Tape Delay By NBC Has Internet Viewers Finding Alternatives

9 08 2008

People want information immediately. Ahh, the days of scooping news for traditional outlets has been replaced to a large degree by finding on the innertubes.

And people want this immediacy on everything.

Meet NBC, who own the exclusive rights to the Olympics.

Meet a public who doesn’t want to wait 12 hours to see the opening ceremonies. This new audience wants it as it happens.

And this creates a problem.

NBC’s decision to delay broadcasting the opening ceremonies by 12 hours sent people across the country to their computers to poke holes in NBC’s technological wall — by finding newsfeeds on foreign broadcasters’ Web sites and by watching clips of the ceremonies on YouTube and other sites.

In response, NBC sent frantic requests to Web sites, asking them to take down the illicit clips and restrict authorized video to host countries. As the four-hour ceremony progressed, a game of digital whack-a-mole took place. Network executives tried to regulate leaks on the Web and shut down unauthorized video, while viewers deftly traded new links on blogs and on the Twitter site, redirecting one another to coverage from, say, Germany, or a site with a grainy Spanish-language video stream.

This is more important than you would think. Traditional media knows that they need to control their “product” but with the Internet, that is becoming increasingly more difficult.

So, what’s the answer? I don’t know but I do know that traditional models are being torn apart. And maybe, just maybe, the suits at the network should have taken this under consideration.

I’ve often said that in this new age of communication, if I had to have a choice between a decent laptop or a high-definition television, I’d take the laptop.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, times are changing.




12 responses

9 08 2008

But, more concerning to me, is the fact that commercial entities in our country are censoring our internet access to information from outside of our country. How are we any different from China if this is happening? Not much difference that I can see anyway. Except for the fact that right now it’s not our government that is blocking that access, yet.

9 08 2008

Good point. I was thinking of it from a news/viewership perspective but that is a good point indeed.

9 08 2008

I can’t wait until there is a 40 inch laptop – BALT – Big Ass Lap Top! It would have a strap that would go from the top corners around your neck to keep from falling over. With some awesome headsets and asbestos pants, I’d be good to go.

9 08 2008

@Missy: NBC paid China for the rights. Just like the NFL and any other events pays for the rights. It’s private enterprise.
The surprising thing is that China embraced capitalism! With what they spent on just the opening ceremony, what NBC paid was probably a drop in the bucket.

There is no commercial free speech – only political.

9 08 2008

Didn’t it happen with the last Olympics, too, that people were annoyed about the timing of the broadcasts? It seems like they should have expected this.

9 08 2008

That’s what I thought.

9 08 2008

People are always going to find something to complain about. The opening ceremonies, while a great Twitter event for yours truly, aren’t as crucial as, say, the basketball games or the track and field events, or women’s beach volleyball. I have no problems with some tape delay, but the big-time sports should definitely get live coverage.

9 08 2008

I think it’s also a testament that larger media (and corporate owned) outlets don’t get the fact that the Internet isn’t going away. They need to figure it out. 12 hours on the ‘tubes is a lifetime.

9 08 2008

GLS, exactly.

9 08 2008
Joe P.

all i know is that opening was one hell of a show.

also, a new axiom for our times:

If it exists, it’s already on the Internet.

and just for the record – i want the giant screen HD wall and a laptop too. color me a greedy capitalist.

11 08 2008

Check this out. I just Google’d NBC tape delay. NBC’s own message board site came up as a top listing. So I click on it. The funniest thing is that it says the comments had been deleted or there was an error reading it. But Google had already cached the main comment about people’s disgust about the delay on their own site. Hilarious censorship NBC. Can’t take your own backlash from you own decision. No wonder your ratings are down and you wasted A LOT of money. And stop saying it is Live when it is not. False advertisement there.

13 08 2008

Chupacabra video

beware :Chupacabra scary

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