Streaming, Ads, and Subscriptions

Yesterday’s post on streaming the Olympics vs watching them on TV produced some great comments. 

A lot of them were about the crappy video quality and heavy ad load on the stream. I am not sure what to take from that but it is clear that NBC has not yet made their streaming experience as high of a priority in terms of user experience as they could and should.

But the more interesting conversation to me was about the business model for streaming the Olympics on phones, tablets, and smart TVs. A number of readers pointed out that the streams use the same business model (advertising) as broadcast TV and so the ad loads will be the same and just as annoying.

But I think the broadcasters like NBC have an opportunity to take a page out of the playbook of the streaming music companies like Spotify and SoundCloud and offer both free ad supported streams and subscription streams that are ad free and offer offline sync (record and playback later).

Would you pay for a $19.99 in-app upgrade on your NBC Sports app to remove ads and get offline sync for the entire 17 days of the Summer Olympics? I know I would but I also know that I am less price conscious than most AVC readers. Please weigh in on that in the comments.

The broadcast television companies have been advertising supported businesses for the most part. In recent years they have been able to get retransmission fees and start getting paid for their programming from the cable operators but I think the subscription opportunity in the streaming world is significant for them, particularly when it comes to big events like the Olympics.

I looked around for a subscription based app for NBC Sports and found something called NBC Sports Gold but that looks like an experiment that doesn’t support the main events like the Olympics. I hope we will see the main events make it onto something like that in the coming years. I think it would be great for viewers and for the broadcasters as well.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Yesssss! Pay per view works in the broadcast model. So this isn’t that different. People will pay. Although what people say isn’t the same as what they do. I’d love to see it. Nonetheless, many premium content providers that are ad supported, don’t want to decapitate their richest ad segment. IOW, if all the rich people subscribe, the advertisers go elsewhere to reach that audience, and NBC gets fewer premium advertisers.

  2. kirklove

    Saw you compare this to Spotify, Soundcloud, Pandora, etc yesterday. Only problem with that one is they are all not profitable. Never have been. One could reasonably argue they never will be. The more apt comparison would be HBO GO or Netflix where they control the content.

    1. Chris O'Donnell

      My concern too, although I’m not entirely convinced that it’s a proper comparison. Streaming music tends to be more background for a lot of people, like leaving the radio on all day. If you are streaming a movie or sporting event I think it’s much more likely you are actively paying attention. Whether or not we are more willing to pay in that case is an open question.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Except, in the mainstream NBC is still going to be able to charge advertisers full freight, and then monetize the streaming part in different ways.

      2. kirklove

        Yeah, music to TV is def not an apples to apples.

  3. awaldstein

    I agree of course.But the change is not going to happen until the huge advertisers find a new approach to brand development–or another one.Who is really driving the errant behavior of the media companies today? I presume the dollars that come from Coke and the rest of the monster brands.

  4. Ana Milicevic

    That’s exactly how they should be thinking about it but they’re not because there’s very little incentive for large media cos to disrupt the economics of the current model. What noone is taking into consideration is the compound effect of annoying viewers.I like the paid power-up for all streams and tend to use the premium cable analogy when I’m describing this to industry folks, as that’s closer to their frame of reference. Your basic cable subscription gets you the basic stream and NBC’s main coverage with ads, etc. You pay extra for HBO. For some sports events the pay-per-view model is very palatable at much higher prices (e.g. boxing or UFC); it’s not hard to see a premium package for all Grand Slams in tennis for $50 – $100. I’ve explored some other options in yesterday’s thread: have and will continue to pay for premium content. The problem is when you don’t give them that opportunity.

    1. cavepainting

      for events with niche consumption, PPV works very well. I consume a lot of cricket on PPV. NFL has done this for a long time.For events with broad based interest and consumption like the Olympics, the broadcaster mindset is that if they make it free, it will increase ratings, and they can charge higher CPM.Broadcasters need to think, act and behave like an internet company. Do a lot of experimentation and tinkering to figure out the best ways to monetize without limiting reach.

  5. Fraser

    My wife and I are big cycling fans. We’ve never had cable. Each year we pay $20 for NBC Sports Gold to watch the Tour de France. No ads. Watch whenever we want, etc. It’s fantastic. If the same existed for the Olympics we’d be a customer.

    1. pointsnfigures

      The men’s Olympic cycling race was pretty cool. I was surprised that there was an accident on the descent that changed the race.

      1. jason wright

        Gold fever pushed them to the edge and beyond.

    2. fredwilson

      There you go. Thanks!!!

    3. jason wright

      Paris Roubaix, RVV, MSR, et al on Sporza’ web stream for free.

    4. Nitin Khanna

      That’s $20 for just the duration of the Tour de France?

      1. Fraser


        1. Susan Rubinsky

          That’s a great deal! I’d pay that for the Olympics.

