Bolt Of Lightning Doesn't Fall Anywhere Near NBCOlympics.com
Saturday, August 16, 2008; 5:07 PM
Michael Phelps who? In what is probably the greatest moment in this Olympics, Usain Bolt of Jamaica won gold 100m dash in 9.69 seconds, a new world record...and he didn't even have to try after the first half of the race. But you wouldn't know it if you were here in U.S...well, if you were not online actively searching for a video clip of it. NBCOlympics.com has a lame text story online, and with a lamer Getty Images-supplied photo slideshow. Not that we were expecting anything different from NBC today, but it does add up to the growing frustration with the "bottled-up" (not my phrase...Jeff Zucker used it in a CNBC interview yesterday) coverage by the network.
If you want to watch the clip, don't go to YouTube...the "illegal" copies are being squashed every second by the regulators there. Go to DailyMotion, the French site, and search for "Usain Bolt: and sort by "Most Recent"...plenty of French language clips from Canal Plus, in decent resolution. The best way: use a proxy server to log into BBC's sports site, which has the full race and interview with Bolt in high res.
On Zucker, he said this yesterday on CNBC: "One of the great things to come out of these Olympic games is that the tremendous use of our digital properties online and the great viewership online and the tremendous number of page views is really teaching us a tremendous amount about what people want to consume great content. And so we're going to come out of these Olympics with great digital knowledge and hopefully we'll be able to turn those digital pennies into digital if not dollars digital 50 cent pieces at some point." Actually, no, you are not learning "a tremendous amount about what people want to consume"...you are only learning how people behave in your own artificially constricted environment. If you really, really set it free, only then will you learn enough about consumer behavior.
Meanwhile, Yahoo ( NSDQ: YHOO) came out with a release late yesterday, citing latest Comscore numbers that show that Yahoo's Olympics section has more traffic during the first week than even NBCOlympics.com. It attracted more than 8 million unique users in the US during the week ending August 10, compared to 6.7 million users for NBCOlympics.com. There you go?