Busy As A Peacock
NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus had a thought as he walked into his first Olympics planning meeting as the boss. He threw it on the table, asking those in the meeting to convince him that the 2012 Games from London should not be streamed online in their entirety.
"Nobody convinced me," Lazarus told the Associated Press.
So prepare from unprecedented coverage — more than 5,000 hours of it — beginning this week. The Opening Ceremonies take place on Friday night (or afternoon here in New York) and The Armory's Jack Pfeifer will be tuned in to as many hours as he can manage. He will be covering the coverage, as well as providing insight to the track & field competition, here at ArmoryTrack.com.
The network paid $1.18 billion for the rights to the Games and the coverage calls for nearly 3,000 staffers to be on-hand in London to handle the television and online broadcasts. "The cost of doing business in London was more than anybody anticipated," Lazarus said.
The audience will be the huge unknown. There were more than 50 million unique streamers to the webcast from Beijing, but social media has mushroomed since 2008 and the availability could mean three times more viewers? Five times as many?
But NBC will still be charged with keeping the quality and focus of its traditional telecast, which likely has some at the network a bit nervous.
"There are a lot of things that technology has brought us. Some of those tubes of communication are wondrous," but a lot of them aren't, NBC Olympic host Bob Costas told Neal Justin of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "The essence of good storytelling and the essence of good broadcasting remain the same."