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Facebook and NBC Team Up for 2014 Olympics

Feb 10, 2014

Last month, Facebook and NBC announced a deal to share content during this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

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Last month, Facebook and NBC announced a deal to share content during this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Here’s what the deal means for viewers:

On television:

NBC, who purchased the exclusive broadcast rights (for a mere $750M), hopes that social media will drive viewers to their televised content.  Meanwhile, Facebook hopes to establish itself as the primary venue for online conversations about the games.  NBC will incorporate Facebook posts and comments into their broadcast coverage.  They also plan to have NBC commentator Sarah Hughes fielding questions from Facebook users during prime-time slots.

This is not the first partnership between the two companies.  NBC and Facebook teamed up during the London games in 2012, but this year the network will share even more information via social media, which will no doubt be a trend among all social media outlets this year.

On the internet:

The NBC Olympics Facebook page (which now boasts more likes than the NBC page itself) contains original videos on athletes such as Shani Davis, Apolo Ohno and J.R. Celski.  The page will also post up-to-date news, polls, trivia and photo galleries.  One particular poll asked who should bear the Olympics torch for the U.S.  Not surprisingly, a clear majority voted for Shaun White.  And while he may not be bearing the torch for the Opening ceremony, we can still hope his new profile picture will include a new gold medal.

In addition to the almost 1,600 hours of television coverage that NBC will be providing this year, they’ve also spent time, energy and resources focusing on a strategy for integrating various social media channels into their broadcasts.  Why?  Because they have to.  Consumers aren’t relying solely on television to stay up-to-speed on the Olympics.  They’re getting updates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among others.  By teaming with Facebook, NBC is encouraging second screening.  They’re encouraging their viewers to submit questions via Facebook and they’re encouraging viewers to “like” their page so they can get updates.  NBC undoubtedly has a strategy for reaching Twitter as well, because these various platforms – the seemingly infinite number of them – cater to different demographics and different age groups.  If NBC is going to spend $750M on the broadcasting rights, you can bet they’re going to do anything and everything they can to reach as much people as possible.

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  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!