Olympics: Streaming vs TV

My friend Patrick told me yesterday that I should check out Team Handball. He said its a lot of fun to watch. I immediately thought “I should find out when they are streaming a Team Handball match.”

My daughter posted on social media that she can’t deal with the non stop advertising that NBC is running on their main channel. I can’t either.

The combination of being able to watch when you want and how you want with the incredibly annoying experience of the main NBC broadcast tells me that this may be the Olympics that streaming starts to beat TV.

So when I saw this Variety headline this morning, NBC Universal’s Olympic Upset: Streaming Trumps TV, I clicked on it and read it.

There isn’t enough data in that article to conclude that streaming has, in fact, passed TV as the dominant way we watch the Olympics.

But I can tell you that the streaming experience definitively has.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Rob Underwood

    I also think NBC not showing the opening ceremony live, but on one hour tape delay (east coast), was horrible. NBC can rationalize however it will about American audiences needing the editing for “context” and Bon Costas can say what he will about it only being a ceremony (“The complaints about the opening ceremony strike me as silly. The opening ceremony is just that, a ceremony. A performance. It is not a competition”) but I like watching live with the rest of the world.I also found the geography commentary by Hoda Kotb, whose primary claim to fame appears to be day drinking Monday to Friday on live TV with Kathie Lee under the guise of an interview show, incipit at best. Actually Hoda, I do know where Benin, Eritrea, and Chile are, because I went to 5th grade. The dumbing down and pandering to American viewers was terrible. Again, another reason to go to streaming, preferably to a non-US broadcast.

    1. bsoist

      And there is a map on the bottom right of the TV screen if I forgot, Hoda!

    2. Ana Milicevic

      Yes – what a disappointing decision, but hey – when you sell primetime your advertisers expect primetime. A while back I wrote about the concept of synchronicity and experiencing things at the same time: http://wp.me/p1jGYr-77 This was one of those types of occasions where most countries around the world tuned in in real-time — we miss out on taking part in that larger picture.

      1. Rob Underwood

        Yes, though I bet there is a correlation between household wealth and those who opted out of NBC for a stream that was 1) live and 2) less advertising filled. The advertisers lost a lot of valuable eyeballs. I am sure this was all discussed and considered within Comcast, but it’s also not like the US is the only market in which TV advertising exists. (Did Telemundo, owned by Comcast, show the ceremonies live?)I found NBC/Comcast’s whole thing around how the ceremony needed to be edited for American audiences for context incredibly insulting as well (“First of all, it’s not a sports competition, it’s a ceremony that requires deep levels of understanding all the various camera angles and meanings for the host country, and our commentary laid over it.”) Having attended elementary school, I know where Benin and Chile are, thank you. I can also interpret dance pieces to derive meaning. I have a perirhinal cortex. Turn on the camera and let me watch.

        1. Ana Milicevic

          Noone in the US (legally) showed the ceremony live. Most other countries I can think of had a live broadcast and a timely taped repeat if timezones were unfortunate.Yes – the whole ‘we’ll give you extra context’ just added insult to injury especially given the asinine stuff the commentator team chose to highlight. Just drove home the fact that I’m clearly not their target audience; I’m not quite sure who is but I hope they’re enjoying this type of programming and coverage.

    3. creative group

      Rob U:You said aloud regarding Hoda Kotb what many acknowledge silently. Claim to fame, well compensated and glorified alcoholic beverage taster. Don’t get it but we guess it appeals to the stay at home whatever demographics.Two words to describe it! Simply horrific!

      1. Rob Underwood

        I personally think a TV show that shows people consuming in the morning – and making it seem routine and normal (i.e., an every day affair) is a terrible message, but that’s just my personal prudishness I guess.Someone will probably chime in to say we should all get a 2-3 glass of wine buzz on before lunch every weekday. My read on the show is the drinking on air in the AM is about an empowerment message, but I take away just the opposite, more a message of “Without wine we can’t by, and we basically live drink to drink” which is the very opposite of empowerment (i.e., dependency). I think it’s a little strange, but that’s probably just me.Anyway, I found her insistence that the American people did not know basic South American and African geography far more annoying and demeaning.

        1. creative group

          Rob U:We concur. That thought isn’t isolated for those who support the empowerment of women. The dependency is a weakness and not a strength. Catering to the stay at home anything. Yuk programming. We can assume that demographic feels the same about News, Sports, Game of Thrones and Viking programming.

    4. cavepainting

      hmmm… the thing is the average viewer in the US is probably not that well informed on global affairs. They do dumb it down intentionally, but that may be deliberate than because of incompetence.We need a choice of audio streams for sports. We all like different flavors of commentary. So why don’t you provide a few different ones and let the viewer decide. Or better yet, open-source it, and let viewers rate their experiences. When non-media people like comedians and the average joe with a POV can provide commentaries, it will make the experience more interesting.