        2. Srini Ananth

          After canceling cable we watch far less TV but pay for what we want (Sling/Hulu/GPlay). Wish I had know about NBC Gold, I would’ve paid for on-demand coverage of TdF.

    5. Susan Rubinsky

      I’d pay for Olymic access too.

  6. Joe Lazarus

    Maybe. Relative to other digital services, $20 seems somewhat expensive. Offline access doesn’t hold a lot of appeal for me in this case vs music. I’d like subscription access to some additional content that doesn’t make sense on TV. There was a sports service called Quokka in the early dotcom days that did cool stuff with additional stats and infographics that could work well with an Olympics app, for example.

  7. pointsnfigures

    They could use first, second and third degree price discrimination with ads. You might be willing to pay $20 for an ad free experience. Someone else might be willing to pay $10, but get some ads. Someone else might pay $5, and get more ads. NBC might be able to generate revenue from both sides of the box if they thought about it that way.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      I think most companies underestimate or disregard consumers willingness to pay to remove ads from the content they love the most. Though I wonder how much of it is the lack of imagination by companies in developing these premium packages versus how much the ad model predicates itself on targeting high end affluent people in the first place.

      1. Matt Kruza

        That is a good point about the ads targeting high end affluent people. If average ad revenue is say $10 per person over the whole olympics, they probably need to charge $30-50 because those most likely to pay are disproportionately the high end affluent types who advertisers crave the most. Very good point!

    2. awaldstein

      this is a nightmare to communicate to the mass market though.

  8. William Mougayar

    Classical innovators dilemma question for these big companies, like NBC and others. They can’t do it, and if they attempt, it will be half-hearted and short lived. They will tease us with these ill conceived streaming services, and we will hate them more for it. Everything needs to tie back to their current business model, so they will try the fit the round peg in the round hole anytime.

  9. Matt Zagaja

    NBC’s streaming content hasn’t been working well in Safari, I have to load it up in Chrome. I think that paying for streaming content is something I’d do as an alternative to buying cable, but Comcast/Xfinity is doing a good job of putting together packages and defending its turf that our current deal (the “millennial package” from them gives us basic cable + HBO + 75Mbps Internet for the same price they sell just the 75Mbps Internet). I do like the NBC app but prefer to do most of my watching on TV or computer.

  10. djbuys

    In South Africa I watch the Olympics via DSTV Sat broadcast with pretty much no / very little ads. I dont watch live TV anymore as there are just way too many ads. Here DSTV has a pretty good catchup model with one ad in the beginning and then no ads. Otherwise I buy content on the likes of Apple TV. Would pay a premium for an Olympics streaming offer anytime vs dealing with ads.

  11. Kurt Stangl

    Definitely goes in the “everyone who’s not an insider agrees” category. During my experiences in the “TV Everywhere” space, the constant roadblocks were the same. Content providers with great content are content experts and make excruciatingly slow steps in technology and no one wants to pay for the proper platform and player work so most good ideas end there.The problem here is still the massive effort of coordinating contracts, agreements, and the high level of complexity of managing all the people in the food chain and very few of them listen to the engineering strategies because what’s needed is more expensive than anyone wants to pay because they’re not tech savvy and don’t know how to place their bets.It’s going to get even worse because the ad platforms are a mess and the bulk of the ads are really irritating. NBC is more likely to torture you with crappy ads, bad streaming and continue to punish you for trying to live in the new millennium.

  12. LIAD

    Thanks to the BBC we in the UK don’t have to worry about this kind of thing.The BBC provides the best sporting and special event coverage in the UK and arguably the world.BBC is ad-free and paid for by government mandated licence fee payable purely for owning a TV and receiving broadcasts, regardless of whether BBC content is watched or not.Owning a TV and not paying the licence fee is a criminal offence. People have been jailed for not paying it. Licence fee is $195 pa per household. Word class content via TV or app. Streamed or downloadable.[Licence fee aka TV tax revenue in 2015 was ~$5.2bn, pays for a lot of content]

    1. jason wright

      And how the BBC promotes the nation state model through the ‘values’ of the Olympics. It also meddles deeply in politics on behalf of the state, attacking Jeremy Corbyn and ‘selling’ Owen Smith as a Labour leader (Smith being a former BBC employee). The BBC needs to be downsized.The Olympics is content bundling from another age.

      1. Jess Bachman

        Well, as a state run media outlet, it could get a lot worse.

        1. jason wright

          You think? Its techniques are extremely cunning. Far more so than most state broadcasters.

    2. William Mougayar

      That’s a good model because it delivers quality content. In Canada, CBC is funded by the government, but their programs are mediocre and their budget shrinking. If they imposed that kind of fee on households, there would be a revolt.Have you tried this service? It’s only available in the UK. I’d be curious to hear your opinion.

