Friday, August 19, 2016

Olympics Ratings Terrible: Down 17% from London: NBC sucks at the Olympics

NBC needs to make some drastic changes here because watching the games on NBC really sucks. It is a bunch of smarmy vignettes bracketed around matches that you can get the results of with a few taps on your phone. I knew the "Final Five" won the team competition hours before it aired on NBC. Also there are so many commercials that it makes a few taps on the phone much more bearable. If I have to see that Pizza Hut commercial for the dipping box one more time I'm going to plotz.

Also I have no idea what is live and what is on tape or even when things are supposed to air. I wanted to watch wrestling but I have no idea when the matches are supposed to be on. I tune into NBC Sports Network and I lucked out being able to watch the womens matches but missed Helen Maroulis gold medal winning match. I then wanted to watch the match again at night on NBC but men's diving was on. I have yet to see what will probably be a historic match and probably won't get a chance to.

In any case, to fix things, they first they need to embrace digital viewership with both arms.

The bigger story here is that digital viewership is up, up, up. In the first week of these Games, online users streamed 1.86 billion minutes of NBC’s coverage, handily beating streams for the Olympics in London and Sochi. Last Saturday, NBC boasted in a press release, was the best day ever for NBC Olympics on digital platforms, with 155 million live streaming minutes, up 263% from the comparable day at London in 2012.

However, I did not stream the games at all because of this:

But they still had to have a cable login, and therein lies the problem. By requiring cable login credentials, NBC didn’t do enough to pull in cord-cutters, or “cord-nevers” (those who never paid for cable in the first place).
I whole bunch of people did not watch the Games at all because they are in this category. 

As soon as I saw the cable login thing I uninstalled the app. I have cable but why should I have to be tethered to it just to watch some obscure sports that I enjoy. CBS was smart when they allowed free streaming of the NCAA championship and I figured NBC would follow suit but I was wrong.

They should have put the big stuff like USA basketball, swimming, and gymnastics on NBC at night and put wrestling, shooting, etc on the digital app. Instead we are still tethered to the cable box which is something I dislike a lot. In any case NBC botched Rio and I'm not looking forward to how they handle Tokyo in 2020.

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