  2. JimHirshfield

    Well, the DEMAND from consumers to stream likely exceeds everyone’s expectations. I tried it yesterday and it was a big disappointment. The app would stop streaming after 1 to 2 minutes. And yes, the ads! Every time I reconnected/restarted, there was another streaming ad…for beer, kids!#LivingInThePast

  3. JimHirshfield

    I’m calling it now. This thread will fill up quickly with “alt” methods of streaming all you want.

    1. Rob Underwood

      You mean like using something like Zenmate, choosing a UK internet gateway, and watching the BBC?

      1. JimHirshfield

        ^ first

    2. Nitin Khanna

      you mean like, VPN into Toronto and watch on CBC’s site. Much better experience and they don’t lay too much emphasis on pushing their own wins, like NBC and BBC do.

      1. JimHirshfield

        something like that 😉

    3. creative group

      JimHirshfield:that wasn’t a call at all. That was similar to calling Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt winning a Gold medal in the 2016 Olympics. That was like you staying you will shot the Basketball from full court and make it but actually laying it up under the basket. With this tech crowd which are expense sensitive that was a layup to figure out. 🙂 You continue to be the best in wittiness!

  4. Mike Zamansky

    Something lost, something gained.On the one hand, we’re gaining the ability to watch what we want, when we want, where we want it and of course that goes way beyond the olympics.On the other hand, we’re losing discovery. It it were all streaming back in the day, having little interest in boxing, I probably never see Roy Jones Jr. dominate Park Si-Hun only to have the gold stolen from him.Beyond, sports, with all streaming and all on demand, maybe I never stumple on to that WOR weekend showing of “The Maltese Falcon” back in the day…

    1. Chris O'Donnell

      I don’t know, we spent a good hour yesterday morning randomly clicking on the live streams of unfamiliar sports. I was completely confused by the scoring in judo, and rather entertained by woman’s rugby.

    2. LE

      On the other hand, we’re losing discovery.Key point. And the reason that I still read several print newspapers.Below from something I saw a few days ago. It’s dominated by Harrys a customer of mine who I forwarded it to to let them know that their PR was working)…

  5. William Mougayar

    It’s too bad that you can’t just stream what you like on-demand. I would paid $50 for that service for the 2 weeks.The UK is lucky- they have https://tvplayer.com/watch-…But there’s also http://www.stream2watch.co/ once you figure out how to get in.LIVE now, Handball South Korea v. Sweden Womenhttp://www.stream2watch.co/…

  6. Chris O'Donnell

    We watched the men’s foil action via streaming all day yesterday. The ads in the NBC streams are just as bad as the network feeds, just in a little different manner. If there is a 12 second break in the action they’ll drop a 10 second ad in on the stream. I’m already sick of Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” (WalMart back to school ads) and it’s only the opening weekend.

    1. William Mougayar

      which streaming service were you using?

      1. Chris O'Donnell


        1. William Mougayar

          I have Roku – you’re watching the olympics on Roku? I’m not seeing it- maybe it’s not available in Canada.

          1. Chris O'Donnell

            It’s just NBC’s streaming channels on the Roku. You still have to have cable to access the streams.

    2. Rob Underwood

      I will say this about Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” ad … it’s one of the first times I can remember of marketers (or political campaign managers, or hiring managers, or HR people…) busting out of the “Boomers, Millenniels, or bust” mentality to advertising and overtly appealing to folks my age. Yes, dear companies, there is a generation between the Boomers and the Millenniels. And we’re 1) today’s parents and 2) the folks in our peak earning years. There in fact are people who buy products and services aged between 35-50. We even vote too!Are you there advertisers? It’s me, Gen X.

      1. Chris O'Donnell

        I’m peak Whitesnake – graduated high school in 85, My youngest kid is 20. My reaction was more pity for the poor folks my age just now dealing with elementary school 🙂

        1. Rob Underwood

          I am class of ’90. Whitesnake, Poison, good times.To my point about skipping over Gen X, the conventions were a great case point – e.g., the DNC going from Paul Simon to Katy Perry. Would it have killed the DNC to ask Phish to do a 20 minute version of Bathtub Gin before Hillary’s speech? I think that was a reasonable expectation of most people our age of the convention (the Republicans would have gone with the Spin Doctors, I’m sure).That said, I did appreciate that a Gen Xer, Sarah Silverman, may have had the quote of the convention.

    3. Henry Sztul

      FireTV doesn’t do this. They just put up a “we’ll be right back” screen.

      1. onowahoo

        Didn’t see anything using Xbox one nbc app either. Admittedly, I wasn’t watching live.