      1. LIAD

        i havent used that service but taking a look at it, appears to be just a “non-official” way to access UK TV. quite a few similar products out there

  13. sigmaalgebra

    Dress it up anyway at all, but it’s still just TV, that is, the boob tube. E.g., for the Olympics, still have “He’s the greatest player who ever tied shoe laces and came with his game face on — he will win if he possibly can” sport, drama cliche Bob Costas — upchuck.Sign up for a 2 week all-Olympics ad-free streaming deal? Gee, how much time want to spend getting upset at Bob Costas sports, drama cliches?

  14. ErikSchwartz

    I think in the long term ad supported media is going away. At least for programming where there is a cost to acquire the source material.

  15. scottythebody

    I would pay it immediately. My daughters just want to see the women’s gymnastics. Living in Austria, it’s nearly impossible to do. They broadcast freaking HANDBALL instead. I could DVR all the stuff we wanted to see to our iPad Pro and AirPlay it to our monitor if we wanted. I’d even watch a few commercials for that. Unfortunately: not possible.

  16. Guy Lepage

    I’m a huge cycling fan and have enjoyed my subscription to NBC Sports Gold. I definitely would pay to watch specialty programming. Although, I am not the norm as I enjoy watching creative advertising. I must be in the 1% here on this so that’s definitely just me.

  17. Peter Radizeski

    The irony for me is that athletes prepare for 4 years for the Olympics. NBCU/Comcast should spend the next 4 years preparing the customer experience for the next one. Certainly, they did not spend the last 4 years preparing for this one.

    1. cavepainting

      I was just watching the 200 m fly final and NBC streaming conked out the last 50 m of the race. And it will insert a pre-roll ad every time I tried to restart the streaming.NBC had 4 years to work on the production quality and the availability of streaming. And they chose to prioritize the 4 hour curated version over live events. Shame on them for not putting the customer first, and for not thinking through and experimenting with other monetization options in the last 4 years.I am among the many who would gladly pay for a $19.99 or $29.99 subscription package for a full olympics package that had guaranteed SLA, good production values, and no ads. It is high time that olympics rights are awarded to multiple broadcasters. Competition will solve this problem better than any griping or whining from customers.

  18. B12N

    People pay $60+ for UFC fights (~3 ish hours), and that Mayweather v Pacquaio boxing fight was even more expensive… I’m sure anything slightly reasonable for the *entire* Olympics would get a lot of customers.

    1. LE

      People are not conditioned to have to pay for viewing the Olympics. Plus there is a ton of content and I think the majority (not the long tail) are interested in the main broadcast events.

  19. tobias peggs

    100% Yes. And if NBC Sports could do that for the forthcoming EPL season as well, i’d be doubly happy. This is *such* a no brainer.

  20. falicon

    The problem is that NBC doesn’t put enough thought/effort into their streaming experience…so even *if* they offered a subscription version, it would not be enjoyable at all (and hence not worth any price).Make the free, ad-supported, experience enjoyable and as painless as possible…and then offer me a subscription based upgrade and I’ll consider it…but nothing worse than a shitty subscription based streaming app (yes I’m talking to you CBS, Showtime, and USA [as 3 examples]).

  21. iggyfanlo

    I’d suggest going to a PPV model… consumers and publishers are familiar with it… I’m confident it would work for special events (not unlike boxing, DirecTV with NFL packages, etc)… I’m less confident that it would work well with less branded/familiar content… That may have to stay ad supported to work today

  22. Salt Shaker

    It all starts w/ legacy biz models on broadcast (and digital) rights fees. NBC paid $7.7B to the IOC to air the Olympics thru 2032. That’s a big and unprecedented nut to cover! NBC knows they can make money or somewhat reach profitability w/ the current ad supported model. Are they gonna assume the risk and incremental expense (editorial, production, billing) of providing a hybrid model (e.g., premium, no ads) to likely placate a small % of viewers? Seems doubtful, as they’re already in a very high risk monetization biz.Conversely, Hulu just yesterday announced they’re going all paid subscription cause the dual, hybrid model (free, ad supported or premium no ads) doesn’t work. The same can be said for Pandora, Spotify, etc., where there’s a disproportionate % of subs signed up for the ad free model vs. the more desired (more profitable) premium alternative.The Olympic biz model first and foremost is driven by the cost of rights fees. Sports is particularly onerous and is becoming more and more so for any provider. Just ask ESPN. The only way they make it work and cover their costs is via a dual revenue stream—affiliate comp (they receive a portion of your monthly cable bill) and paid advertising. Given their cost base, the model doesn’t work w/out one or the other. They need both.If the IOC was willing to negotiate rights fees (post 2032) tied to a PPV model w/ compensation (or rights fees) tied to buy rates, for example, then we’d perhaps see some disruption. But where’s the incentive? The IOC is fat and happy (and likely more corrupt than we already know). Most viewers (unlike AVC readers) can live w/ the pain of incessant advertising, not by choice, but by necessity, in this case NBC’s.

