@ EconSports: London 2012: NBC Says It’s Learned Beijing Lessons

NBC, which was roundly criticised (not least by ourselves) for holding back live Beijing Olympics coverage for prime-time TV this summer, says it’s learned lessons and will be making adjustments for London 2012.

Despite a significant online investment, NBC was seen to have withheld some of the most exciting sport-event videos from NBC.com in order to unleash it on living-room TV sets, hours after the finish line was crossed in China.

Asked by panel moderator Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal, at our EconSports conference in New York, what he will do differently for London’s turn, NBC Sports & Olympics digital SVP Perkins Miller said: “With swimming being live on prime time, people were eager to consume it at that point in the day. We learned people want to consume it (for example) at 6am on their way to work, they (even) want to watch the women’s eight rowing.

“The lesson remains that there’s a breadth of sport at the Olympics that’s not represented by that top tier (of swimming, sprinting et al) – that’s the learning we’ll take with us to London.”

NBC’s was a rather different strategy from BBC Sport Interactive, which piled multiple live broadband video streams all over its website and TV red button, as its head Ben Gallop told us in August. Separately at EconSports, ESPN (NYSE: DIS) content EVP John Skipper said media weren’t serving sports fans “by making them wait four or five hours to see an event”.