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August 08 2012

The First Truly Social Olympics: Tell Me How You Really Feel
It's a brave new world my friends. There were more tweets sent in a single day during the Olympics last week than there were during the entire 17-day competition in Beijing in 2008. In 2010, during the Vancouver Winter Olympics, there were around 307,000 mentions of the term Olympics during the opening weekend of the event, as opposed to 3.5 million this time around. And we may not even be prepared for just how social the 2012 games have been — spectators during a cycling event were asked to halt all tweets unless they were "urgent" as the data hungry onlookers were interfering with GPS equipment. It's a truly social Olympics, the first of its kind, so where else would we turn but to the same the real-time social network that toppled a dictatorship, powered a massive American protest, and brought down the likes of Anthony Weiner. It's Twitter's time to shine. The communication floodgates are open, and when the entire world congregates around one city, one competition, and (in the U.S.) one broadcast network, there is to be an expected amount of sewage pouring through our social channels.

August 01 2012

Satirical Twitter Account @NBCDelayed Is The Best Part Of NBC’s Olympics Coverage
If you've grown sick of these NBC/Olympics stories, too bad! We have nearly two weeks of Olympics and their respective tape delays left. I don't even want to count how many hours of delayed Ryan Seacrest that is. Here is a wild, EXCLUSIVE, Olympic story that could only be found by top-notch journalists with Internet connections and Twitter accounts (where could we find people with those qualifications? Not in New Orleans). Anyway, buried lede: A Twitter account, @NBCDelayed has been mocking NBC's ill-thought, tape-delayed coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games.

July 28 2012

TechCrunch PSA: Olwimpics Blocker Blocks The Olympics
Screen Shot 2012-07-28 at 1.18.15 PM
If you're like me, you never real got into spectator sports. Maybe it was the jock-induced swirlies or maybe it was the pointlessness of ball-based games, but I couldn't give two shot puts about the Olympics. Thankfully, there's the Olwinpics Blocker from

July 26 2012

Greek Athlete Kicked Off Olympic Team For Tweet
Voula Papachristou, Greece's triple-jump champion, was barred from competing in the London Olympic Games by the Hellenic Olympic Committee after an offensive tweet on Monday. She tweeted, "with so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitos will be eating food from their own home."

July 25 2012

No Wi-Fi, Please, We’re British: Olympics Will Ban Personal Hotspots
Screen Shot 2012-07-25 at 8.09.19 AM
As if the rules at the 2012 London Olympics didn't sound draconian enough, the organization has banned personal Wi-Fi hotspots from the games, thereby ensuring that people will just tether their phones in secret and surf the web like the champions they are. This follows hot on the heels of prohibitions from sharing Olympic news via social media. Can we all just agree that this isn't about sportsmanship anymore and is rather about the host city not getting stuck with a janky Olympic village in the middle of town and instead making loads and loads of money?
NBC Links Up With Storify For Real-Time Curated Olympics Coverage Across And Owned Station Sites
On the heels of a deal with Facebook to promote Olympic conversations on NBC's Facebook page, the broadcast network today is taking one more step to improve its social standing during the big sports event. It is linking up with Storify, the social-media "story creator", to put streams of real-time Olympic content, curated by NBC journalists, across as well as NBC's 10 owned TV station websites. An NBC spokesperson tells me that this is by far the "biggest thing" that NBC has ever attempted with social media. NBC journalists -- 40 in all that will be in London and elsewhere -- will be mining content from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social media sites. It will be the first time that journalists affiliated with the local sites will work in collaboration with the NBC News team on an effort like this.

April 26 2012

London Olympics To Visitors: Don’t Share What You See
Don't copy that pole vault! According to the London 2012 Olympic "conditions for ticket holders," you are not allowed to take pictures or video of the events nor are you allowed to "exploit" any video on social networks.
Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally, and may not exploit images, video and/or sound recordings for commercial purposes under any circumstances, whether on the internet or otherwise, or make them available to third parties for commercial purposes.

April 07 2010


Our Multimedia Olympics Obsession

It was no surprise that the Olympics was a ratings blockbuster for NBC. The network’s ratings more than doubled during February Sweeps, up 105% from last year, according to Nielsen and RBC Capital Markets research. The interesting footnote, however, is GE’s cross-platform success on the Web and mobile. According to RBC Capital Market’s latest report, “Media and Entertainment: 1Q10 Preview & Outlook,” one third of the people watching the Olympics on their television were also on NBC’s website.

