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#1321

NYC Dave

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Posted Mar 2, 2010 @ 12:48 PM

Not only that but there are all those official worldwide olympic sponsors. I am not talking about the companies who pay for commercials, but the ones like Samsung, Molson/Coors and GM who I imagine paid the IOC to be the official cell phone, beer and car of the Olympic Games. I would think that with the amount of money those companies paid they want as much exposure as possible, not just at the venues, but with their logos and products showing up during the broadcasts. Not sure how they would feel about the limited exposure they would get on a cable channel and might be able to pressure the IOC.

Plus like others have posted NBC paid 2 billion dollars for these games and London. Would a cable channel like ESPN even have the money to play in that ballpark. I mean I know there have been talks about ESPN possibly being able to raise their subscriber fees to make up extra money. But I am not sure I see how much more they could raise them, especially justifying it to people that they would raise them probably permanently for what would be a two week event. Especially since if US cable is anything like Canadian cable lots of people are usually in contracts for their cable service, which means the provider canít raise the rates whenever they feel like it.

Lastly the advantage that a network has is that even if the ad buy levels are down they can use the Olympics as a way to promote all of their shows, and get better ratings for those. I mean the summer Olympics are basically a way for a network to push all their new fall shows. I mean what does ESPN have that they can push besides SportsCenter?


Kel, definitely agree with you on most of those points. To me, the Olympics just seems like the wrong event for ESPN. As much as it is the ultimate sports event, it's also so much more involving that ESPN may or may not want to get into. Even though ESPN may have more money sometimes than they know what to do it, I can't see them as easily able to make a profit off the Olympics as NBC has had in the past. Basically for a Winter Olympics, they're promoting their Olympics coverage into sports events like basketball (which we know isn't the usual Olympics demographic) and then trying to convince them to NOT watch those sports in February because they're showing the Olympics instead. It just doesn't seem like the right marriage. Especially with ESPN going hard after the NCAA Tournament, if they are ready to sink major capital into that, will they have enough left for the Olympics? And like you said, NBC is using viewership from the Olympics to pump their new shows. That won't work so well for ESPN, especially if they barely cut ABC into the equation.

The Olympics belong on a broadcast network. Doesn't necessarily have to be NBC, but an all-sports cable channel that makes no effort to try to appeal to everyone is the wrong place for it. If NBC has to go, let them get replaced by CBS, not ESPN.

#1322

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Posted Mar 2, 2010 @ 1:48 PM

Pardon my ignorance. With all the discussion about ESPN not a good channel for the Olympics, why do they not make it ESPN on ABC? Basically the main outlet is ABC, just like NBC today, and the secondary and tertiary and quarternary outlets can be ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U or whatever channels Disney has.

ESPN can provide the sports personalities while ABC can provide the resources for off-venue, human interest pieces.

#1323

NYC Dave

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Posted Mar 2, 2010 @ 2:08 PM

Pardon my ignorance. With all the discussion about ESPN not a good channel for the Olympics, why do they not make it ESPN on ABC? Basically the main outlet is ABC, just like NBC today, and the secondary and tertiary and quarternary outlets can be ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U or whatever channels Disney has.

ESPN can provide the sports personalities while ABC can provide the resources for off-venue, human interest pieces.


If they make ABC the main outlet, then ESPN doesn't get the full benefit of having the Olympics on ESPN (plus, especially for a Winter Olympics, they'd basically be asking ABC to hand over their schedule to ESPN in the middle of a sweeps month). And if the advertising revenue from ABC then goes to ESPN's bank accounts in Bristol, then what's the benefit for ABC? It all may be under the Disney umbrella, but I think it definitely says something that ESPN is spearheading the bid, not ABC. Give ESPN's desire to air many of the bigger events that have often been on ABC (including the British Open starting this year, the BCS games next January, and all but the 3 NASCAR races left on ABC.. and many ABC affiliates are livid over those decisions), they may not want to make ABC into the primary network for the Olympics.

#1324

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Posted Mar 2, 2010 @ 2:10 PM

I agree & would think they could show a 3 hour package in prime time each night of event highlights, full events when deemed appropriate, interviews and human interest pieces. But ESPN and their other cable outlets should have live events in their entirety throughout the Olympics, without the pre-recorded pieces.

