2012 Olympics

The latest news about: Guy Adams’ Twitter suspension and reinstatement; NBC’s woes.

A general view of the Olympic Fisht stadium is seen in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Print journalists who use social media at Sochi Olympics could lose accreditation

BuzzFeed | The Guardian | Petal Pixel | The Wall Street Journal

There will be no tweeting, no Instagram-ing, no Vine-ing, and nothing caught on “amateur-standard technology,” for reporters at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Max Seddon reported Monday in BuzzFeed.

Vasily Konov, head of the state-run R-Sport news agency, which controls accreditation at February’s games, told a seminar for sports journalists on Friday that print reporters using any sort of multimedia would be “considered a serious violation and lead to their accreditation being canceled,” several Russian outlets reported. Only journalists with professional equipment and special badges will be allowed to do so.

But according to a report Monday afternon in USA Today, journalists can tweet and Instagram, a spokesman with the International Olympic Committee said, but they can’t post videos. Read more


Mobile Web, apps won the Olympics

paidContent | The New York Times | The Times of London
Sixty percent of traffic to the official London2012.com website and apps came from mobile devices, according to Alex Balfour, the head of new media for the London Organizing Committee. That’s partly due to the fact that the committee had several apps, reports paidContent’s Robert Andrews.

Balfour’s statistics provide an interesting window into the shift to mobile. On Sunday, Aug. 5, desktop computer traffic peaked twice, around 3 p.m. and again at 9 p.m. Mobile traffic, however, was always higher than desktop, continuing to climb as desktop traffic dropped after 3 p.m. and shooting up around 7 p.m. In the evening, mobile traffic was often twice that of desktop. (See slide 21 below.)

A sample of weekday traffic showed the same peaks for desktop Web traffic at 3 p.m. Read more


NBC enrages Olympics viewers one last time

CNN | The Hollywood Reporter | Twitter | Associated Press | Deadline Hollywood
NBC didn’t manage to blunt criticism of its Olympics broadcasts by streaming the games’ closing ceremonies live online Sunday afternoon. That’s in part because it interrupted its evening broadcast of the ceremonies to debut a new situation comedy about veterinarians.

Fans of show-closers The Who were outraged, but fans of the British band Muse — not shrinking violets under the best of circumstances, in this former music reporter’s experience — took to Twitter with even more fury after that band’s performance of the Olympics’ official song was cut.

CNN’s Chelsea J. Carter curates a little of the Twitter reaction:

The Twitter-sphere exploded, with “#NBCfail” and “#closingceremonies” trending worldwide, after NBC cut out performances by Ray Davies, Kate Bush, The Who and the Muse in favor of a commercial-free airing of “Animal Practice.”

“I still don’t understand, it’s a tape delay, so can’t you do the math in advance?

Read more

Olympics show YouTube’s potential as live-streaming platform

Mashable | The Hollywood Reporter
The Olympics shows how YouTube is shifting from an on-demand video platform to one aimed at live-streaming newsworthy events, reports Mashable’s Sam Laird. About 2.7 million people turned to YouTube to see the U.S. women’s gymnastics team win gold and the 200-meter IM race in which Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps. YouTube built a new streaming platform for the Olympics, according to Laird. Jason Gaedtke, YouTube’s director of software engineering, tells him:

“We certainly see strong demand in a couple verticals: gaming, sports, news increasingly — anything with a realtime or community-driven aspect to it seems to play well in this format.”

In July, PEJ reported that YouTube has emerged as an important platform for news.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Andrew Tyndall focuses on YouTube in addressing CNN’s ratings woes. Read more


Gallup: People want Olympics televised live and in prime time

GallupJoe BlogThe Wall Street Journal
A new poll on the Olympics “suggests there is widespread dissatisfaction with NBC‘s decision to televise the most popular events solely on tape delay in the evening,” Gallup reports. Most Americans (59 percent) would prefer that NBC air the Olympics live on TV and again during prime time; just 12 percent would prefer solely tape-delayed TV coverage.