  7. onowahoo

    I watched some men’s handball, beach volleyball, and women’s 10m air rifle using NBC Sports application on Xbox one last night. I watched mostly replays but I didn’t see any commercials at all. Was relatively good experience overall.

  8. pointsnfigures

    What’s the alternative to ads? I hate ads too. But, the NBC paid how much for the Olympics? I suppose they could charge us each a fee to get it, but the economics around that are probably pretty impossible for them.

    1. Jess Bachman

      “The 2016 Coca Cola Olympic games are being brought you ad free, taste the feeling, taste the gold, back to you Bob.”

      1. pointsnfigures

        Works for The Masters.

        1. Mac

          They set the bar….along with many other things.

        2. Salt Shaker

          The Masters is a diff biz model than most sporting events. CBS doesn’t own the rights to The Masters, they have a licensing deal. The Masters org pulls all the strings (and it’s still very much an old boys network).

      2. Amar

        The “2020 Olympic Games” available free for all Amazon Prime members and iPhone users via Netflix. Watch the world come together in one extraordinary event (ad free)

      3. jason wright

        …and sugar free?

      4. Ana Milicevic

        Cause we all know that soda, fast food, and sugar-coated cereal are an integral part of all top athletes’ nutrition. *smirk*

    2. fredwilson

      i like the idea of an ad supported stream and the option to subscribe to an ad free stream. just like spotify, soundcloud, etc do

      1. LE

        Selling that doesn’t scale or work like locking up major advertisers and hyping them into signing contacts w/o viewer guarantees (like they apparently do or have done from what I read). Remember that is part of the model that made newspapers so lucrative. (They did have circulation guarantees of course but they got the extra Wanamaker 50% in revenue because of the way the system is setup). [1][1] “A popular saying illustrating how difficult it was to qualify the response to advertising is attributed to Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”

        1. pointsnfigures

          but it might work for major sports like gymnastics and swimming. those viewers that want ad free content would subsidize other sports.

          1. LE

            Unfortunately there are already legacy interests and contracts in place so I am not seeing how that could happen reasonably. I mean anything is possible but if you are working at the companies that control this (NBC and the Olympics) how exactly do you get that type of change given how many people (with jobs) are impacted in one way or another?On May 7, 2014, NBC agreed to a $7.75 billion contract extension to air the Olympics through the 2032 gameshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wi…

      2. Ana Milicevic

        I’d augment that w/ sport-specific packages, on-demand paid commentary, etc. Lots of options if folks stop thinking with the advertising or ‘we’ve always done it this way’ hats first.

        1. Salt Shaker

          You currently can filter and program the NBC app for alerts by sport. It’s actually a pretty good design. Still too many ads, though. Coke, Visa, etc., paid for certain deliverables/metrics tied to a legacy model.

          1. Ana Milicevic

            I meant commercial packages covering single sport, a group of sports or the whole thing ( e.g. gymnastics pack, water sports pack, all Olympics pack). The sport-specific packages could include more background footage, interviews w/ coaches, live scopes, etc — the idea is to give the super-fans options, as well as casual fans.Yeah – it’s only day 3 and I’ve already seen the same 4 ads 100 times, and I’m not even actively watching!

      3. pointsnfigures

        listening to soundcloud streaming in the office while I am working makes it a lot more enjoyable.

      4. Richard

        Purchase supported streaming where the subscription price is tied to what you purchase from sponsors.

      5. JaredMermey

        I imagine this might be a bit harder to produce, especially if live. You’re essentially producing two live shows — one with interruptions and one with out it.Not insurmountable but at least spotify, soundcloud, etc can just put out a catalogue of content for us to click through — there is nothing live.

  9. jason wright

    You can’t sell cable subscriptions on the back of a two week event staged once every four years.

  10. Mike

    NBC Olympic streaming has equally annoying problem. The same three commercials played over and over again at every break.

  11. daryn

    I recent “plugged in the cord” and have been impressed that my cable provider (Xfinity) makes it seamless to choose your Olympic programming regardless of source. Just press “C” or say “Olympics” on the X1 remote and you get a menu of all currently available events, both broadcast and streams.Of course these are still “sanctioned” streams, but much better than just NBC’s prime time coverage or watching Canadian channels.Sadly, quality of the streams isn’t quite as good as the real broadcast. A conspiracist might say it’s intentional.

    1. fredwilson

      is is just not as high def or is there is some other quality issue with the streams?

      1. daryn

        Less high def, frame rate also seemed a little weird. Just felt a little “off”.

        1. Peter Radizeski

          I am told that is due to the encoding to stream it – adds delay as well as a little degradation. (I was told that by a Comcast exec)

    2. rick gregory

      You can also say “show me Olympics handball” and it will which is much nicer than trying to find things manually.@fredwilson:disqus the stream frame rate feels a bit too low and it has that early digital video feel where it’s not quite as lifelike as film. The nice thing is that the X1 stuff integrates NBC Sports streams and live broadcasts.