#1325

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Posted Mar 2, 2010 @ 2:27 PM

NYC Dave:

If they make ABC the main outlet, then ESPN doesn't get the full benefit of having the Olympics on ESPN (plus, especially for a Winter Olympics, they'd basically be asking ABC to hand over their schedule to ESPN in the middle of a sweeps month). And if the advertising revenue from ABC then goes to ESPN's bank accounts in Bristol, then what's the benefit for ABC? It all may be under the Disney umbrella, but I think it definitely says something that ESPN is spearheading the bid, not ABC. Give ESPN's desire to air many of the bigger events that have often been on ABC (including the British Open starting this year, the BCS games next January, and all but the 3 NASCAR races left on ABC.. and many ABC affiliates are livid over those decisions), they may not want to make ABC into the primary network for the Olympics.


Apologies in advance, but I do not know the depth of your knowledge about TV in Canada.

CTV does not have sports progamming. Sporting events we watch on CTV are either simulcast from other network (U.S. NFL carrier) or produced by TSN. Yet CTV successfully manage to pull the effort for this Olympics, and I say that CTV do it multiple times better than NBC. In their effort, CTV collaborate with Rogers who mainly provide their RSN channel. There are a number of other channels involved, all are part of CTV/RSN networks, but the main ones are those 3.

So, based on that model, I can not see why ABC / ESPN can not do it. ABC can act as CTV in this model, and ESPN can act like TSN and RSN with the multiple channels they have.

Why will this model not work with ABC / ESPN?

#1326

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Mar 2, 2010 @ 2:45 PM

So, based on that model, I can not see why ABC / ESPN can not do it. ABC can act as CTV in this model, and ESPN can act like TSN and RSN with the multiple channels they have.


Isn't part of the problem, that from what I understand the percentage of people who subscribe to cable or satellite TV in Canada is much higher than in the US. I believe in Canada close to 90% of all households pay for TV. I believe in the US it is a much lower percentage, so if most of the Olympics were to switch to ESPN, a significant portion of the population wouldn't be able to see them.

Plus there is still big money in network ad rates (and not as much in cable), moving from a broadcast to a cable network would get rid of a lot of those.

Edited by Kel Varnsen, Mar 2, 2010 @ 2:50 PM.


#1327

NYC Dave

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Posted Mar 2, 2010 @ 2:54 PM

Apologies in advance, but I do not know the depth of your knowledge about TV in Canada.

CTV does not have sports progamming. Sporting events we watch on CTV are either simulcast from other network (U.S. NFL carrier) or produced by TSN. Yet CTV successfully manage to pull the effort for this Olympics, and I say that CTV do it multiple times better than NBC. In their effort, CTV collaborate with Rogers who mainly provide their RSN channel. There are a number of other channels involved, all are part of CTV/RSN networks, but the main ones are those 3.

So, based on that model, I can not see why ABC / ESPN can not do it. ABC can act as CTV in this model, and ESPN can act like TSN and RSN with the multiple channels they have.

Why will this model not work with ABC / ESPN?


I actually didn't know that about CTV. I figured where it was more like CBC where they have their own sports department, not so much that they let TSN produce their sports coverage which, yes, is a lot like the ABC/ESPN model. Here's the difference though, permit me to get into a little history lesson here...

ABC used to have it's own independent sports department which, especially in the 70's and 80's, was generally regarded as the best in the business thanks to people like Roone Arledge and Jim McKay. Over time, most notably in the years after Disney purchased ABC and it's affiliated networks, ABC Sports and ESPN began to integrate, to the point that by 2006, the majority of sports events shown on ABC were produced by ESPN. Obviously now, as I'm sure you know, all sports events on ABC are produced by ESPN under the title of "ESPN on ABC."

The difference is that while (correct me if I'm wrong here) CTV was heading the bid as part of the consortium of networks for Canada, ESPN (the cable arm of the operation, not the main network in ABC. Yes, they're all part of the same corporate family, but it's not the same having an ESPN-produced event on ABC as it is if ESPN airs a big game. ESPN wants to be the alpha dog of the pack and they're essentially treating ABC as a dumping ground for lesser sports these days, so I don't see them paying billions for the Olympics and then letting ABC reap the benefits of the best of the programming. Consequently, ABC may be less than willing (especially for a Winter Olympics) to offer up all of their programming time to ABC unless they benefit from it, which I'm not sure they would, particularly if it means putting their programming on hiatus during a sweeps month.

It means that ABC/ESPN could go with a CTV-like model if they wanted to, but I don't think they're going to want to do it that way, even if it makes their bid less attractive to the IOC.

#1328

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Posted Mar 3, 2010 @ 1:29 AM

I think the reason why there was so much coverage in Canada was because the broadcasting contract is shared between Bell and Rogers (yes, believe it or not). That's why you had stuff showing on channes like OMNI (owned by Rogers) as well as CTV and TSN (Bell-owned). I guess Bell had more dibs, since nothing was shown on CITY (Rogers owned). There were also many more Bell cell phone and TV commercials.