We may have stomped our feet and threw Twitter tantrums in response to NBC’s frustrating coverage—including chronic tape delays and the never-ending parade of the Marriage Ref. ads (Kelly Ripa’s laugh still echoes in my head)—but we watched, we clicked and we downloaded again and again. We watched Kim Yu-Na win the gold medal on live television then checked commentary online, we tracked the live blogging of the alpine skiers and watched a live web stream of curling. When we weren’t online many of us were fiddling with our Olympics iPhone apps.

In total, 1.2 million iPhone users downloaded NBC’s Olympics app. Reflecting on the growing success of cross-platform strategies, RBC notes: “Content owners haven’t found a way to monetize this kind of activity in any material way yet and it’s not clear how they can. But if it ultimately leads to more hours in front of the TV, increased engagement and meeting consumer preferences becomes a benefit even without direct monetization.”

To further illustrate the shift in media consumption habits, the report brings up the case of Entourage. In 2004 all of the ratings came from HBO channels, five years later in 2009,  54% came from HBO channels, 25% were video on demand, and 21% were DVR. As viewers diversify their media usage and spend more time online, we could see price drops. In the report, RBC predicts that Apple may win its battle to drop TV show prices to 99 cents from $1.99.  “If Apple can prove that price elasticity is such that lowering the price of TV episodes to only $0.99 could materially accelerate the consumption of download-to-own TV episodes, we’d expect the TV networks to move more aggressively on pricing to help alleviate some of the slackening demand in DVD-related TV content.” In other words, as people shift from DVDs to downloads, lowering the price of those downloads will help spur the growth of that market.

February 28 2010


How We Hate NBC’s Olympics Coverage: A Statistical Breakdown

The coverage of the Winter Olympics on NBC has been painful to watch. In addition to the tape delays which ruined the outcomes for anyone paying attention to any other news, sports or social media outlet other than NBC, there are a lot of other complaints. In between the hard-hitting reports of polar bears in the Canadian North and life among the lumberjacks, NBC did manage to squeeze in some actual Winter games, which were matched in quantity by the constant loop of the same handful of commercials on heavy rotation for McDonald’s, Visa, AT&T, Diet Coke, and NBC’s upcoming shows Parenthood and the Marriage Ref. (Thank goodness for DVRs).

We already know that NBC’s handling of its Olympics coverage sucks, if only because everyone on Twitter says so. Right now, Twitter Sentiment shows that 73 percent of Tweets about “NBC Olympics” are negative. But what are they complaining about exactly, and is it just Twitter? Some new data from Crimson Hexagon, another sentiment analysis service for brands, shows the breakdown of hate:

Tape Delay Horrible: 19%
NBC Is Awful In General: 13%
Commentators Are Lacking: 9%
Not Enough Sports: 20%
Mobile/Web Lousy: 12%
Other Complaints: 12%
Happily Watching: 15%

These numbers come from an analysis of nearly 20,000 Tweets and 5,700 blog posts and forum comments. On Twitter alone, the biggest complaint by far (25 percent) is the tape delay. But that’s what you’d expect from a bunch of realtime addicts. Overall when you count blogs and forums that complaint ranked second, barely nudged out by the lack of enough actual sports coverage. Notably, only 15 of people on the Web were happy with NBC’s coverage.

Perhaps people just go to the Web to complain, and happy viewers had no reason to log on because they were enthralled by those polar bears. But something tells me the Web’s view reflects the general one. How do you rate NBC’s coverage?

February 19 2010


The People Of Twitter Think NBC’s Olympics Coverage Sucks

NBC is driving people on the Internet crazy by tape-delaying coverage of the Olympics until primetime. Okay, maybe it’s only driving Henry Blodget crazy, and everyone on Twitter.

Well, not everyone on Twitter—68 percent, according to a recent reading I took on Twitter Sentiment. Roughly two thirds of Tweets about the NBC Olympics are negative. Some examples of the venting occurring on Twitter about NBC’s delayed Olympics coverage:

NBC sucks. Why the hell is the Olympics not live

Watching the #Olympics on #NBC since I love watching hours old tape of events I know the results of.

What’s the point of watching the women’s downhill super combined when you already know that Lindsey Vonn crashed because half the people you follow on Twitter decided to spoil the race earlier in the day when it actually happened? Sports need to be shown live because half the drama is in the outcome. The excitement just kind of fizzles otherwise.

Everything else is realtime, NBC can’t expect the country to just wait for Bob Costas to start rolling tape.

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