    1. LE

      Excellent comment. Most of the “why not do it this way” ideas ignores legacy interests and motivations. Easy to make suggestions when it’s someone else’s job and livelihood on the line.Change in this area takes a force majeure type event. (Nothing though the drop in opening ceremony viewership..)

    2. ErikSchwartz

      …and the only way ESPN makes dual rev stream work is by forcing their way into the basic tier. If they were stuck in a sports tier they would be screwed.

      1. Salt Shaker

        True, but putting ESPN on a sports tier could drive cord cutting, so there’s an incentive for MSO’s/telcos to keep at least the base ESPN networks on a basic tier. (With my system I can’t get ESPN News, ESPN 3 w/out buying the sports tier.) They also need each other more than any other two entities in the supply chain. They’re very much beholden to one another.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          Perhaps. But a la carte ESPN would be need to be so expensive to cover their rights nut that they have far more to lose than the MVPDs.MVPDs would see slight increase in cord cutting, but they would also see ~$7/month more in ARPU from the remaining users (assuming they held their price). Given that only 10% of subs actually watch ESPN I doubt the erosion that their leaving would cause would be that severe.

    3. Ana Milicevic

      The question is will there be enough interested viewers by 2032 to wait to act until then? In most of the rest of the world events like Olympics are presented very differently than what NBC is doing (usually carried on national channels that don’t require additional subscriptions, etc). Viewer behavior is changing faster than what networks and cable cos are supporting and it’s not a stretch to imagine viewers shifting tastes to sports that better cater to mobile, real-time and on-demand viewing patterns.What I find interesting on the Hulu front is indicative of its user base: tech-friendly cord-cutters who cut the cord predominantly because of poor experience. That’s still a relatively small although growing group. What’s more telling is that instead of completely getting rid of the free ad supported tier, they’ve passed it on to Yahoo whose user base I imagine is a better fit (at the very least more tolerant towards ads over subscriptions).

      1. Salt Shaker

        I think this issue is completely overblown. The Olympics on Sunday averaged 29.8M viewers (+12% over Friday) and ratings and viewership will likely continue to build. The AVC community is hardly representative of the pop at large. Are there problems? Of course. My beef is w/ ad redundancy more than ad frequency, which is fixable w/ a broader array of sponsorship packages that aren’t dominated by a small number of advertisers.The U.S. rights fees paid by NBC to the IOC dwarfs those paid by any other country. Very different economics here vs. abroad, as you likely know better than me. I believe sports rights fees are reaching a tipping point. I can see some disruption in the future, w/ minimum guarantees on rights fees and total compensation tied to program ratings. I can also see at some point the NFL and/or college football, for example, moving to an exclusive PPV model. Sports that deliver huge audiences w/ high fan affinity (must see TV) than can be monetized via PPV vs. traditional ad supported legacy models. Not sure we’re there w/ the Olympics, though (too fragmented, too short a window).

  23. LE

    Would you pay for a $19.99 in-app upgrade on your NBC Sports app to remove ads and get offline sync for the entire 17 days of the Summer Olympics?Not being a sports fan obviously not. But even people who are fans may not for the same reason that I don’t like to purchase (or rent) a movie at Amazon [1] even though I easily piss away money on other things all day long. [2] Something about it just doesn’t feel right. I have to have a major interest to part with $$ to view a movie on Amazon.[1] That in itself is a problem for me. Do I rent for $9 or buy for $15? Why do I need to buy a movie anyway when I can easily re-rent and there is so much content? It’s not like a physical product that can line the bookshelves like some trophy. Plus I don’t like the pressure of having to view in only X days or pay more to ‘own’.Main reason not to pay for content generally is “if I don’t like it I will feel I have thrown money away”. If I don’t like the Starbucks or the Lox I can return it to the store. Maybe they need to build some return privilege into the pricing (and even raise the pricing to cover the cost). Or allow a secondary market where you can sell your viewing rights (as if that would ever happen).[2] Starbucks $4, Lox $10 and so on and don’t even bat an eye and it’s gone quickly.

  24. Semil Shah

    NBC will never be able to do it well. And there are those pesky cable rights, etc. I mean, most retailers like Macy’s can’t even get e-commerce right, how would NBC get all this right? 0% chance, and one of many reasons Snapchat Discover and Facebook are crushing.

    1. Asfand Ali


  25. DJL

    I would definitely pay for the upgrade if it was seamless. Another great test for this would be The Masters, but the advertisers already agree to limited commercials for the privilege of being a sponsor.Tough call on the business model per all the comments below. The Olympics is unique in the sports world because of the variety of events happening at overlapping times and destinations over a limited time. Not sure if that translates to other sports as easily.

