Yahoo Sports has a report on its website that is of major interest to those who will be watching the 2012 Summer Olympics from London. NBC Sports has announced that it will broadcast every event live on television or via live streaming on the internet. This means that fans will no longer have to wait several hours to watch prime-time coverage and see Bob Costas introduce tape-delayed versions of events that have already been widely reported.
This is especially important for West Coast viewers in the United States who have previously been largely unable to watch any live programming of Olympic events. NBC has not announced details of how this will take place; but this is a major departure from its handling of all previous Olympic broadcasts.
London is five hours ahead of New York City and eight hours ahead of Los Angeles. Many major event finals will take place in mid-afternoon New York time and late morning on the West Coast. NBC will likely use live video streaming over the internet for many events; but it also owns several cable TV networks that will undoubtedly air live events.
Viewers who have to work during the day will still be able to tune in for the prime-time broadcasts that will likely continue to air tape-delays of events mixed with human interest stories and commentary. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on NBC’s final profit-loss figures from the London games. It may be inevitable that viewership of the prime-time programming will dip slightly; but viewership on NBC’s cable channels should increase. Advertising revenues may therefore even out or even increase due to the higher rates cable channels will presumably be able to charge.
NBC should be congratulated for taking this bold step into the 21st century communication world. Students of sports marketing will want to study this development carefully to gauge its impact on NBC’s bottom line.
Sports Marketing is one of the subject areas taught by the United States Sports Academy. For more information on Academy programs, please go to http://ussa.edu.