The preference for live and delayed broadcasts is strongest among people who said they’re watching the Games a lot, but it holds for most people who said they’re just watching a little.

Read more


Media spotlight takes its toll on Gabby Douglas, Lolo Jones

The Washington Post | Chicago Tribune | Today
“It took just four days to suck all the vibrancy out of Douglas,” writes the Post’s Sally Jenkins about Gabby Douglas, who went from a gold medal performance last week to slipping off the balance beam on Tuesday. The competition itself was exhausting, but so were all the questions from the media about being a black gymnast:

Douglas genuinely doesn’t see color — it’s not her first thought. Yet she was drilled incessantly with questions about being a woman of color in gymnastics. How can she get more African American children to pay attention to gymnastics, she was asked? “I can’t control that,” she said tonelessly.

But those questions aren’t going to stop anytime soon because race is part of Douglas’ marketability, as the Chicago Tribune’s Diane Pucin reports: Read more

Canadian Press Photos

New York Times news apps team ventures into product development with Olympics syndication

The New York Times has built an impressive online home for its Olympics coverage, with instantly-updated results, medal counts, athlete bios, and of course stories and photos. And because the Times has joined with Reuters to syndicate that data and content, you can see it on about a dozen websites, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Australia’s Ten News.

The partnership combines the Times’ deep, feature-oriented approach to the Games with Reuters’ extensive reporting and photography. Clients can pay for just a medal count widget or they can opt for a hosted microsite that blends in with the rest of their site.

This isn’t the first syndication deal between two news outlets, but it represents a new step for the Times’ team of newsroom-based developers that built the system underlying it all. Read more

1 Comment

If Olympics broadcasts are so bad, why is NBC doing so well with them?

NPR | The Week | New York Times | TV Media Insights | Associated Press
Linda Holmes takes on the question that has blunted all the criticism of Olympics coverage in the United States: How can NBC suck so bad (if you listen to Twitter) and crush (if you look at the ratings) at the same time? Holmes says good ratings aren’t an adequate answer:

In my experience, when critics savage Two And A Half Men, no one eye-rolls that CBS is in business to make money. When the Emmys nominate mostly little-seen series as the best of television, no one says they should be considered failed projects because they don’t really align with the business plan. There are multiple ways to fail and multiple ways to succeed, and when audiences complain about the coverage they’re getting, it’s not usually because they think it won’t enrich the company.

Read more

Some NBC announcers call Olympics contests from New York

Associated Press | USA Today | The New York Times | Deadspin | Slate | CJR | NPR | Associated Press | The Guardian | The New York Times
That authoritative voice you hear narrating Olympics coverage may belong to someone thousands of miles away from the event you’re watching. The AP’s David Bauder reports on the NBC analysts who are calling events from New York: While Elfi Schlegel and Ato Boldon breathe sweet London air, Marcelo Balboa is analyzing soccer matches from a cubicle, in part because “with the U.S. men’s team not qualifying for the games, NBC bet on less interest in the tournament.”

He misses most the opportunity to see the whole field and feel a crowd’s energy. The former player in him would like a better chance to see how a play is developing, yet he’s at the mercy of the video feeds.

Read more

How AP photographer captured Gabby Douglas Olympics photo: Practice, practice, practice

Associated Press photojournalist Greg Bull was waiting for that moment, the point in Gabby Douglas’ balance beam routine at which she leaps the highest, spreading her arms and legs and looking straight up at the ceiling.

He had tried to capture it before, but it never quite worked — he was too late, perhaps, or she was off-center. His photo “didn’t seem to be as amazing as I thought it would be,” he said by phone.

Thursday night during Douglas’ gold-medal performance, Bull got it. “I don’t know if I’ve seen a more beautiful picture than this one of Gabby Douglas, at least in a long, long time,” tweeted The Verge’s Tim Carmody.

U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas performs on the balance beam during the artistic gymnastics women’s individual all-around competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug.
Read more
Page 1 of 212