  26. Donna Brewington White

    You may have pulled $19.99 out of thin air but let’s say that’s the number. Less than two movie tickets or paying for a season of a popular television show on Amazon. A lot of non-rich people are keeping movie theaters and Amazon in business.It’s a matter of what you value. But I wonder what the effect would be of large numbers of people with disposable income opting out of advertising funded viewing of The Olympics. Will this influence what is advertised and how it is presented? I don’t watch television (except on Netflix and Amazon) so I don’t know how cable has impacted the advertising on network television, if at all. Does anyone know this?

    1. Richard

      You are correct. It’s like the affordable care act , it only works if everyone participates.

  27. Ronnie Rendel

    I spend close to $200 per month on in app and media purchases from Google Play. And they, from all my purchases, the ones I feel the best about. I feel like I got value and convenience.

  28. JLM

    .This is one of those solutions looking for a problem.I suspect a lot of folks — mois — just use their remote controls to go elsewhere when the ads come on. I don’t ever watch the ads. With pic-in-pic, one can even catch the exact ad ending.i love Diners, Driveins & Dives and the news, so I sort of like the breaks.NBC and others can’t pay billions of dollars for the broadcast rights and hope subscription sales or livestreaming or no ads is going to drive sufficient revenue. They can sell ads years in advance.For some reason, this Olympics just hasn’t caught my attention. I was always a junkie but for some reason this year I haven’t watched at all.What is up with the Ukraine mens gymnastic team?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      They can sell ads years in advance.I’d watch a scripted or a reality tv show detailing the sales process for these ads. Imagine the cufflinks, pocket squares and the wining and dining that gets these deals done.For that matter I’d pay to see the behind the scenes work that goes into the entire broadcast of the games (vs. the games which I have 0 interest in). Love to see the redundancy planning and the screw ups.

      1. Quantella Owens

        The best thing I’ve ever seen on how sponsorships, and I presume to a greater extent ad sales, get done is a documentary by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock called….wait for it “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Maybe because this election has been so draining?

  29. Kirsten Lambertsen

    This makes total sense to me on paper.But when I try to think of something I’d be willing to pay for, just to have live access, I can’t think of a single thing!At first I thought, “Oh yeah, I’d pay to watch Mr. Robot with no commercials.” But at $20 I’d rather just wait to own it. I guess if I could pay $20 to watch it commercial-free while it was airing and THEN own it after that, as part of the price, I’d be in.*Maybe* I’d pay to have commercial-free access to hockey. That’s the only sport I can think of that I might be tempted to do it with. But I wouldn’t be compelled.I’m wracking my brain trying to think of something besides sports that I’d pay to watch live without commercials and coming up empty.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I think the owning it part could be important. Can see how it might be hard to RENT something for $19.99 and that is what this would be essentially be if a purchase wasn’t included.I would do it by comparing what else I would buy for $20. That’s how I sometimes end up justifying purchases. Someone could easily pick apart this logic.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Adding in owning it would seal the deal for me for my favorite series’. I’m just not a sports fanatic, so I can’t contribute to that scenario 🙂

  30. Amar

    I know there have been a few understatements over the years.. but I love this one today from Fred “I know I would but I also know that I am less price conscious than most AVC readers.”– well played 🙂

    1. Richard

      A little irony in that the Olympics are focused on events of which excess money should not give you an edge.

      1. Amar

        cue … time for @le_on_avc:disqus …. olympic success = talent + specialized training + all the edge that money gives?

        1. LE

          And you have to be able to give up a significant portion of your life as well to even be in the game.

          1. Amar

            nod. On a side note, I am enjoying the various micro aggression battles (as @JLM:disqus would categorize them) going on in the pool :). Lily King vs Yulia Efimova, Michael Phelps vs Chad Le Clos, Sun Yang vs Mack Horton

  31. Peter Abraham

    I paid for NBC gold ($29.99) to stream the Tour de France. It was fantastic: ad-free, on demand, any device, outstanding Tour Tracker UI, AND I didn’t need to be a cable subscriber. Eventually—as soon as 2020—this will be the norm for major sports events. You can see already that live TV ratings for Olympics have gone over a cliff this year. So it may happen as early as 2018 in Korea. The evidence is clear: we’ve entered the streaming era. The networks ultimately will follow the eyeballs; they’re just behind the curve. Same way the music business was before they reluctantly embraced streaming.The video and broadcast entertainment businesses are encumbered by antique legacy deals (cable, DVD) that prevent modernization. There are still people clinging to the old model. That’s what’s allowed Netflix, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and others to rocket past them. You could even say the same for ESPN when nobody in the broadcast world took them seriously. Now they have about double the revenue of NBC.

  32. Majid Malek

    I would gladly pay. The streaming experience now is very disappointing, especially on anything other than the main prime time broadcast. An ad free subscription supported model would be great, but I think they have a lot of work to do to improve the user experience regardless of whether the business model is ad supported or subscription based. As it stands now you will often be left staring at a screen that says programming will resume shortly, and you wonder if it is really going to come back or if the stream stalled. Surely they could have found a better way to monetize eyeballs than leaving a static image up that effectively says “wait and hope.” I was really expecting in 2016 for an event as significant as the olympics, NBC would get streaming right, but they really missed the mark.

