08 August 2012

NBC Olympics Pt 2

"But SB7! You're a capitalist, how can you second guess NBC's decisions? Are you suggesting you could do a better job running their business than they can? They're maximizing profits, and doing a good job of it too. How can you be critical?"

Let me also head off these complaints right now.

(1) I couldn't direct a movie better than James Cameron does, but that doesn't stop me (or anyone else) from offering criticism of his movies. Similarly, they make a lot of money, but we still offer analysis and criticism of them.

(2) Yes, NBC has made a surprising profit. But maximizing profit does not imply they have actually acheived the maximum profit. Who knows how much more money they could have made if they didn't have Tom Hammond and his chalky face paint blubbering through each race?

(3) A big part of the point of this for NBC is to build NBC Sports as a brand. That's why they're willing to do it even with the expectation of losing money. They can surprise themselves and come out in the black, but that doesn't mean they succeed with the alternate (and important) goal of building good associations between us and the NBC Sports brand.

(4) NBC has exclusive rights to Olympics coverage in America. That gives me no right of exit. All I've got to either express myself -- and pass information to NBC -- is right of voice. Exit is more powerful, and available to customers in most markets, but is not available in this case, so more voice expression should be expected and welcomed into the marketplace.

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