The NBC Olympics Blackmail

I cut the cord to cable TV over 2 years ago, and haven’t looked back. I’m not a big sports fan, except for watching the Tour de France religiously every summer, and for that I happily paid NBC $30 for full online coverage. I do like me some Olympics, but NBC has chosen not to offer any kind of online access…unless you have a cable subscription. WTF? I’d happily pay - I don’t expect them to give this away for free. This amounts to coercian to get a cable subscription, or a warning shot to people contemplating cutting the cord in the future, no doubt because NBC is now owned by Comcast.

I agree with Jim Stogdill’s piece on O’Reilly:

Anyway, here’s the thing. I would happily pay $50 to access those streams for two weeks, assuming they were done well. But I’m not going to switch to Comcast from my current provider to get it. And it’s absolutely idiotic for Comcast/NBC to think I would. The Olympics last for two weeks, but that behemoth’s crap service is forever.

These guys run their media empire the way Chavez runs Venezuelan power companies. Provide crappy service and limit innovation but keep the cash coming to what is essentially an IoC chartered royal monopoly. They could make it great for everyone, an amazingly wonderful experience, but then they would have to worry about what creative destruction might do to their current benefactors.

Get with the program, NBC.