    3. cavepainting

      It is not a conspiracy. It is intentional for they would much rather have the viewer decide to enjoy the higher revenue prime time coverage.Can’t blame them for they spend $1B for Olympics rights. I just wonder if the better deal for the IOC is to give rights to two competing channels in each region and may be charge them ~ $500 M each (US). The competition is likely to drive more innovation, more choices and the customer will surely benefit. Right now, NBC is the only game in town..Such a model will work only if there is some collaboration among broadcasters to optimize the costs. Not dissimilar to how we see the split of wholesale vs. retail in mobile carriers.

  12. panterosa,

    I remember when we had this discussion for the last olympics. I moved to streaming then, though sometimes check in on the horrible NBC quickly. I detest how they only feature the US athletes, it’s antithetical to global competition.

    1. fredwilson


      1. panterosa,

        So I guess we all did not complain LOUDLY enough 4 years ago to fix it. Let’s make some noise. The other complaint was US cable companies controlling the login to streaming. Due to an AVC post 5 years ago, we cancelled our cable, and so now poach my mum’s login to stream.

        1. Peter Radizeski

          well 4 years ago Comcast didn’t own 100% of NBCU. In 2013 it did. It isn’t about giving a viewer a decent experience. It IS about maximizing profits on their $7.75 Billion deal (through 2032). Comcast didn’t even recognize cord cutting until last year.What needs to happen is Roku needs to add VPN to make it stupid simple for a majority of the people.

          1. Ana Milicevic

            Or the BBC can open up subscriptions for their iPlayer globally and cause major disruption. They’re funded by households in UK paying a tax that goes towards their budget (and the tax until recently applied just to traditional TV sets; it’s not being changed to cover streaming-only setups).

          2. Peter Radizeski

            BBC probably does NOT have global rights to open it any more than NBC has global rights.

          3. Ana Milicevic

            Why should UK expats be restricted from watching and supporting their national broadcaster? Why should anybody else? How is this any different than expat cable packages (of which there are many)? It’s a grey area on several different levels but mostly because while the pro folks are getting their acts together, it’s easier to pirate than to pay. That’s not a good situation for long term economic success.

          4. Matt Kruza

            I am not understanding your argument… I don’t know a ton about bbc so perhaps I am off base. My understanding they are partially / significantly govt. funded through taxes. You are talkign about them having the broadcast rights for say the olympics in this case. They likely pay the IOC or similar bodies for rights just for United Kingdom. Presumably it would cost maybe 5-10 or even 20x for rights globally. They have rights to show to people who are physically in the UK. If you should get to see it as an expat in america (through the bbc instead of through NBC who paid for american broadcast rights), then are you suggesting that if i visit the UK i shouldn’t get to see on BBC since not a UK citizen? I doubt that.. so just trying to see what part of your argument I might be missing

          5. Ana Milicevic

            Rights agreements based on geography were struck when video over the internet wasn’t a viable option and still consider country borders as actual physical borders (and anyone who has lived close to a border region in the era of rabbit ear antennas can describe the joy of watching ‘foreign’ TV). I’m proposing that those rules be challenged and re-imagined for the digital age. The BBC example is specifically interesting because of the existence of household license fees; if the Beeb expanded their player offering and created a global digital subscription under the guise of expat programming (which is a common package usually delivered over cable carriers today, but increasingly available for streaming) this can prove to be a significant disruptor and cause a re-architecting of licensing agreements to the benefit of viewers.

          6. cavepainting

            The intellectual rights agreements that govern where content can be broadcast or streamed work largely based on geographical boundaries, not based on individuals and their citizenship. May be this should change in the future, but it will not be easy.

          7. Ana Milicevic

            Exactly – w/ expat programming packages sitting somewhere on that fence. I see a loophole and potential for disruption with the full understanding that carry renegotiation will be gnarly :)I’ve explained it a bit more here: http://disq.us/p/1armh80 (which may or may not be right next to this comment; I can never tell w/ Disqus)

          8. Nitin Khanna

            Oh I would love that… Just give me global streaming and here, take my dollars!

          9. ShanaC

            bbc could make bucks for that. Same with the USPS and banking+ other service

          10. Ana Milicevic

            I consume so much of their content on a daily basis that I just want to make sure I can actually give them money (surprisingly hard!) so they’d keep making the amazing programming they make :)Also makes me wish PBS worked in a similar way funding-wise.

    2. cavepainting

      Yep. the same thing in the UK. Truth is most people want to see the best athletes irrespective of nationality. The population is way less nationalistic than what NBC thinks!