  33. Salt Shaker

    How soon we forget.In 1992 NBC teamed w/ Cablevision and offered a three-tier PPV Olympic Games package as an alternative to the network’s delayed broadcast feed. All events at the Barcelona games on PPV were shown live. The red, white and blue sub packages were priced between $95-$170. The estimated buy rate was 2M subs, while in actuality only 200K subs were purchased. It was a total bust, and an embarrassment for NBC and Cablevision. No doubt the high price had a fair amount to do w/ it.Are things different now? Of course they are w/ respect to digital technology, media consumption patterns/usage, production values, etc., but it does show the risks of moving away from legacy models, particularly w/ so much money at stake.No doubt the strat planners and finance guys at NBC/Comcast have modeled different distribution scenarios on the Olympics every which way til Sunday. It will be a long time before we see something radically different here. We may see NBC test some stuff, but they’re not likely abandoning the traditional ad supported model anytime soon.

  34. creative group

    Contributors:Off Topic post!Walmart purchasing (Thought that was an minature African American magazine) for three Billion after only three years is brilliant play by CEO Lore.How can this blog create nothing and sell it for Billions? That website and experience was horrible. Kudos to the team creating value. Another lost for shareholders of the acquiring company.

    1. Quantella Owens

      It was. Until the #£%&*=><@ running it put their own short term interests- too high paychecks, fancy clothes and crap-above the long-term potential damage of losing another Black media voice and space on a magazine rack. It is a growing problem, especially since we let others control how we are perceived in the media at large. Now it is digital only.

      1. creative group

        Quantella Owens:it isn’t our attempt to marginalize your response but we are aware of the publication current state. The statement regarding and the Jet Magazine (An American weekly marketed toward African-American readers, it was founded in 1951 by John H. Johnson of the Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago, Illinois.) was discontinued because the forty Million plus African American’s that it was marketed to actually didn’t support Jet Magazine anymore because it appealed to the educated African American (Bourgeoisie) interests and not the Empire/Power/Atlanta Housewife’s appetite viewer who the new mediums advertisers pay. The demise of that magazine can’t be blamed on the Man.African Americans need to take ownership of the failures currently within their community and not continue to use that which they are able to control as excuses. (Reread before listing what they are unable to control) The African American Singers, Entertainers, Athletes, Business people, etc. can use their resources to change what they are able to change. If Oprah can take $40 Million Dollars and invest in the education of South African girls instead of the unlimited potential of African American girls in America then that shows change can occur within the African American community and not wait for the Man to blame or seek help. The African American community needs to help themselves with the resources they have.This is our generation listening experience in New York City.

        1. Quantella Owens

          Dear Creative Group:You seem to be confused by the point of comment. I am well aware of who founded what and when. I was merely expressing my frustration with the state the magazine which is failing because its’ leadership was incapable of maintaining relevance. This would seem impossible at a time when so much is in flux and when we need a forum for our voices and issues more than ever. I am in no way blaming “The Man.” “The Man” does not exist. He is us. Or to put it more precisely the portion of the AA community which fails to recognize how important a forum and a voice is until it is too late to recover them. Your only mistake is in grouping us all together…we don’t all feel, think or act as one. Or even believe that the issues facing our communities can be handle in only one way.

          1. creative group

            Quantella Owens:We concur that the AA community isn’t monolithic. Our response didn’t intend for presenting the impossible. AA thinking the same.

          2. creative group

            The statement was based upon the 60 Minute interview Sheryl Sandberg gave stating her late husband’s involvement in her decision to accept the Facebook position and the negotiation guidance from her husband.Our position will always be to support women with their empowerment endeavors.

          3. creative group

            Quantella Owens:What forums are you currently subscribed too that are addressing the issues and voices of the AA disporia?What are your thoughts on the following forums?theroot.comthegrio.cometc, etc., etc

      2. creative group

        Quantella is not affiliated with the AA online is an online site that attempted to challenge Amazon. We had reread your original post and realized you thought we were posting about We have no idea why didn’t have the rights to that domain name and not monetize it. More Wow.

  35. davidshore

    In Canada, the CBC has the Olympic broadcast rights and has been providing an app to stream the events, live and archived, for at least the last three Games. It works well, but unfortunately, it is only available as a free service paid for by running two 30 second ads preceding any change to the channel.There is no in-app ability to subscribe and skip the ads. I’d pay $20 for all events or less for individual ones. The ads are frustrating and frankly, I let ads run on my phone before I cast the sports content to the TV I’m really watching. The advertisers, CBC and consumers are all loosing out

  36. sdso234

    It is a matter of priorities. Even though they had some good streaming video for the tdf, they haven’t evolved the coverage for digital consumption. the business model supports the cable deals, not a standalone product.NBC leverages its linear and streaming video access to get higher cable fees from charter et al. So 100% of the focus is on the linear experience.The digital budget is a cost center…it helps bolster the overall rights fees but it isn’t treated as an investment in a direct to consumer experience.