#1329

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Posted Mar 3, 2010 @ 1:55 AM

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this. It's from CTV's website. It brought a tear to my eye. Enjoy!!

O Canada montage

#1330

TV Anonymous

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Posted Mar 3, 2010 @ 8:57 AM

After doing a little digging, I think I can answer my own question why CTV/TSN/RSN model may not necessarily be working with ABC/ESPN.

CTV is the main company in CTVglobemedia, its holding company. In fact, CEO of CTV is also CEO of CTVglobemedia. So in a way, it is easy to subjugate TSN to CTV, since TSN is a subsidiary of CTVglobemedia. For RSN, I guess they just join the ride. ESPN however, is a more independent company within Disney. In fact, ESPN and ABC have very different corporate history and they were not linked in the past. Within Disney, seems like ESPN and ABC have about the same weight.

So as NYC Dave wrote, as a business case I think CTV/TSN model works and it is successful. However, looking at corporate politics and culture in Disney, I agree that it might not be easy to implement that model there.

#1331

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Posted Mar 3, 2010 @ 7:02 PM

Isn't part of the problem, that from what I understand the percentage of people who subscribe to cable or satellite TV in Canada is much higher than in the US. I believe in Canada close to 90% of all households pay for TV. I believe in the US it is a much lower percentage, so if most of the Olympics were to switch to ESPN, a significant portion of the population wouldn't be able to see them.


That's because without cable running just on over the air antenna you get the CBC and that's it.

#1332

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Mar 3, 2010 @ 7:08 PM

That's because without cable running just on over the air antenna you get the CBC and that's it.


Not in Ottawa, here you can get like 7 english channels and a couple of french channels. I guess in more rural areas and smaller towns you might not be able to get that much, which is why cable is probably more popular.

#1333

PRgal

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Posted Mar 3, 2010 @ 11:37 PM

Not in Ottawa, here you can get like 7 english channels and a couple of french channels. I guess in more rural areas and smaller towns you might not be able to get that much, which is why cable is probably more popular.


My roommate had a TV in our room in first year at Queen's and she got CBC plus two US channels with rabbit ears.

#1334

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Posted Mar 4, 2010 @ 2:12 AM

I live in Maple Ridge, about an hour east of Vancouver, and we can pick up about 8 channels with rabbit ears on the TV. CTV is one of the channels.

#1335

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Posted Mar 4, 2010 @ 5:15 AM

This is from a Time.com article about the Olympics, but since there's not a "media" thread for this board, I thought I'd post it here.

There's a hilarious article on the legendary drinking that took place during the Vancouver Olympics: http://www.time.com/...=rss-topstories

In the article, the author confers with journalists who had attended previous games for some comparison against all the drinking going on in Vancouver. Some amusing quotes:

It's been a two-week tailgate (...) I've covered a lot of college football, and this is like the Dante's Inferno version of tailgating.

When I asked a reveler if there was too much public intoxication in Vancouver, he responded, "There should be more." A roofer by day, he told me he had just consumed 8 to 10 beers ó and he looked like it (...) At 2 a.m., Granville Street was still packed, and there were plenty of drunks wandering about. Vancouver appeared to have more morons per square foot than the Jersey Shore house.


The consensus seems to be that Vancouver is the drunkest Olympics ever. The whole article is pretty amusing, actually.

#1336

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Posted Mar 6, 2010 @ 1:06 AM

You know I've read a lot of articles positive and negative on the Olympics, and in all of them I get where they are coming from, even the Russian ones. The British ones were a little baffling, but I can see that maybe there's a little bit of a preemptive defense, or perhaps a warning to the GBOC(?) but This article completely baffles me.

I consider myself liberal, but this is just so far out there to me I'm at a loss.

#1337

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Posted Mar 6, 2010 @ 8:26 PM

I think that article is just an attempt to get attention by being "over it all" and trying to seem better than everyone. Well yippy for them. The author was universally panned in the comments section, even by a couple of people who weren't big fans of having the Olympics in Vancouver to begin with. She must not have noticed, among other things, the very multi-cultural celebrations taking place on the streets of Vancouver for two straight weeks.

#1338

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Posted Mar 7, 2010 @ 1:40 AM

ABC used to have it's own independent sports department which, especially in the 70's and 80's, was generally regarded as the best in the business thanks to people like Roone Arledge and Jim McKay. Over time, most notably in the years after Disney purchased ABC and it's affiliated networks, ABC Sports and ESPN began to integrate, to the point that by 2006, the majority of sports events shown on ABC were produced by ESPN. Obviously now, as I'm sure you know, all sports events on ABC are produced by ESPN under the title of "ESPN on ABC."


