The Olympics and the Prime Time #NBCFail

Now that we are almost a week removed, I feel I need to weigh in on the Olympics and NBC’s coverage of it. I feel that the NBC failure has a lot to do with its misunderstanding of its audience.

When I heard that NBC was going to stream every single moment of the Olympics on YouTube, I was excited. My family and I no longer have cable, and the opportunity to stream video of the events with which we wanted to keep track sounded great.

Then, I learned that, if one wanted to watch the events streamed live, one needed to have a cable subscription.

Then, I found out that the opening ceremonies were going to be delayed until prime time.

Then, in subsequent days, I learned that all events were going to be time delayed for primetime.

None of this made sense to me.

My question is this: what is prime time?

The Internet has made the world smaller. Time differences are no longer a necessary hurdle. Media consumption is instantaneous, and any delays for any reason are, in fact, annoying.

I work during prime time hours. They are not prime to me. And all of the advertisements that could have been associated with an online stream are not viewed by me, because, again, I am not watching during prime time.

Also, with the advent of DVR’s and other recording technology, who really is watching a whole broadcast in prime time anymore? I know that, when we had cable, we watched everything with the DVR. It just made more sense to record the programs we wished to watch and watch them at our convenience without the commercials. This, in fact, was a big part of the reason why we chose not to get cable. When we were recording programs, we were basically paying for a lot of live programming which we were not watching. Online streaming of content makes much more sense in our scenario.

And more and more people are watching TV the way we are.

I hope that, within four years, NBC can figure out a way to monetize the streaming content, so that the #NBCFail does not repeat itself.