Do Twitter Spoiler Alerts Ruin Olympic Sports TV Coverage?
Some spicy things going on with the Olympics, widely harkened as the “First Social Media Olympics Ever” (ever, ever, evahhhh!). Specific complaints and missteps certainly bring to light the challenges. Let’s dish about them, ok?
Spoiler Alerts – Breaking News Hot off the Presses or Please ST#$%U Blabbering?
Time zones, and the time delays associated in broadcasting with them, kind of suck. London, England gets morning before we do in the US. Unless you want to watch the Games in the dead of night, you get it after-the-fact by many hours. If you are a social media hound or a smartphone addict, you are reading messages and blog posts about the results before you get to see the competitions. Damn.
So – solution? Maybe stay off social? Maybe set your alarm to watch live? As much as NBC bragged about live streaming, in the States it was herky-jerky at best. There are plenty of blog posts about how to hack around that, but really?
Is a hacking work-around, or ??? the answer? Shout out in the comments – you all have the brain power to suggest some very workable answers – I’m ready for them…
Time Shift Happens – Is Pretending It’s Not Time Shifted OK?
OK, so we get the challenge with time zones. But is it OK for newscasters – the talking head concierges there to bring you the highlights – to act like it’s live right now when they know it’s not? Is it OK for the same channel that is hosting the Olympics to give you the race results prior to airing the taped race and interview?
You tell me. Add your comments below, please, because I want to hear what you think.
Censorship – Does Corporate Partnerships Muddy the Free Social Ethos?
So, Twitter twitched on the trigger and temporarily suspended the account of an NBC critical blogger-social media influencer when he tweeted an easily decipherable corporate email address so people could complain about NBC’s handling of the Olympics.
The next day, Twitter backtracked and reinstated the account, issuing a formal statement from their attorney saying, “This behaviour is not acceptable and undermines the trust our users have in us. We should not and cannot be in the business of proactively monitoring and flagging content, no matter who the user is – whether a business partner, celebrity or friend.”
This is the first corporate sponsorship partnership, with Twitter acting as a live tweet commentator host of sorts with NBC, during the Olympics. Twitter even admitted that someone on their staff alerted NBC to the disparaging remarks, as opposed to responding to a complaint initiated by NBC. Apparently, the policy is not as black and white as you might want to think.
Bad censorship move, I think. What do you think?
Is Profit Enough Reason to Wait?
We are seeing the fraying edges of a dying media empire, once great and quite exclusive in their VIP insider access to cover certain media events. That control is evaporating for the major networks (and big cable companies too) to decide when things will be originally broadcast.
Pushing the Opening Ceremonies to prime time isn’t really a sustainable strategy, but that’s what they chose. They specifically did it to push the most epic and viewer eye-catching bonanza of lights and sparkle to the time their advertisers would like. No real spoilers there and no one gets too upset to see it later, but world record setting, nose to nose national physical grudge matches played out on an international stage? That’s a different story, isn’t it?
Is profit enough to push an event? Is being first really that important? I’m not convinced. You?
He Who Can, Does. He Who Can’t, Critiques
It’s easy for all of us, myself included, to armchair quarterback this complicated beehive. I am writing today not to hold a particular position strongly, but to toss out the question to the greater group – seriously, how would you navigate the treacherous waters of a highly popular (i.e. also highly profitable to advertisers), rabid fan inhabited, time-zone screwed live media event situation?
We can make fun and call this or that stupid, obvious, or otherwise crazy, but what would you do? Put your money where your mouth is and let’s crowdsource some ideas here…chime in below.
Til next time,
Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher
[graphic by HereStanding]