NBC Raking in the Cash Ahead of the Games

nbc-olympics08beijingpromo.jpgSo no surprise NBC is set to make a mint on the Olympics, they have already passed $1 billion in ad sales and the Games haven’t even started yet. Well not according to NBC anyway. So great for NBC, no doubt when America finally gets to see the Opening Ceremonies, twelve hours after they actually occur, we’ll be getting a fair dose of these ads, all strategically placed, since NBC will already know what happens and won’t have to worry about cutting away at inopportune moments.

We continue to be increasingly annoyed at the network’s decision not to broadcast live. Not so much because we are huge Olympics fans (the last Olympics we remember watching was in the summer of 1984, and that had more to do with the fact we were on summer vacation and too young to have any say over the only remote in the house), but because, well, isn’t NBC sort of obligated to report world events while they’re happening and not merely milk them for the most revenue? Or is that crazy. Over at the NYT TVDecoder blog one commenter says it is an “example of NBC’s ‘buy the rights only to then bury and disservice the event’ methodology” that also gets applied to events like the French Open and Wimbeldon. What we want to know is what if something unexpected had happened during the ceremonies, would NBC have cut in? Would the anchors still here in New York be forced to stop referring to it as something happening “tonight?” Isn’t there something a bit off-putting about one network denying coverage to an entire country of an event that happens to be taking place in China (freedom of speech ironies abound), which 800 million or so other people are watching together, as it happens?