NBC and the Past of Media

Frank reports on a bad experience with the NBC Olympics site – the 200m dash may have been the fastest ever, but NBC took their sweet time putting the footage on their site. I had the same experience a few days ago, when Bolt made a joke out of 7 other runners and the world record on the 100m dash (yes, I was going to write about it anyway, but thanks Frank for the trigger). I heard about the race (having taken place in some ungodly US hour) in the morning, from the news and from a friend that called from Israel. Immediately heading to the NBC website, I was disappointed to only find an article about the race and no link to video – not even “video will be published at XX:YYpm” that would have saved me a couple of minutes of fruitless exploration of their site.

Turning to YouTube was mostly useless – it’s too popular now and the copyright police patrols it often enough (I did find one low-quality recording that was almost enough to satisfy my curiousity). The savior? an Israeli news website that did not block non-Israeli visitors.

So, NBC is delaying posting of videos to rescue their prime-time coverage. But with alternative global sources, and various pirating methods that easily escape copyright, all they are doing is losing and alienating viewership. Great job! The most annoying bit in all this is that the prime-time coverage does its best to hide the fact that the races are pre-recorded and shown with considerable delay. Tell it like it is, NBC! Start getting used to a new media world.

One thought on “NBC and the Past of Media

  1. Frank

    I did not think to check the Israeli websites 🙂 I was trying to figure out a way to pretend I was in Mexico…Televisa has a truly amazing olympics web app with live and cached video from all olympic streams and simple multi-attribute search. It’s pretty amazing, but blocked to US IPs. It it really too much to ask for NBC to have the same sort of app?

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