NBC to Air Olympics in USA on 16 Hour Delay
In another excellent article, the Wall Street Journal reports that the International Olympic Committee will not authorize the streaming of video or audio from the Olympics in Sydney. This should not come as a surprise, since the IOC generates so much of its operating revenue from selling the exclusive right to broadcast the Olympics on a country by country basis.
The more surprising and upseting aspect of this story is the reason that NBC will not air any live coverage of the events at all: "Even when it could show snippets of events around
5 a.m. on the East Coast — prime time in Sydney — NBC
and its cable arms, MSNBC and CNBC, will hold off.
The reason: Once
NBC’s video enters the
public domain, newscasts
and talk shows can replay
it, which would undermine
the uniqueness of NBC’s
coverage during U.S.
While the intent of this is to deprive other networks of an opportunity to provide supplimentary news about the event, what it actually does is deprive enthusiasts with advanced recording equipment like TiVo and ReplayTV of the ability to timeshift their viewing as they can with nearly any other sporting event.
What right does NBC have to embargo coverage of sporting events as significant as the Olympics for 18 hours?