Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What was NBC thinking? Don't they relaize that they lost $233-million off the Vancouver Games alone?

NBC just spent 4.3-billion dollars on securing the next four Olympic games. Fatal financial move in my opinion! Here's why: The Olympic movement is not as significant as it once was. Though I am looking forward to a westernized Olympics in 2012, The World Cup of Soccer will be soon be more popular than either the summer or winter Olympic games come 2016 or sooner. Perhaps it already is? Consequently the Olympics may not be the mecca for advertisers it once was when such companies like CocaCola used the Olympics to globalized it's product with dozens of commercials throughout each Olympic run. Now they have the World Cup and the X-Games.

Other short term problems exist such as the lack of a "Michael Phelps" moment waiting in the wings for the next summer games. i.e. Phelps winning an amazing eight gold medals was both stunning and breathtaking; (Thank you Jason Lezak), but the lack of both emotion and motivation Phelps has displayed in recent months gives the impression that Phelps, if he wins half as many gold medals, would be termed an incredible moment but certainly not a Beijing moment.

The world has caught up and we are not so fast anymore. US citizens love to spend money and the USA is the breadbasket for industrial revenue across the planet. Will Americans want to tune in and see their athletes suddenly average out along with the rest of the world thereby winning some events and then losing and equal amount?

We no longer dominate in diving, we are about to have our worst Olympic showing in the pool at the 2012 London Games and how will Americans react to that? The French, the Australians, and the Chinese are also a force to be reckoned with while the US is closing many male oriented college sports programs without a peep coming out of USA Swimming or any of the other governing bodies.

Do people here care about track and field anymore? Will the NBA come out and save us on the court? What about sports like ice skating, beach volleyball, gymnastics? Are they gaining in popularity or fading? I think they are all fading.

Finally, there will be no more $45-billion cities designed for the next four Olympic games. 2008 was the pinnacle of infrastructure for the Olympic movement and I doubt we will ever see such a spectacle again.


Joel M / the17thman said...

I'm no media expert but I think that NBC see's the Olympics as a loss leader like Amazon sells Lady Gaga's new cd/mpe for .99 cents hoping you'll stick around afterwards. The Olympics are the ultimate commercial for it's other programming. And for Comcast/NBC/Universal the Olympics will be a chance for them to show the "synergy" of the new media giant. I think Comcast thinks that this will finally put it's Versus and local sports channels on the map and be serious contenders to ESPN. Of course it'll suck for people in non-Comcast regions of the country and those using DirecTV and Dish.

Anonymous said...

wow.....really disappointed in your negative approach to this. I have watched the Olympics for 40 years now and having an athlete in my life now only makes it more exciting than ever. I have also been a loyal reader of this blog. I have seen endless negativity but your heart is in the right place and I tend to take what positive I can from your writing. The Olympics is and always will be the event that fuels dreams for kids. Not poker on ESPN. I really wish I wouldn't have read that from you...Boo.. I can really see now you really just don't get it. The global spirit of competition is so much more than just seeing one of our athletes medal. I look for the stories. Nadia was just as exciting as Mary Lou...And, due to Phelps lack of character I'm kind of into Thorpe or whoever might be willing to show some class (it would be wonderful it it could be an American). We are extremely patriotic and Yes pulling together to see USA have victory is the ultimate but we are more global than ever. Go to a clinic with an Olympian and see 200 little faces begin formulating their own dreams.....Thank God ABC is going for it!You might be giving us the facts and I'm hoping it is a bit "tongue in cheek" but your BS went a little far with me this time http://gigaom.com/video/nbc-still-seeking-gold-in-the-olympics/

Tony Austin said...

I agree, I have been cynical and cranky for about 8-months now. I don't like it either.

Anonymous said...


Tony Austin said...


Anonymous said...

To the above poster...no, he's not just stating the facts. This is full of mostly opinions. There is no evidence that any of those sports are "fading" in popularity, it's just Tony's opinions.

And when Tony's opinions are involved, it's always a negative consequence. Just the way this blog has become.

Tony Austin said...

Note to the above, above, Anonymous poster: When anonymous' opinions are involved, it's usually a negative slam on Tony but Tony still publishes these attacks because he is so very boss and he loves you all.

So let's see who shares my opinions regarding Olympic popularity. The 'Hollywood Reporter' has this to say about Olympic Games popularity:

"...The Vancouver Games are skewing disproportionately to older viewers, a 'Nielsen' study found. Viewership among those aged 55 or older has been 82% higher than the national average... "

The 'Chicago Tribune':

"...[Vancouver games] Through the first week, prime-time coverage averaged 26.6 million total viewers, [...] ...but it was still dwarfed by the 32 million who watched the Salt Lake City Games in 2002 as well as the 37.5 million who tuned in to the Lillehammer Games of 1994..." [A ten-million viewer drop!]

Then some rag called the 'New York Times' had this quote from a media professional:

"I’m told median age for the World Cup viewers is 37, and the Olympics 52," said Brad Adgate, the senior vice president for research at 'Horizon Media', an advertising agency, indicating that the network that could reach younger viewers had an advantage. "The Olympics are a remnant of the cold war, and the World Cup is part of the country’s ethnic diversity, the way this country is gradually moving. ..." [Advertisers are voting with their wallets in other words.]

So, how about the math? I went to Google Trends and typed in this search string: "Olympics, World Cup, Star Wars" and the Olympics gets trounced:


Here is Senior contributor to Sports Illustrated giving a 5-minute talk on how outdated they have become for FORA TV:


So, Yes, these are my points of view regarding Olympic popularity but coincidentally enough Google math agrees, the pundits agree, and several media analysts agree. Like it or not, it appears I am entitled to an opinion and lots of people share these opinions. :-P

Anonymous said...

I think the previous anonymous posters live in a bubble!!!

The Olympics use to be fun to watch when the coverage included many more athletes, from all countries, and the headlines did not focus on how many medals each country earned.

Unfortunately, cheating has tarnished the games. The spirit of the games was suppose to include honor and integrity.

The basic principles have been lost. The games should be about the experience, the friendships and the fair competition and not about winning by cheating.

Organizations benefit from these "Kids Dreams" and unfortunately many people do not act in their best interest.

It's a turn off when you realize how much political crap goes into choosing the athletes who will compete.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately most of Tony said is true; with collapse of iron curtain the main reason USA poured enormous resources in sport is gone. Extra thrill of watching underdog USA team beating russians is gone as well. In general our society society is getting less motivated. I used to watch olympics RELIGIOUSLY up to late 90. Last winter olympics I dont think i watched it much except some figure skating

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting watching all of the foreign athletes who receive full scholarships to the best universities in the United States and then represent their respective foreign country in the Olympics!!!