      1. panterosa,

        It’s a super annoying assumption, for any nation, but especially for those not interested in nationalistic vibe.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Likely the only way to make it in the NBC hierarchy is to come up with some exploitative idea that assumes the viewers are idiots! They long since gave up on playing it straight so keep trying things that make the programming worse instead of better for nearly everyone. Looks like NBC is a failing organization. It’s not so smart to insist that all your customers are idiots!

  13. LE

    Variety article:Floating this rising-tide vision of the Olympics multiplatform world makes it seem that neither advertiser guarantees or topping the $120 million in profit Comcast pocketed four years ago will be problem. But it’s worth considering that if streaming hasn’t already siphoned a significant portion of the linear audience, it’s an inevitability.a) They can probably forget about getting the same type of guarantees ever again. Nice work on behalf of their sales team in locking those up (I guess see ‘b’).b) The existing advertisers, despite the guarantees, have a definite leg to stand on for renegotiating the contract that they signed (and I am not talking about a legal angle either) given the drop in viewing that has occurred (according to Variety)There is more at work than streaming here impacting tv viewing. People (especially young people) just have to many other distractions and things to watch (which is not a new phenomena obviously).

  14. Ana Milicevic

    This is a split b/w passive audiences, accustomed to tuning in and watching what’s offered, and active audiences – the ones that would rather be in charge of their own viewing experience. Thanks to the proliferation of on-demand video services the latter audience is growing; the problem is that most TV coverage of live (eps. sports) events is still tailored to a passive audience. Doing content the old way stipulates old economics: huge licensing deals with strange, out-of-date restrictions (like the IOC’s social media sharing policy), expensive on-air commentators who sound out of touch, and questionable programming decisions (like the tape delay of the opening ceremony which solely had commercial reasoning and how advertisers are charged for primetime vs. other slots).What would help ease this transition are new commercial models for streaming. For example:- Pay-per-view of certain events/packages or full coverage of all games — individual boxing or UFC fights command $50-60 for several hours easily; how much would you pay for a 2-week streaming Olympics offering, Wimbledon, etc?- Pay for commentary: I’d rather listen to Leslie Jones’ silliness and cheering than a minute more of Bob Costas & co but that’s not an option. How much would you pay to have Snoop Dog narrate the handball tournament? That’s probably worth the price of an app or a comedy special right there. – Advertiser models that are less interruptive & repetitive: sponsored features, featurettes vs. breaks every 2 mins, unlocking special content upon checking out an advertiser’s offering, etc. There are many options worth exploring that will make money without alienating/annoying the viewers; they just lie outside of the usual way of transacting for ad space in both TV & digital channels. – Understanding who the audience is for less mainstream sports (e.g. handball, waterpolo, volleyball are all huge sports for me & many other European expats) and working on building specific advertising or sponsorship products tailoring to those niche audiences well.Unsurprisingly there are many great examples in what are considered to be niche sports here, like MotoGP (which offers a digital subscription that changes in price during the season) or the World Surf League which has fantastic digital live coverage with a light ad load and many sponsors. This is where innovation is happening today.

    1. pointsnfigures

      hah, Snoop Dog doing handball! Or Rugby

    2. ShanaC

      The Olympics is going to continually be a hard category to fit. It is by nature Realtime, but most people won’t watch in real time. It’s value is really only so good as the news cycle around it makes sense – no one watches really old Olympic events.Transitioning special events is going to be interesting for everyone involved, mostly because the “stars” may not be as valuable without the passive consumption model. I have no idea what this will mean for many sports competitions long term – it creates a bit of a “why watch” for everyone outside of the hard core fans

      1. Ana Milicevic

        Yes – the Olympics are a really special animal. I’m so curious to get my hands on some viewing stats and see if people do tune in to watch events after they’ve concluded. My guess would be not many.

        1. Ruth BT

          Maybe not in the US but for some of us – where the action is in the middle of the night its the only way to go. Plus the bottom half of the world is still in school so watching in real time might be an issue too 😉

          1. Ana Milicevic

            Yes – most countries I can think of will still have live and then a recap/replay at a more timezone appropriate time. The challenge with live events is are they still interesting enough to watch once you find out the result. Some might be to some folks; many will not.

    3. cavepainting

      Great ideas and examples !I think there are a number of new innovations in various stages of experimentation that have the ability to change how advertising is packaged, priced, sold, and measured.1. Commerce: Facilitating commerce directly from TV (or a phone companion app) by letting people engage, browse and transact. % of sale business models will allow broadcaster to extract more value with transparency of performance relative to CPM models.2. Addressability: Allow customer to decide what type of ads he is interested in. The goal is to help advertiser realize higher CPM for right audience and reduce wasted impressions.3. Identity: Allow for customers to link FB or twitter accounts to service provider thereby helping advertisers target ads in a more granular way. Or even allow for scatter TV slots to be sold and targeted from Facebook.4. Micro Targeting: Eventually, the goal for every advertiser will be to be target specific individuals across multiple properties of a broadcaster (online, TV channels, mobile apps, etc.) and in multiple modes (linear, on-demand).5. Personalization: Use advanced machine learning to recommend related content and packages. Based on viewer’s interests and what she has watched in the past.