  37. WA

    “A lot of them were about the crappy video quality and heavy ad load on the stream. I am not sure what to take from that but it is clear that NBC has not yet made their streaming experience as high of a priority in terms of user experience as they could and should.” Purposeful bad streaming? Do eyeballs glued to the cord box allow NBC to squeeze the more quantifiable and higher advertising revenue sold to sponsors, in the waning days of TV and commercials? Old Guard games at the Master Switch? The last hurrah? …just saying…

  38. Jason Whitman is a great example of how to do it well – every year I buy the Playoffs + World Series package, which gives you live games, condensed recorded games, highlights, etc. Totally worth it, and no ads. Last Fall I watched the playoffs from Japan and didn’t miss anything.

  39. george

    The problem with paying is that we’ve been programmed to receive the broadcast for free (cable bundle) and you can always DVR or on demand the broadcast. I’m not at that point to pay an added $20 bucks because that’s a convenience tax. On principle, broadcasters (NBC) should figure out a better service model.

  40. OurielOhayon

    Fred, not sure you remember, but i pointed you to one company a few months ago.. 🙂

  41. panterosa,

    Streaming vs broadcast reflects of our attention spans, ability to focus, and how we choose to spend our time what time we have to spend.Streamers and active viewers value their time differently than passive viewers who suffer through ads and boring commentary. Many factors in this as our behavioral pal @SixgillBlog:disqus will attest to.The idea of the active viewer who chooses content, vs the passive viewer who has on background media, whether it be radio or TV, is for me the main idea. @kirklove:disqus mentions the music comparison and how it’s maybe not a perfect parallel, and I agree.The new economy, which includes the millennials, leans more to streamers. The ad dollars and revenue can surely build something for them, for they are the increasing segment, not the decreasing segment of viewers. And the people who used to watch appointment TV and broadcast, like my mother in her 80’s, are sick of the bloat which ad and bad commentary has become.

  42. Geoffrey Hamilton

    I wouldn’t for the Olympics because I don’t care, but in general I totally would. I pay for youtube red, spotify, pandora,, tinder etc. and my life is better for it.

  43. Ciaran

    Channel 7 (biggest commercial broadcaster in Australia) has done exactly that. The problem is that the user backlash when the streams are interrupted is even more extreme when people have paid for the service.

  44. Kumar

    With greater consumer control over consumption in case of streaming, the dynamics between producers and TV channels will definitely change

  45. Jay Janney

    My family likes certain television series, but doesn’t always want to wait for the latest season to migrate to Netflix. So, we buy it on Amazon, and watch it on the tv. What I love is i can do a tv show in 43 minutes or less! At $3 an episode, I’m saying i’ll pay $3 to remove advertising.Hey Netflix! Wanna an easy upsell? let me do it inside Nextflix, not outside.

  46. Matt S

    Many of our perceived restrictions on access to content in various forms (ie, paid subscription vs. ad supported or even streaming/on-demand vs. traditional linear) result from arcane contractual entanglements that have developed on the back of decades of old technological paradigms. In this case, the network covering the event might be limited in its ability to create a stand-alone paid subscription by the terms of its contract with the TV distributor (cable/satellite company).

  47. scottythebody

    Yup. That’s it. Ads all the time. Ads between events (or at the start of a stream). None at all.

  48. awaldstein

    you are right–communications is the easiest part of our businesses, internally and externally.

  49. awaldstein

    It is freaking amazing that the world is run on shit that no one likes.That the worlds largest brands are mandated to spend and honestly have zero idea how not to.

  50. LE

    Part of TV advertising is about repetition and remaining relevant in the consumers mind. Along those lines it still seems to be working. Even if a large amount of the ads are annoying.And some are actually creative masterpieces (specifically the pharmaceutical ads for expensive treatments).

  51. LE

    I’d want to make sure every kid in the country could afford to be inspired by the gamesWhat does that lead to exactly? More kids trying to compete? (Do we need that?) Or just another form of entertainment? What is the deliverable?Coke needs to be banned from events like this.Coke only? Or any product that doesn’t meet your (or Mike Bloombergs) [1] food standards?[1] Sorry for the snark but I am asking if you are putting Coke specifically on the level of cigarettes.

  52. sigmaalgebra

    > gender biasWhich way is that? In the Winter Olympics, the ice skating women are drop dead GORGEOUS! They win on grace, beauty, skill. The men win on speed and strength — net, in ice skating, rather watch the women! Same for ballet — the men are there just to do lifts for the women! No wonder the Russian women did so well in Olympic ice skating — the Russians are terrific in ballet!But, sure, in track and field, basketball, and more the speed and strength of the men is way past that of the women and astounding.Somehow I’m just not into watching women shot put competitions!Uh, “Men and women deserve equal respect as persons, but they are not the same.”It’s just one of those things: Most men really, really like gorgeous women! E.g.,http://themusingsofthebigre…Women good at track and field competitions? Not so much!

