NBC is trying, we’ll give them that much. They’ve covering 2,200 hours of Olympic events live online (albeit not the stuff you want to watch). They’re also covering 3,600 hours of Olympic events on TV (albeit mostly taped). In other words, they’re producing more Olympics coverage than has ever been produced before. But they’re still producing it for themselves and their legacy TV business, not you.
How would NBC cover the Olympics if they put you first and didn’t have a legacy business to protect? They would:
- Make NBCOlympics.com a comprehensive schedule of each day’s events, with a link to a live video feed of each. All events. 100% coverage. Searchable by day or by event with a simple toggle. For events that NBC itself is not covering, the link could go to a partner company’s video. In exchange, NBC could give partners access to its own video. Note that NBC currently comes at its Olympics schedule from exactly the opposite direction–by starting with the NBC networks and then describing what each will show on any given day and time. Hate to break it to NBC, but viewers couldn’t care less which network they watch on. They just want to know how/where to watch the events they want to watch. So this thinking should be inverted. (Full schedule of coverage here)
- Note when the live feed is/was also available on TV and where/when. If it’s on TV, most folks would prefer to watch it there, as long as it’s not cluttered with ads and crappy commentary. If TV is still more profitable than online (it is), NBC should encourage web viewers to turn on their TVs. Or, better yet, watch both simultaneously.
- Make NBCOlympics a wikipedia-style start-page for games, athletes, news, blogs, stats, betting, etc. This instead of the me-too “Olympics” destination it is now.
As it is, we suspect we’ll spend most of the Olympics cursing NBC for forcing us to watch the Olympics according to their schedule and style, not ours.
In response, we’ll also try to take advantage of the first truly global medium to see if we can find other sources for the video we want to watch. If/when we find any, we’ll let you know here. (And if you’re two steps ahead of us, we’d be grateful for the heads up).
UPDATE: Watch the Olympics live here
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