Why is NBC ruining some Olympics races for us?
Because they promised advertisers high primetime ratings.
NBC guaranteed advertisers a 14.0 rating in primetime, according to Multichannel news.
So instead of airing “marquee events” like the Men’s Downhill live, they save footage and results for a packaged broadcast during the evening hours, when both advertisers and the network think they will get the most eyeballs.
GE’s NBC Universal is trying to chip away at the $250 million in ad revenue they expect to lose in licensing and production fees. According to the network, they are broadcasting the most live hours ever for a Winter Games broadcast. They also noted an uptick in coverage online and in mobile applications.
But NBC is still blowing it for millions of fans.
Hours after the Internet and other news sites spoiled the men’s downhill skiing race for us, NBC ended up airing only 38 minutes of the event (just six of the 64 skiers), according to SB Nation.
Nielsen estimates, as noted in an NBC release, that the network got a 14.3 national rating and 26.4 million viewers for its Feb. 14 coverage of the Vancouver Games. During the opening ceremony, they brought in 32.6 million viewers.
So NBC is, presumably, giving advertisers what they want.
But they aren’t giving viewers what they want: Better live coverage.
When millions of viewers are getting Olympics news in real-time, online and elsewhere, it’s time to trash the traditional TV package.
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