  53. Quantella Owens

    This. Yes, especially in minority communities where sometimes the only way out is through a sports scholarship. Another benefit is that it keeps kids off the street and out of trouble. Obesity and hbp are also huge issues in those same communities and if a televised event like the Olympics could be used to encourage more physical activity and less eating/drinking of crap, that would be wonderful.

  54. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Everyone likes free, though. Most people I know (who aren’t feeling ‘rich’) will put up with a lot in order to get something free before breaking down and paying.

  55. panterosa,

    I second the amazement that shit no one likes still has play. How does that get fixed?

  56. Susan Rubinsky

    I just don’t even bother watching. Not worth my time. I spent about 10 minutes yesterday trying to find videos of Katie Ledecky (women’s swimming). I gave up. Just wanted to see replays of the races she’s been in. I would pay for that kind of access but apparently it does not exist anywhere that is easy to find.

  57. LE

    Not that I can’t see why people think that she is attractive but Melania is not even close to the type that I personally find hot.

  58. LE

    carbonated battery acidI actually did a search to see how unique that phrase is. It’s fairly unique actually not many references to it.You are well aware of Warren’s take on all of this, right?…Nobody of course takes him (seriously) to task for his idiotic thinking.I think the sugar load from various Starbucks drinks is actually much worse than Coke.But my point is only healthful stuff should be allowed for promos.Problem is there are so many consumer goods that are bad for you (when eaten in excess) that we’d gut the economy if we went in that direction.

  59. JLM

    .You are a food fascist, CC. I hate all but Mickey D’s. I love Mickey D. Love it.But you cannot legislate morality or habits. You can inform but not censor.Go back to body surfing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  60. sigmaalgebra

    IMHO there’s a LOT of complexity and variety to attractiveness of women! Being “hot” is an important aspect but not nearly the only one.Of course, Melania was a successful model. Well, from that or whatever, if look at pictures of her, especially over the years, e.g., as I did at Google Images to select the picture I included, which just happened, right, to be from JLM’s BRC, there is a lot of variety to how Melania can look depending on hair style, makeup, facial expression, posture, clothes, etc. For some pairs of pictures have to look carefully to be sure the two are of the same woman. Melania can look good in at least some dozens of pictures with no two much alike. Lesson: There can be a lot of complexity there tough to analyze even in just one woman.It’s a very old story, right? The story goes back at least to the Odyssey, where sirens on a rock tempted men long at sea?Ah, Mother Nature made too many men total suckers for a pretty smile and created the original Judge a Book by Its Cover and the Enjoy Now, Pay Later programs!But, yup, sometimes there are problems! E.g., there is the stair challenge:…from…And there is the health care planning challenge:…Yup, definitely that’s what some people want for our strong, smart US Commander in Chief!Edit: That video clip may have started out with Hillary losing her train of thought or being unable to find words to complete her sentence, but, looking a little carefully, as it is the clip also looks manipulated by video editing. Would be good to see another video, unedited, of the event, but I don’t know what event that would be.

  61. JLM

    .I only do Mickey D’s once a year and, apparently, I will live to be 68,000,763 years young. I like to think of it like an insurance policy, no?I am going surfing after Labor Day. That’s my new timing. I go when everybody goes home.I am pretty damn good on my veggies. I eat two ears of corn per day and two big cucumbers. I haven’t had a good tomato in 20 years. Still, I buy the heirlooms.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  62. sigmaalgebra

    I don’t believe you understand my question:>> gender bias> Which way is that?To be blunt, are the newsies favoring the men or the women? And if so, is there a bias you prefer?Or, just what is it you don’t like?Sure, one approach is to cover all the events and athletes with equal time, depth, emphasis. I can understand why NBC would not want to do that. Or they likely can get more US eyeballs and more revenue by giving more emphasis to events where the US is expected to do well.And there may be other criteria.

  63. Susan Rubinsky

    I would pay but the services/fee structure I want don’t exist yet.I do pay for Netflix and Amazon Prime. They are the only two that have gotten close to what I want.

  64. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Me, too. Add Hulu to mine, and CuriosityStream 🙂

  65. Susan Rubinsky

    What do you like about Hulu?

  66. awaldstein

    the drive to have stories at our finger tip to articulate our lives is the core force of business.

  67. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Now that I have kids, I require to be able to watch anything at any time! Ha! We have a weekly movie night, and we’d run out of options quick with just one of the services. So, I pay for all of them.I think I got started on Hulu when I wanted to show my kids episodes of “The Addams Family” (which was brilliant, I see now!). I call my daughter “Wednesday” all the time, and she wanted to know what that was about 🙂