Facebook and NBC Team Up for 2014 Olympics

Feb 10, 2014  |  by Andrew Ryback

Last month, Facebook and NBC announced a deal to share content during this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

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Last month, Facebook and NBC announced a deal to share content during this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Here’s what the deal means for viewers:

On television:

NBC, who purchased the exclusive broadcast rights (for a mere $750M), hopes that social media will drive viewers to their televised content.  Meanwhile, Facebook hopes to establish itself as the primary venue for online conversations about the games.  NBC will incorporate Facebook posts and comments into their broadcast coverage.  They also plan to have NBC commentator Sarah Hughes fielding questions from Facebook users during prime-time slots.

This is not the first partnership between the two companies.  NBC and Facebook teamed up during the London games in 2012, but this year the network will share even more information via social media, which will no doubt be a trend among all social media outlets this year.

On the internet:

The NBC Olympics Facebook page (which now boasts more likes than the NBC page itself) contains original videos on athletes such as Shani Davis, Apolo Ohno and J.R. Celski.  The page will also post up-to-date news, polls, trivia and photo galleries.  One particular poll asked who should bear the Olympics torch for the U.S.  Not surprisingly, a clear majority voted for Shaun White.  And while he may not be bearing the torch for the Opening ceremony, we can still hope his new profile picture will include a new gold medal.

In addition to the almost 1,600 hours of television coverage that NBC will be providing this year, they’ve also spent time, energy and resources focusing on a strategy for integrating various social media channels into their broadcasts.  Why?  Because they have to.  Consumers aren’t relying solely on television to stay up-to-speed on the Olympics.  They’re getting updates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among others.  By teaming with Facebook, NBC is encouraging second screening.  They’re encouraging their viewers to submit questions via Facebook and they’re encouraging viewers to “like” their page so they can get updates.  NBC undoubtedly has a strategy for reaching Twitter as well, because these various platforms – the seemingly infinite number of them – cater to different demographics and different age groups.  If NBC is going to spend $750M on the broadcasting rights, you can bet they’re going to do anything and everything they can to reach as much people as possible.

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