      1. Ana Milicevic

        Most if not all of these are possible today from a technology perspective. The challenge is in the way advertisers buy today. Without more awareness, desire to experiment, and not continue to alienate end users from the big budget CMO side there’s very little incentive here for change.

    4. sigmaalgebra

      “Bob Costas”? No, I will restrain myself, stay calm, and not go all flaming on that guy who …. Nope, I promised I wouldn’t go there.

  15. James Zhang

    If you’re on the west coast, streaming (at least via Sling, not sure about other packages) results in a 3-6 hour delay for many “live” events, which is terrible!

  16. Salt Shaker

    The streaming quality on the NBC Sports app is excellent, as is the U/I. It’s become a great second screen viewing experience for me and, if desired, an efficient way to cut through the qualifying rounds, features and profiles that help NBC fill the time, but most def give the games a backstory and a sense of humanity.That said, the amount of pre-roll adv via streaming is also incessant. If I’m running marketing for Coke, Visa or even Comcast, I’d be awfully concerned about frequency of exposure levels and diminishing returns. What a waste. I mean honestly, if I’m not gonna have a “Coke and a Smile” after the first 10 exposures, I’m certainly not gonna indulge after 30. Harkens back for me to an old media concept called “effective reach.” In sum, if there was a way to opt-in and purchase a six pack online in exchange for no more Coke ads I’d do it in a heartbeat.This is the adv industry’s version of waterboarding.

    1. LE

      I agree with you but repeat advertising like that is to brainwash you into thinking that the brand is still relevant in the market and so that you remember it at the point of purchase. How often do you think about Dr. Pepper? I don’t.Honda has super annoying ads that pre roll (with that ding dong) before each video that I want to watch on NY Post. It’s amazing how that ding dong is like a Pavlovian bell for me to hate Honda. I’ve bailed from many video saying “fuck this not worth it”. But otoh Honda is still a car I would recommend and Kia is not, mainly because I don’t have the brand beaten into my head. I also hate those fucking Buick commercials that seem to run everywhere. Nothing is worse than a jingle that you hate being repeated.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Buick ads? I don’t care. But:(1) The right side, front power window motor is weak, and the window nearly won’t move.(2) There is a special coil pack that twice has shorted out. Not fun — the car needs a tow, and the coil packs are rare parts.(3) Buick was so interested in a soft ride that the front suspension bushings broke and cracked just from hitting the storm drains on the NY Taconic State Parkway.(4) The rear brake drums split — they were rare items, with fins. But cheap replacements were okay.(5) There are some decorative caps on the centers of the wheels, but they were poorly attached and fell off. I had to buy a collection of spares.(6) The radiator corroded out for not good reason. Not pleasant.(7) There is an electric fuel pump in the fuel tank, and it has a filter. If the filter clogs up, say, from rust in the fuel tank from the Greenie’s ethanol, then the pump quits. So, on a trip to Manhattan for a meeting, the pump failed. I got a tow to a good repair shop I knew, but the owner had sold out and I got overcharged for the new pump.(8) The shocks went out too soon, and they were hell to replace. Bummer.(9) The power steering was designed by some stylist who wanted a macho image and, thus, made the steering too difficult to turn.(10) The transmission failed for no good reason.That’s 10. There are more. The car is maybe a fashion or style statement (which I want nothing to do with) but is darned poor mechanical design and engineering. Apparently all Buick has are their ads and fashion statements. But, their ads? Their ads are not nearly as bad as their cars. I’ll never buy another of their cars.

  17. Michael Elling

    It’s called clearing marginal supply and demand. Many possible (and better) settlement models will develop. Looking forward to day where I can choose among 3-4 camera angles to watch my soccer matches. (Oh and choose my own commentators).

  18. awaldstein

    This touches on the biggest issue of all–what does a post advertising market look like.-More and more ads are hated.-More and more it requires massive budgets for them to have impact-What will the world look like when the thousands of companies who have significant ad budgets as the core of their marketing, have to move that spend somewhere else? Where? What?And how can their organizations actually change to accommodate this?These are huge questions.

    1. cavepainting

      Yep. The 1% of worldwide GDP spent towards advertising is the most fluid pot of cash there is. This has and will spawn several multi-hundred billion dollar companies that can provide a smarter way for demand and supply to find and engage with each other.

