Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We Were Wrong

Yes, it's true, the Curmudgeon is occasionally wrong. We're man enough to fess up.

A couple weeks ago we said that NBC's monopoly on Olympic coverage would prevent Americans from seeing many Olympic events, and suggested that it would be better to sell television rights to categories of sports (gymnastics, track & field, bicycling, equestrian, etc.) to maximize exposure on various cable networks.

We were largely wrong. NBC owns a number of cable stations now, including MSNBC, CNBC, USA and Telemundo, and it made the most of those additional outlets to provide broad coverage, much of it live, of many Olympic sporting events.

In addition, NBC made available just about every competition on its special Olympics website. We enjoyed, a couple of evenings, streaming the women's archery competition on our laptop while watching the main NBC coverage on television.

Indeed, if anything, NBC has undercommercialized its web opportunities in connection with the Olympics. There wasn't much advertising accompanying the webcasts, and what there was tended to be generic--the same advertisers as on its television broadcasts.

If we were NBC, we'd create a separate webpage for each category of sports and open it to advertising from companies that can't afford television, but that have a connection to the sport and would love the specific audience. For example, the archery page could have a lot of useful info about archery, and be sponsored by various manufacturers of equipment, or archery clubs, or whatever.

Anyway, we were wrong. The Olympics were fun, and well-covered.

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