NBC needs to make the Olympics more accessible if they want everyone to watch.
It’s not so hard to understand that more and more viewers are turning off their televisions. NBC, a major news network, has already seen major decreases in their audience that watches the news live. Millennials and even people from older generations find themselves preferring to browse news stories throughout the day on their phones, rather than tuning into the nightly news. This, also, applies to viewing the Olympic coverage. NBC may have their app that you can stream from, and their website, but both needed you to put in a cable provider in order to watch. NBC also has a YouTube channel, but this only showed highlights of the sporting events, and not very many highlights at that.
In attempting to follow the Olympics, I’m fortunate enough to have my parents paying for cable while I live at home and work, but if I were living on my own, I’m not even sure I’d have Netflix, let alone purchase a cable subscription. I just don’t watch that much TV. Not only that, a lot of the events I was interested in, NBC didn’t even show. I came to find that many events were being streamed on the channels USA and Bravo, but I didn’t have a clue until deep into the first week of the Olympics. In addition, be it NBC or my cable company messing up the guide, but when it came to the Rhythmic Gymnastics, I was only shown one event. I could not find the individual qualifications or the finals, and NBC only showed the last half of the team all around. That was not a fault of mine, but of what NBC decided to show on television on their main channel.
Between this, and advertising coming on in the middle of the action, watching the Olympics was overwhelmingly frustrating.
On top of this, millennials in general tend to watch television long after something has aired rather than live. We like TV, sure, but we’re also busy. Between schooling for some, and working hard and long hours for others, we can’t be glued to the TV. Knowing this, and knowing that NBC’s advertising was mainly aimed at millennials, what can be done?
The answer is actually fairly simple, I think: make more content available online (without cable subscriptions needed) and for long periods of time. Advertise before and after the event to get the money’s worth there, and also have some advertising on the website for good measure. The consumer could watch what they want when they want and that way they don’t have a miserable experience trying to get the content they desired. NBC could get their ad revenue just fine if they do the advertising right. Well, that is, if you don’t consider the 198 million people who use adblock …but hey, most of us are recording the events and skipping the commercials on our DVR, anyway.