One TV network’s desperate fight with the here and now

The Olympic games are on.
NBC paid a whole lot of money to be the only network to show them in the US. Then they decided to only show the events time delayed and heavily edited. All events, including the opening ceremony. In essence this network is only showing the public those parts of an international event that their executives think are appropriate and in alignment with their agenda.
That would have worked a few years ago, but nowadays this strategy borders on the ridiculous. Because, the internet.
England is a good 6 to 9 hours ahead of the US in regard to time zones. People are connected via twitter and Facebook, tumbler and wordpress and Skype. The opening ceremony was live tweeted by thousands of people when it actually happened. Even if Americans couldn’t see the ceremony live, they got a play by play of exactly what was going on. They were in the know.
So when the broadcast finally rolled around, people noticed discrepancies. People noticed the lack of preparation of the commentators, and people noticed that a very moving tribute to victims of terror attacks was missing.
NBC explained that this tribute was not tailored enough to Americans.
NBC doesn’t realize that in the age of the world wide web, you can’t compartmentalize experiences in that way anymore. We are all citizens of the world now.
In a very poignant way, the opening ceremony showed us that we are all interconnected, by having a whole segment of the show about this. This segment ended with the inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee typing: ‘This is for everyone’ in bold letters on the stadium wall. It was pretty telling that the two NBC commentators had no idea who he was.
Well, Tim, we’ve heard you. We see what’s going on. We have the results of every race now hours before we can actually watch the race, and we feel rightfully duped.
The world has entered the instant information age. I hope NBC will sometime soon.


About scratchingcat

Writer, mother, friend.
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4 Responses to One TV network’s desperate fight with the here and now

  1. wysiwyg88 says:

    “Not tailored for American audiences…” Who the hell are they to decide that? This is a blunder that I really hope costs them dearly. I find it hard to believe that they could have been to conceited as to think that the recent history of other countries is unimportant but that is what I am forced to conclude after this.
    The point you make is absolutely spot on. The interconnectedness of their audiences are increasingly rendering them irrelivant.

  2. megnorris says:

    Wow. This. Is. Ridiculous. I heard about the delay but I didn’t realize how heavily edited NBC’s broadcast was. How arrogant of them. I mean this happens all the time, with television networks deciding what is and isn’t worth our time, but never on such an obvious scale or with such stupidity. I am embarrassed for them.

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