, Zucker said that in just the four years since the Athens Summer Games, the "erosion of network television has been pronounced, and there's no way of getting around that." But Michael Phelps' first-week victories in Beijing prove "the pipes work. If you put on great programming that people want to watch, then they'll show up."

NBCU reported that it has sold an additional $10 million in ads since the Opening Ceremonies. And Zucker said that's "much more than we expected." Robust sales should continue into this week.

The executive went on to discuss how NBCOlympics.com, with its live streaming of events and other content, has performed during the Games. NBCU has shown traffic increases on a daily basis. Still, Zucker acknowledged, as he has before, that monetizing that flow remains a challenge.



"Hopefully, we'll be able to turn those digital pennies into ... if not dollars, (then) digital 50-cent pieces at some point," he said on CNBC.

On a non-Olympic subject, Zucker commented on the future of Telemundo within NBCU. While expressing some disappointment in its performance--it trails Univision in the Spanish-language TV market--he indicated that with some tinkering, the opportunities are strong.

"Obviously, Telemundo has been harder than we thought, and it's been a more difficult path," he said. "There's no question--we need more work. We need to continue to improve there. I have confidence that will happen."

Next story loading loading..