Here’s A Question For NBC – Why Is “Fred” Bigger Online Than Your Coverage Of The Olympics?

Feb 17th, 2010 | By | Category: Internet TV, Streaming Video, Video, Video Podcasts, Video Software

NBC has put out a press release hyping its coverage of the 2010 Olympics.

Some of the highlights:

  • They’ve delivered 8.1 million video streams to date;
  • They’ve had 13.6 million unique visitors; and
  • Traffic to is up 200% over 4 years ago.

That sounds pretty impressive – until you consider that this Fred video, Fred Gets Detention, is more popular than NBC’s Olympic coverage.

Fred Gets Detention has had close to 16 million views – more than NBC’s entire online coverage, so far, of the 2010 Olympics.

NBC – don’t you have a built-in international audience potentially in the billions wanting to see exclusive coverage from an event that only happens every 4 years?

via NewTeeVee

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5 Responses to “Here’s A Question For NBC – Why Is “Fred” Bigger Online Than Your Coverage Of The Olympics?”

  1. John Lacey says:

    The Fred video mentioned above has been available online since April 30th, 2008 – almost two years. The Olympics have been going for a couple of days? (Don’t underestimate the long tail when it comes to generating views.)

    I personally have little interest in the Olympics, or even sport more generally, but after reading this article I headed over to the NBC website to do some research for myself. The “built-in international audience” isn’t a foregone conclusion and I’ll explain why. I tried watching some video of the opening ceremony from the NBC website. I was presented with this message:

    Competition video from the 2010 Winter Olympics is restricted to viewers within the United States

    It seems the potential audience for much of this content is much more reduced than many people would think. (In the same way Olympic sponsorship deals are divided up among countries and companies, so too are broadcast rights.) No similar restriction is applied to me when it comes to the Fred content.

    Also, there’s only two ways to watch Fred. They’re both online – either through YouTube or the FredFiggleHorn website. Whether the statistics are impressive or not, I think you really need to combine the online data with the television ratings (across all the respective broadcast networks around the world) before you really have an accurate comparison.

  2. Ed Roberts says:

    Up from 4 years ago? Ok. I’d like to know about how it compares to the summer games 2 years ago. For starters, their live coverage is cut DRAMATICALLY from 2 years ago. Yes, there are less events, but they show 2 events a day at best this winter. Secondly, you now are required to authenticate to your cable/satellite provider to get access to their live streams OR full-event replays. That means that if you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating a special account with your provider, if you have a provider outside of their media buy, or if you get your TV over-the-air you are left out. 2 years ago you could at least cheat and select a cable provider if you got your TV over-the-air. Not so this year.

    I’m still trying to figure out the logic. I understand wanting people to watch on their TV. Higher CPM, easier to sell, etc. But why not restrict all those with a partner cable/satellite provider then and force them to watch on their TV? Why lose the money you get from those that CAN’T watch the other coverage? Sigh…

    • elliot says:

      I don’t get it either. They probably make so much money on traditional TV that they don’t want to risk it by experimenting with anything online.

      John – comparing NBC’s Olympic online coverage to Fred isn’t really apples to apples – but it’s still pretty incredible that they can’t get more views than a kid making videos in his basement.

  3. Chris Knowles says:

    This is standard practice for online coverage of global sports, selling online rights using the same model as TV rights and you can only assume that it is done this way to protect the value of those rights because, clearly, there’s no logic to putting geographical boundaries on internet viewing.

    Perhaps it’s just too easy for the sporting bodies to sell the rights and not be involved in being broadcasters in their own right but for the IOC not to have a global video / live streaming site seems to be a missed opportunity. You’d have thought that there are enough global brands that sponsorship and ad roll would not be a problem.

    MLB have shown that there is a viable business model for those sporting bodies willing to take the plunge with online viewing and presumably the long and somewhat baffling blackout clauses means that they have found some sort of balance between the needs of the audience and the demands of the broadcasters.

    Ultimately, it has to change and the sporting bodies will realise what huge opportunities they are missing. The Indian Premier League teaming up with YouTube is hopefully the start (cricket may be an almost unknown sport in the US but it is huge in India and this is a big deal). Let’s hope so: maybe then I’ll be able to watch my beloved English Premier League which, here in Australia, is only available on cable.

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