      1. awaldstein

        well said.my email box is filling with companies asking me for help in understanding what is coming next and how to reallocate that spend.considering building a virtual agency to accommodate these requests.

  19. sigmaalgebra

    Sure, broadcast TV is aDine-O-Sour!In addition, all the major media sources, e.g., ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NYT, WaPo, are contemptible for their liberal bias. Why are they so biased?My guess — follow the money:Or, first, the media owners are in various significant ways allied with some powerful business forces that want the liberal bias. Why? (A) Take attention away from what might be negative information about the businesses. (B) To promote liberal politicians eager to be bribed by the businesses. E.g., easy to notice Bill Clinton on some of the most important street corners of the world shouting “Hillary for sale!”. E.g., athttps://www.youtube.com/wat…see the documentary movie Clinton Cash.Or, second, apparently the Hillary campaign is going to be spending in total hundreds of millions of dollars on ads, and for that no doubt they want and get from the media editorial support, that is, biased coverage.But as athttp://www.breitbart.com/20…withPat Caddell: Media Protects Clinton with ‘Biggest, Most Secure Bubble I Have Ever Seen’where he argues that the liberal media, instead of reporting on the politicians to create informed voters, are, instead, now allied with the liberal politicians.An example is the Twin Falls, Idaho mess as inhttp://www.breitbart.com/bi…where it is explained that there are powerful forces, a large, economically powerful, immigration industry, from some local businesses that want essentially slave labor up to Obama who wants “to fundamentally transform America” to cover up rape, etc. of some of the immigrants and to call anyone who mentions the crimes “racist”. And more generally, for anyone who wants our long standing immigration laws and procedures enforced again, we have seen the label “xenophobic” applied.So, here’s is whom we want as our Commander in Chief to protect the US:http://media.breitbart.com/…andhttps://pbs.twimg.com/media…Sure that’s whom you want? Sure about that?So, thank you, for the media I pay attention to, I’ll get there via the Internet. For video, I’ll go to YouTube.For ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN — no thanks. The last time I have the TV on was for the first Republican debate last year, and that was a mistake because the YouTube copy was easier to watch.For the NYT, WaPo, etc., I have no dead fish heads to wrap, my kitty cat has plenty of cat litter, and, besides, for cat litter those publications have too much greasy ink. They fill much needed gaps in the literature and would be illuminating if ignited.The bigger picture is, from common high school term paper writing standards, the newsies should draw from primary sources and give solid references. Well, they don’t want to do that. But with the Internet, WE can draw from “primary sources” — what the politicians actually said.Net — sure, to heck with broadcast media. I really like the Internet.For the Olympics, this will be the first year I never watched even a single minute of it. I would just get sick thinking of the mess in Rio, e.g., the open sewer with floating dead bodies.

  20. Drew Meyers

    “My daughter posted on social media that she can’t deal with the non stop advertising that NBC is running on their main channel. I can’t either.”Until consumers are willing to pay to watch, this isn’t changing long term. Sure, even if streaming is better and fewer ads (which is true now), long term it’s going to turn into the same “bombard people with ads” mindset broadcast tv is now. YouTube got its start this same exact way. No ads. Now, I can rarely watch even a short video without having to watch ads.

    1. awaldstein

      Advertising supports the web–no?I agree, hate them. Most do.I also know that there are billions of dollars in ad budgets everywhere that are earmarked for branding.Where do you suggest they spend that money to a purpose?This is literally a Trillion Dollar question.

      1. Salt Shaker

        With escalating rights fees and minimum spend requirements for Olympic sponsors, very few marketers today have the budgets to underwrite at this scale. In part, that’s why you pretty much see the same sponsors each Olympic year–Visa, GE, Coke (since (1926), etc. NBC and the Olympic Committees (U.S. & Int’l) have priced out many marketers, while unfortunately no one is paying attention to the illwill created by the ridiculous amount of redundant ads, whether viewed linearly and/or digitally.Selling large packages to 3-4 advertisers is an easier sell than parsing smaller packages–by sport, for example–across a wider base of marketers, although I believe that approach could lead to more revenue, better ad effectiveness and considerably less viewer consternation. Visa and Coke probably already have 95%+ unaided awareness so at some point there are diminishing returns w/ sponsorship, in addition to generating a shitload of wasted impressions (and money).Of course, brands like Coke also leverage sponsorships at retail to drive in-store displays and sales. Not sure how Coke is activating their Olympic sponsorship this go round but if they’re smart they’re producing commemorative cans, on-pack sweeps, etc. Same for Visa w/ respect to travel and card usage.A large part of the prob really lies in poor execution and a lack of creativity. I believe that’s what’s driving the growth of ad blocking tech for many consumers, though not all. Marketers that re-purpose creative across diff media discounts how people engage. Web and mobile is a more interactive and less passive experience relative to TV. There are different levels of attentiveness and engagement, and adv creative needs to be tailored to the medium.

