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Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by cjrleimer, Jun 16, 2012.
NBC basically pays for the whole event to be run...
I was watching the Canadian coverage while I was in Lake Placid, NY. Puts the NBC coverage to shame.
Millions? Ha. Try a billion for the rights on the games this year. And it's not the IOC forcing them to pay that much. It's all the networks here bidding for them and that raises the prices. They have to show commercials to get their money back. It's not that big of a deal with the commercials. NBC is doing a fine job in my opinion airing the games this year and on all their other networks.
When tuned to any other Olympic station than NBC (like Bravo or the Olympic basketball channel) I love that fact that you can hit the red button and have all your Olympic choices laid out for you. Interested in table tennis? Scroll to it, and instantly find out when and what channel it's on, and record it for later if you want. Want to see what's currently on? Scroll to the current time and see what's playing where.....then click on it to see it. I think I like this better than the mix because you can fine tune the Olympic sports you are interested in, and either watch them live or set your dvr to record them later.
No, it was NBC making yet another poor decision. They claim they have to provide such horrible coverage to make up for the money they spent on their bid. What they fail to explain to disappointed viewers is that over bid everyone else by $1 billion. So now we are paying the price for their poor choices.
Then you should start your campaign with the IOC. They could put all kinds of restrictions on ads, live coverage, etc. But, no, they seem interested in major $$$.
The better 3D experience, as if you were actually there!!
So you are saying they could have had it for around 300 million?
No, they overbid every other network by $1 billion for every Olympics through 2020.
Turn up the volume and you'll hear a couple of mumbling commentators.
What's amazing is how they made the same mistake twice.
NBC's bid for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics was $2.001 billion (plus additional money thrown in for sponsor-related stuff). Apparently someone convinced them that someone else in the field was going to bid $2 billion. Not even close.. next closest bid was Fox at $1.3 billion.
Then when rights were up for 2014-2020, a lot of industry experts thought NBC might get out-bid based on the losses from Vancouver and from the Comcast takeover. In hindsight, we should have known better. Comcast and NBC bid $4.38 billion for the package that included 4 Olympics. Again, next closest was Fox at around $3.5 billion.
So for 6 Olympics, the over-bids alone have cost them around $1.5 billion. Also didn't help their cause when the economy crashed. Either way, that's all moot now because there's nothing they can do about it. 2 things to keep in mind though.. 1) NBC trying to make money is not just about what they bid. This is a capitalist society after all. If NBC had paid nothing, what would prevent them from squeezing every dollar out of the Olympics they can. 2) The reason why NBC lost money on the last Olympics (and likely again on this one) has little to do with the coverage and everything to do with that over-bid. The Olympics were a moneymaker for the NBC for a long time. It's when they got stupid with the bidding (due to actually going up against competition instead of making a pre-emptive strike with the IOC) that got them into this mess.
NBC is making money on the Olympics. If they weren't then Hoosier could say they overbid, but if they make money, then they didn't over bid. They won because they made their bid high enough to get the rights even if other aspects may have favored other bidders. Kind of like how the Dodgers got sold this year for that ridiculous price. They shot their price way up to make the whole bidding process go away and just get the team.
And while very difficult to tell, the Olympics will likely give them a bigger sampling of all their new series this fall, which could lead to a lot more money as well.
I believe that the only significant fail on the part of NBC for these Olympics is the inability to adapt to the 2012 world of information availability.
Whether its the streaming debacle, Opening Ceremony delay, or other specific aspects...NBC appears to be broadcasting in a "live broadcast mode" on events that have been Internet reported in detail many hours earlier.
Most folks know its about recouping the costs (via advertising) for the broadcast right for the Olympics, but there certainly is widespread criticism on several fronts as to how NBC has executed their programming.
These issues are not exclusive to NBC (providing results on radio or other networks without a "spoiler disclaimer" is equally irresponsible IMHO).
Given that we are living in a world of instant gratification and notification, NBC and others need to do it better.
Uh, just because they make money doesn't mean they didn't overbid. Overbidding is based on what they could've gotten the games for, not if they make money. You could lose money and not overbid.
Change of focus:
Does NBC control all the cameras at the venues of this Olympiad, or does BBC and perhaps others have spots there, too?
And how are the feeds handed out, or shared, or ..... what?
What I really don't understand is why they aren't showing stuff live on the other channels? I can understand wanting to have the big events tape delayed and air them on the NBC locals during prime time because that is when a lot of the more technophobic people watch. But why not show everything live on all the other channels and then keep doing what they are doing with the NBC locals?
