We arrived back home in New Zealand on Sunday morning to read in the Newspaper that viewers of Prime’s free-to-air broadcast of the Olympics opening ceremony were upset that it finished 45 minutes after Sky Sport’s coverage due to ad breaks.
Comments like “Having frequent ads during the first third of the main ceremony is completely and utterly shameful” were seen on twitter.
Those who had chosen not to pay for the privilege of watching the Olympic Games opening ceremony uninterrupted by advertising also complained that Prime had gone to ads just prior to the New Zealand team’s entrance into the stadium.
Let’s now contrast this to what happened in the USA where we were. While Kiwis were able to get up at 7:30am to watch the opening ceremony on Prime’s free-to-air coverage, there was nothing of the sort for American viewers. If you wanted to watch the opening ceremony, you had to wait for NBC’s primetime coverage on Friday night which was delayed by between 5 and 11 hours depending on where you lived. And then it was full of advertising. Not only that, they cut to their own interviews including one with Ryan Seacrest and Michael Phelps.
The Olympics is a big money event, just ask Greece.
The current environment dictates that if you aren’t prepared to pay for uninterrupted coverage, you shouldn’t complain at what you get for paying nothing.