Time for the thanks of a grateful nation to go to the Peacock Network and Jeff Zucker, the president and CEO of NBC Universal.
Despite great temptation, Zucker and Co. decided not to tape delay Barack Obama’s historic nomination speech for West Coast viewers.
Sure, NBC could have just plastered a “Live” notice on the delayed broadcast — hey, it worked just swell during the Olympics. But this time out, NBC went with actual events in actual real time. Take a bow, Zucker.
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Microsoft’s Silverlight video platform went straight from its exclusive online debut on NBC’s Olympics site to an exclusive online encore on the Democratic National Convention’s site.
Again, owners of PowerPC-based Macs users were shut out if they wanted the latest and greatest video stream — as in real time, in high def.
Why the hell would the Democratic Party — of all organizations — limit its online video content to an proprietary and exclusionary technology when many all-access solutions were available? No mystery: Microsoft money doesn’t talk, it screams.
You got it: Microsoft was “the Official Software and HD web content provider” for the DNC.
At least this sellout didn’t reek as much as the Olympics online video deal. This time, there were other live feeds (of lesser quality) on CNN.com, C-SPAN.org and several other nets.
UstreamTV had an “unofficial” stream of the DNC and is the official RNC online video provider. “Anyone with computer and Internet access will be guaranteed a front-row seat to history,” Ustream vows. Now that’s American.
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ESPN wants the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games, a possibility that’ll have sports fans cheering. Here’s what ESPN exec vp for content John Skipper told the New York Times about NBC and its tape-delay shenanigans:
“Our DNA is different than theirs. We serve sports fans. It’s hard in our culture to fathom tape-delaying in the same way they have. I’m not suggesting it wasn’t the smart thing for them to do, but it’s not our culture.”
Skipper reminded the Times that if ESPN had the Olympics TV rights, it would employ the ABC network, multiple ESPN cable nets, espn.com and extensive video-streaming outlets. “There’s nothing that NBC has that we don’t have the assets to replicate and do better,” he said.
Let’s make the leap of faith that doing better means ESPN will, at least, apply basic news judgment.
Our pals over at Sports Couch Potato examined this mess and declared: “It’s clear the days of the taped-delayed Olympics have become a thing of the past.” You gotta believe.