No sharable video for the Olympics?

Recently, Mark Cuban made a prediction. NBC has said that no video of the Olympics will be found anywhere except NBCOlympics.com. While Cuban’s post was mostly about the backlash NBC might expect to receive from internet “fanboys”, one has to wonder why there would be such a disconnect between NBC’s strategy with the Olympics and its strategy with Hulu.com.

In my mind, the perfect scenario would be for NBC to have full video on its own site with opportunity for users to create highlight clips that are embeddable and viewable on blogs. No blogger really wants to share an hour’s worth of events on their site, but a blogger would definitely want to show a highlight and include commentary.

At that point, you have:

  • Feedback in blogs and blog comments on the video (including potential feedback on actionable items like production quality and creative direction)
  • A set of metrics letting NBC know which sports are getting the most replay and therefore which sports and highlights would likely attract a greater television audience
  • Increased exposure for sponsors with “in-game” activations like scoreboard and “highlights presented by…”
  • An opportunity to draw viewers back to the NBCOlympics.com site where those viewers might then find more video to grab and share

Instead, bloggers will be forced to grab and share video surreptitiously via sites like Red Lasso or on YouTube while they last. NBC will be spending extra money and effort policing use of their broadcast and stifling conversation about the Olympics as opposed to coming up with more forward thinking ways of engaging the conversation and monetizing the video (like they have with Hulu).

We’ll see what actually happens, but for now, bloggers will redirect to NBCOlympics.com for the video coverage… or just not talk about the Olympics at all.


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