        1. awaldstein

          Terrific response.So what do other large companies do with still sizable ad budgets but at a lower level do?Wrapping my head around what all these companies will do as it gets harder and more expense to brand market through ads that basically no one wants and that in all but a few instances don’t work?

          1. Salt Shaker

            Thanks Arnold.I think digital adv will continue to evolve w/ a stronger focus on data aggregation and better targeting. Publishers will continue to see commodization and a decline in CPM’s in the absence of delivering strong ROI metrics, which, as you note doesn’t work part well for many.With respect to video ads, the model is def broken. Too much pre-roll tied to pretty shitty creative. IMO any marketer running image video ads online should reassess their strategy. It’s gen the wrong environment and discounts the opportunity to interact and engage w/ users. Currently it appears that publishers are inclined to squeeze as much revenue as possible at the expense of the user experience.Are we at a tipping point? Well, we’re there for me. I think the market will self-correct w/ consumer pushback and they’ll be a reassessment of how digital adv is created, bought, sold and evaluated, for its own longterm health, if nothing else.

          2. awaldstein

            nicely said.when this becomes true, the shit will eventually hit the fan–“Currently it appears that publishers are inclined to squeeze as much revenue as possible at the expense of the user experience”

      2. Drew Meyers

        I don’t know how far away it is, but I think we’ll hit a tipping point where people get sick of ads and all their data being sold (and spending their entire day browsing irrelevant content rather than enjoying company of real people) — and will realize it makes more sense to pay small amounts for the content they actually consume/value. They’ll consume less content in that scenario, and be much happier for it.”I agree, hate them. Most do.”This is true. Literally everyone I know hates online ads. Same as everyone hated taxis before uber/lyft came along.I believe, on a long enough time span, the consumer always wins when it comes to technology. That could be decades in the future, I’m not sure.To your question – I’m not sure where they should spend it. In the physical spaces people spend their time in perhaps.. I dunno. I’ll let someone else figure that out.

  21. Dan

    If only the NBC Sports App would remove revealing headlines from the App like, ‘USA Men’s 4X100 team wins…’I want to go in fresh, just like Frank Costanza!

  22. Adam Fry

    Agree that excessive advertising and limited content choice is a downside of TV viewing experience.However, a counter point for your consideration – the “programming” aspect of streaming isn’t as good as the TV experience. What I would define as “programming” is the ability for the network / producer to provide intelligent context on the event (e.g. background on competitors and expected results, understanding of recent world championship results, why a play was ‘good’ or ‘bad’ etc) that enhances the viewing experience.Though, poor “programming” (if you accept the point above) is not a fundamental limitation of the streaming platform, just an example of how streaming is being misused at the moment (favoring breadth of content and choice over curation / personalization). I imagine television content will face a similar evolution to what happened with audio streaming (first services like Spotify will emphasize breadth of content, but eventually focus on curation / personalization ala “Discovery weekly” playlist).

  23. cavepainting

    But.. streaming is treated like a poor cousin compared to the main channel. The ads are pesky, repetitive and some times the channels are promoted on the app even after coverage has concluded.The curated 4 hr version on NBC spices the show with a number of stories that humanize the athletes. Despite the ads, the drama makes this worthwhile.There is really no reason why the streaming version cannot include these. After all, the timing of these events is known in advance.Notwithstanding the growth in streaming, fact is 90% of revenues still come from TV. And NBC is still figuring out how to manage this contradiction between where the money is vs. where viewers want to go.An ad-free high quality streaming and on-demand package costing $19.99 for the Olympic month may be an experiment worth pursuing.

  24. ShanaC

    I’m not bothering watching.

  25. Pete Griffiths

    Streaming associated with the demonstrated desire of audiences to watch any content on any device at any time anywhere in the world is a profound challenge to the entire media distribution strategy of media companies since time immemorial.https://www.amazon.com/dp/B

  26. LoJo100

    When they break the cable deal and let us pay them for streaming, directly, they will have my business. I’m not going back to cable just for the Olympics. So, I have my digital antenna for NBC coverage (blah) and recaps online. I’ll gladly pay NBC (or anyone else with IOC broadcast rights) for a direct streaming application, but I’ll be damned if I’m paying a cable company for the privilege.I know there are many contracts to be broken and re-done, but my hope is that we are nearing a time when this can happen. If HBO can break free, so can The Olympics.

  27. fredwilson

    i think the streaming model can work. ad supported free streams. and a paid ad free stream with offline sync. that’s how spotify, soundcloud, youtube, and pandora do streaming music

  28. LE

    Who is the motivated party that tilts at that wind-mill and makes all of that happen?

  29. Ana Milicevic

    Cheat day 🙂