Spotlight on Beijing: SBJ’s Ourand says NBC just trying to make it to Paris, L.A. Games

The latest SBJ Spotlight Roundtable turns its focus to the Beijing Games. Though the approach of the Olympics has been overshadowed by the NFL and other sporting events, and dampened by the pandemic and concerns over political issues in China, our expert panel says NBC will still reap benefits from its coverage.

  • SBJ's John Ourand: “NBC is going to have the Olympics on for a fortnight. They're going to win primetime for two and a half weeks. The ratings are going to be well down from four years beforehand, but they're still going to be significant. They're going to do well. And NBC always knew that they had to get through Tokyo and Beijing to the promised land of Paris and LA.”
  • SBJ’s Abe Madkour added sponsors are keeping their heads down: “They just want to get through these games. They don't want to deal with the social, the cultural, the political challenges of China. I'm sure NBC probably wants to avoid that headache as well. And … the IOC is not going to say anything or make any statements that would all run counter to their host in China. I don't think sponsors are going to put principles over profit, as the WTA Tour is trying to do.”
  • Syracuse sports management professor Rick Burton said changing viewer habits have affected awareness: “I hadn't really been thinking about Beijing, and I should be. I was in a taxi the other night in New York City, and the NBC promo came on the taxi screen. I think a lot of this is because we're not watching television anymore. And so if you're not getting that promo piece on your laptop or on your iPad, you're having to get it in the taxi.”

Watch the video with Madkour, Ourand, Burton and LiveLike’s Miheer Walavalkar:

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