Love this New York Times article about NBC’s futile attempts to maintain its US broadcast monopoly on the Olympics opening ceremonies.
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.
“The idea of watching a 14-hour delay is repulsive.”
She’s absolutely right. And frankly, the opening ceremonies are a major global news event that deserves live coverage. Traditional Mass Media’s (i.e. NBC) attempt to keep the good stuff to itself to maximize advertising revenue is just so 20th century, and hopefully will soon to be a thing of the past.
At least Canada’s CBC gets it (and savvy border-hugging Americans can to if they want true live Olympics coverage). I’m in Toronto right now and watched live coverage this morning, as it should be (I believe NBC was too distracted by its asinine 13th hour of the Today Show to care).
Then again, I just downloaded Silverlight to try and watch NBC’s live online coverage, and was told I couldn’t since I was so obviously not in the United States. And the CBC’s online monopoly here demands that YouTube’s official Olympics channel not be viewable in Canuckistan. Just as big broadcast money corrupts politics, it also corrodes sports.
And we’re criticizing the Chinese for controlling the flow of information Let’s see who’s first to sign the exclusive contract with Father Time for worldwide New Year’s Eve celebrations — to be broadcast in primetime sometime after January 3rd.
Posted by Hanson Hosein (content to be a “former” employee of the NBC/CBC network machines).