The decline of ABC Sports could really be pinpointed to when Capitol-Cities took over in 1985. Shortly after Cap-Cities came into the picture, Roone Arledge stepped down (or was forced out) as head of ABC Sports, but stayed on as head of ABC News. Arledge was replaced by Dennis Swanson, who tried to get Cap-Cities to help back him for future Olympic bids (ABC's last Olympics where the 1988 Calgary Games). Unfortunately, Cap-Cities ran a every tight (budget wise) ship. In the process, they routinely cut costs, which hurt ABC from the standpoint of obtaining quality talent, production values, and broadcast rights (like Major League Baseball and Olympics, which they lost during this time period). ABC was also supposedly hesitant to renew their NFL contract in 1987 (FOX, actually put up a bid for Monday Night Football, but since they still hadn't gotten enough footing as a network yet, the NFL backed away).

#1339

PRgal

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Posted Mar 7, 2010 @ 4:26 PM

I must have missed something...is the NBC contract with the Olympics expiring? What's all the talk about ABC?

#1340

NYC Dave

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Posted Mar 7, 2010 @ 5:01 PM

I must have missed something...is the NBC contract with the Olympics expiring? What's all the talk about ABC?


It is. NBC's current deal (signed back in 2003) gives them the 2010 Olympics as well as the 2012 Olympics. The IOC hasn't awarded the rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympics yet (which are likely to be packaged together into 1 deal), largely because they're waiting to see if the economy improves. This is the first time in a while there has been a very open process bidding for the Olympics that involves several serious bidders. Definitely anything but a guarantee that NBC will win the contract for 2014/16, especially in the face of serious competition from ESPN, and what now are only semi-interested bids from CBS and Fox.

#1341

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Posted Apr 23, 2010 @ 1:05 PM

I really do not know where to put this post. Since this thread is more or less the main thread of the Olympics I post it here.

So I am just back from watching the Olympic Victory Parade in Downtown Montreal. It was really amazing to see the athletes that I cheered during the games passed less than 10 m in front of me. The atmosphere was amazing, the weather was good (sunny with a bit of cool breeze), basically an excellent time to spend my lunch hour.

How is it relevant with TWoP? The event is covered live in CTV Montreal. Click the link, they stream it on-line as well.

So my comments of the parade from the front to the end:
  • Jon Montgomery was so charming. As charming as he was on the games. He was also the Canadian Olympic Committee flag bearer.
  • Joannie Rochette was beautiful. She was prettier in normal clothes and less make up. She and Alex Bilodeau were the Queen and King of the parade, riding the first car with the Mayor.
  • The Speed Skating float was the liveliest and most enthusiastic float. It was fun to watch them dancing on the float. And Marianne St-Gelais had such bubbly personality.
  • The women's hockey float is the only sport float where all the occupants wore gold medals (see the last float below). Too bad that there were just a few of them. I particularly missed Kim St-Pierre.
  • The most popular was the car with Scott Niedermayer and Hayley Wickenheiser. Fans old and young surrounding that car asking for autographs. I feel like kicking myself for not bringing my Team Canada tee-shirt.
  • The presence of the Alouette cheerleaders made my day. Go Als go!
  • Hey, where were Kevin Martin and Cheryl Bernard? However, John Morris was there, along with Susan O'Connor and Carolyn Darbyshire.
  • Then it was the hometown hero, Jasey-Jay Anderson on the Chevy Corvette Convertible. Did he get the car?
  • The final float was the Gold Medallists float. Charles Hamelin, Ashleigh McIvor, MaŽlle Ricker, among others were there. Of course, this was the most-photographed float.
All in all, without trying to be chauvinistic, the parade makes me proud to be Canadian.

#1342

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Posted Apr 24, 2010 @ 7:51 AM

It is. NBC's current deal (signed back in 2003) gives them the 2010 Olympics as well as the 2012 Olympics. The IOC hasn't awarded the rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympics yet (which are likely to be packaged together into 1 deal), largely because they're waiting to see if the economy improves. This is the first time in a while there has been a very open process bidding for the Olympics that involves several serious bidders. Definitely anything but a guarantee that NBC will win the contract for 2014/16, especially in the face of serious competition from ESPN, and what now are only semi-interested bids from CBS and Fox.


And it now looks like Disney gave up on getting the NCAA Tournament in order to go all-out to get the 2014 and 2016 Olympics since CBS/Turner got the NCAA Men's Basketball rights.

It looks like Disney is prepared to blow NBC and everyone else out of the water with its bid for those games.