In this video discussion, the NewsHour's Jeffrey Brown talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Matthew Futterman about how NBC has changed its strategy for covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics and how that's impacted how Americans watch the games.
Futterman tells Brown that for these Olympics, NBC is providing more live and online coverage than for any previous Olympics. According to Futterman, in some past Olympics NBC was reluctant to use all of its cable channels to broadcast footage from Olympics in a far away place.
The change is especially evident online, where viewers can use the NBC Olympics Web site to watch events that were ignored in the past. Futterman says that the availability of Web video of the games, as well as prime time coverage of events not available online, is driving a large viewing audience to the games.
"Along with the athletic competition and the focus on a changing China, the Beijing games present a prime laboratory to examine new media technology and viewing habits ... NBC, which paid nearly a billion dollars for the rights to these games, is broadcasting 24 hours a day on its networks." - Jeffrey Brown, the NewsHour
"In 2000 in Sydney, the joke was that, you know, it looked like Bob Costas was being held hostage in a room somewhere in Sydney because he was presenting an entirely tape-delayed Olympics. And that's just not the case here." - Matthew Futterman, the Wall Street Journal
"The fact that you can go to the Internet and watch highlights from this morning's soccer game with U.S. women, it's going to put the Olympics in your mind throughout the day." - Matthew Futterman, the Wall Street Journal
1. Do you watch the Olympics? If yes, which Olympic sports do you enjoy watching?
2. Where are the Olympics this summer?
1. If you have watched coverage of the Beijing Olympics, how did you watch it? Was it different from past Olympics you watched? Why or why not?
2. Do you think that watching Web coverage of the Olympics drives people to watch it on television also? Why would NBC care where the audience watched the Olympics?
3. How often do you watch news or sports online? How does it compare to online habits of your friends or parents? Do you think Web coverage is different than television coverage? Why or why not?