No time like the present (or the present minus 12 hours if we’re going by NBC’s clock). Hot on the heels of the peacock network’s enormous success at the Beijing Games, ESPN has declared its interest in obtaining the television rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympics. The key? They say they would actually broadcast the sports as they were happening and not, say, twelve hours later after the results have hit every other air wave, whilst NBC minions worked desperately to keep any and all clips off the darn Internets. Says John Skipper, ESPN’s executive vice president for content:
Our DNA is different than theirs, we serve sports fans. It’s hard in our culture to fathom tape-delaying in the same way they have. I’m not suggesting it wasn’t the smart thing for them to do, but it’s not our culture.Of course, by the 2014 Games (to be held in Sochi, Russia) television as we know it may no longer exist, having dovetailed completely with the Internet, making delayed broadcasting an entirely moot point. But it’s always good to think ahead.