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[Marketing Sportif, Sponsoring et Stratégies de Communication par le Sport]

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[Marketing Sportif, Sponsoring et Stratégies de Communication par le Sport]

NBC-Gate : US Network broadcasts the OG in delay



The US Network NBC is facing a huge crisis. The viewers critize them for their coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games, creating a global negative buzz online. 


The Americans are following the OG early in the morning and in the afternoon, because of the time delay with London. In other words : far away from the regular massive audience time zones. When the main events - including finals of swimming and, soon, of athletics, and the Dream Team matches - are played, the people is either working or on the beach. Thus NBC, which acquired the London 2012 TV Rights a fortune, decided to broadcast some competitions in delay to target bigger audience, and so, bigger advertising budgets. They planned the broadcasts in late evening, in prime time.


At this period of Digital Era, such decision seems crazy. It worked when people had to wait the next day newspaper to get the results. Nowadays, they get it a second after the end of the competition, via social networks like twitter or facebook. To compete with these instant news, press doesn't wait the following day anymore : they report everything on their websites with text, stats, images and more.  As a consequence, in this "NBC context", the viewers know all about the event before it is aired! Fans do not appreciate this process at all. And they claim it online. 


http://www.bloggersblog.com/pics/nbc_2012_london_olympics_logo.jpgLive is in the sport DNA. Sport is all about emotions! To optimize them, there is nothing better than a live event, either from onsite, through radio or TV. Online regular coverage (text and images) will never provide as much emotions as a TV coverage. NBC's wish to enhance the audience is understandable : it is the network which pay the most in the world to be one of the official broadcasters of the Olympic Games. But they should have anticipated the frustration of the fans which receive the results before the images of their favourite sports stars. Now the situation is getting worst day after day : a press journalist, upset by NBC's "lamentable" coverage and blunders, publish several critical posts. But he went further : he posted the email adress of the president of NBC Olympics to invite his followers to directly complain to NBC. Alerted by the US network, twitter decided to shut down the journalist account, which was not at the tast of the twitter users's community. Rapidly, the buzz went global and #NBCFail became a worldwide trending topic on twitter. A real scandal. 

To avoid such frustation (and such a bad campaign over their brand image), NBC should have offer them a live broadcast of these competitions and, then, replay the best moments in prime time for the mass. 


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