Olympics on TV: An Olympic Failure


This was the scene on the frontpage of msnbc.com today and it struck a cord with me that the “finale” has finally come for the olympics on TV. What will be observed by some in the future as a historic event, but not for the normal reasons.

Olympics TV
The Olympics in Torino are now over and they not only mark the end to the 40th Winter Olympics, but also to the end of traditional television advertising during the olympics. For the first time in history a website had more video consumed than traditional television. Although the website www.nbcolympics.com is owned and operated by the official broadcaster of the Olympics, NBC, it still marks a dramatic failure of advertising numbers that were promised by NBC. For back to back nights throughout the main Olympic events such as figure skating, and alpine skiing, NBC’s ratings did not even compare to the #1 rated show during this period: FOX’s American Idol. Not only did NBC fail to capture the ratings it was looking for, but it placed a distant 7th place…far from silver or bronze (sorry I just couldnt help it).

On Wednesday February 22nd 2005 Nielson ranked the Torino games the fifth-lowest rated olympics in history with only 11.3 household rating. Although the final outcome did place NBC in second place overall, and barely delivering on their advertising promises, overall I see this as a failure. Moving forward buying ads during the Olympics will never be the same.

[tags] NBC, NBC Olympics, Olympics Advertising, Marketing.fm, Online Olympics [/tags]

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