I also hate that they don't seem to have anything on the screen telling you what you are watching. Now don't get me wrong, I don't want the whole screen covered up with all kinds of logos, recaps, other event results, advertisements, etc. But it sure would be nice when I turn on the TV and catch the middle of an event to know what is going on. For example I turned it on the other day in the middle of one of the rowing competitions, I had no idea if the race was a qualifying race or a medal race, what the length of the race was, how har into it they were, how far they had left etc. I suddenly see a white line on the screen and think it's the finish line, but no, they just keep going, was just a mark of some arbitrary distance with no mention of it. Would have been nice if there would have been something at the bottom of the screen that had info like Men's Eight Heat 1, 500 meters out of 1000 (not sure on the real distance but I think I've made my point), etc.
The feeds are controlled by a separate entity, "Olympic Broadcasting Services". (You will recognize the cameramen with OBS on the back of their shirts). They are a subdivision of the IOC, and have many, many, many, many camera's and supply many, many, many feeds to all the broadcasters.
This allows NBC, for instance, to focus in on the American rowing team, where it allows the BBC to focus in on the British rowing team in the same race, and the Dutch NOS will be able to focus in on that Orange boat. In essence, for an event like that, with e.g. 6 rowers, they WILL have 6 camera's, one focused on each boat, so that broadcasters from each country can decide to focus on THAT particular feed. (And of course all the other camera's for the overview, the rail-track cam, the overhead hanging cams etc, etc). All these many many feeds are fed into a broadcast center somewhere, where all the broadcasters in turn are plugged in to and they can then choose whatever feed they want. For the "after the race" interviews, a NBC interviewer just gets assigned a OBS cameraman, and a few of those cameramen are ready after the race to do the interviews for the broadcasters that wants to do them. These are also live feeds that feed back to the broadcasting center, and can then be picked up by NBC for distribution.
This is a relatively new concept, and has been used for the first time in 2008, as well as in 2010 and now in 2012. Prior to that, they were mostly dependent on coverage provided by the host-country's television providers and brought-in crews. It is a concept that is working well, and one that is needed as well.... with the major increase in coverage, available satellite bandwidth to beam stuff back to home countries, high definition, etc.....you can't have camera's from every major broadcaster in the world all trying to zoom in on the same shot. That said, NBC, BBC, NOS, and all others bring in some of their own teams of course.... but they are not for event broadcasting or after-race interviews, but more for street side reporting, studio interviews, investigative reporting, that sort of stuff on the side.
OBS simply leases cameramen from all over the world. Since it is a short period, they don't hire anyone permanently, they just lease from broadcasters around the world. I know for instance that the motorbike riding cameramen in the Cycling competitions are from the Dutch NOS, and are simply leased out for 2 weeks to OBS. I'm sure the BBC has leased out MANY cameramen to OBS, and I would want to think that if they leased the bicycling camera's from the Dutch, they probably got cameramen (and equipment) from other countries as well, perhaps maybe even the U.S.
But for the Olympics, they don't work for NOS, BBC, NBC or whomever, they work for OBS.
NBC, just like BBC, is dependent on what OBS provides. The model works well though..... they have ONE group of camera's out there, but they are SO numerous that every independent athlete is covered, and every camera is in the most perfect location for the most perfect spot. Of course in the marathon and cycling races this is impossible, but they will have all "groups" or "peletons" in focus so broadcasters can pick and choose.
In essence, every country gets different coverage, based on the coverage that THEY want to show their people. Take the Phelps race where he took the silver. The camera was kept on Phelps - who was second - after the race. This was not because that was the only camera there, and Phelps was "the dude", but because NBC chose to pick THAT feed. I'm sure the South African television picked the feed that showed Le Clos all the time.
Now, how the OBS decides things I don't know.... take for instance Missy Franklin's lost cap. (she wears 2 and lost one during one of the races). When the NBC talked about it, the underwater camera focused in on where the cap sank. Now does NBC have the right to say "hey OBS, can you focus a cam in on that cap?" I don't know.... It could very well be that OBS is organized enough to just focus on every "abnormality" they spot.
Personally, I find the camerawork superb. I have not seen any events where cameramen really messed things up.
Excellent Post Maartena! Very informative.
Indeed; thanks very much, couldn't have asked for a more complete answer.
The camera work has been superb. It occurred to me that whoever was filming the tennis might be using the same equipment and cameramen as the last Wimbledon championship. Now I know that's at least possible, perhaps likely!