Sunday, August 5, 2012

The battle for Olympic information between new and old media

The London Games are a battleground between the traditional forces of broadcasting and the social-media insurgents who represent the future of information technology. Supposed allies in a bright future of profit and information delivery are struggling for the soul of the Olympics, reports Bruce Dowbiggiu in the Globe and Mail.
In Canada, where virtually all events are broadcast live, the conflict has been muted. But the American network NBC has been unrepentant in its plan to embargo the highlights of the day’s most important action, repackaging it later that night in a heavily edited form loaded with commercials to pay for the estimated $1-billion (U.S.) NBC gave the International Olympic Committee for the rights.
The rights include shutting down signals from outside the United States, to protect NBC’s monopoly. Sometimes NBC has tripped on its own locked-down formula, showing a promo about Missy Franklin’s gold medal for the next day’s Today show, before the network had revealed the result to its audience.
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