Sochi 2014 #NBCFail? Or is the network an Olympic winner?

The United States Olympic team enters the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. And this athlete beats NBC to the broadcasting.

The Olympics has issues, ranging from construction problems to gay rights to the threat of terrorism.

But on Twitter and Internet message boards, the big complaint is against NBC for not broadcasting the games live.

During the last summer Olympics, media expert Jeff Jarvis was one of the folks complaining about the lack of live Olympics programming.

"This time, it doesn’t make much difference to me," says Jarvis.

For one thing, he can access lots more live games this year being streamed over the Internet. He would like to see more live sports televised, which Jarvis argues wouldn’t be bad for NBC’s business.

"As it turns out, when we knew what the results were from some events in the summer, it even drove more audience to watching the event. So I don’t think that having it on live necessarily takes away from also having it tape delayed in prime time," says Jarvis.

From a marketing standpoint, Jarvis can appreciate what the tape delay means for NBC.

"The advantage, additionally, of having tape delayed coverage is they can edit the heck out of it, and make sure they never run long so that you keep watching when they put in their favorite new sitcom."

Or, NBC’s reboot of the Tonight Show. During the Olympics, NBC will be promoting it non-stop

"I think we’ll see a lot of promos for Jimmy Fallon. I think it’s very smart that NBC is premiering the show February 17, while the Olympics is still going on," says Brad Adgate, senior VP of research for the ad buying firm, Horizon Media.

Other advertisers are eager to get their message on during the games too.

Compared to the demand from advertisers during the last winter games, Adgate says advertiser demand this year is "certainly a lot stronger this year than... in the Vancouver games of 2010."

NBC reportedly paid a little less than $900 million to produce and broadcast the Olympics coverage.

The network reports selling more than $800 million worth of ads so far. That’s a record for the winter games.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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