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Please Don’t Watch NBC Tonight. Or Any Night (techcrunch.com)
157 points by jpadilla_ on July 28, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 93 comments

Despite how many people on this site and sites like it don't have some kind of cable or satellite service... we're a pretty small minority. Especially when it comes to the group of people interested in watching sports, where live is king, and the online options suck unless you live out of your teams' TV markets. I'm not surprised they're not going out of their way to cater to us.

For all the "the model no longer works" comments: what's the proof? The number of people I know complaining about the model is dwarfed by the number of people I know who have cable and have been watching stuff on both TV and online all day long.

I've seen a lot of legitimate complaints about how they're handling the time shifting stuff (which, surprisingly to me, has mostly been along the lines of "it's too easy to find out what happened" instead of complaining about the time shifting in the first place), but I don't see a big hole in their delivery system. They don't want to give people less reason to have cable -- and for all the money they could possibly make broadcasting the Olympics for-pay to non-cable subscribers, that's just a couple weeks every couple of years. The real win for them is if you still want to maintain a cable subscription.

It's a small minority, but it's growing: http://www.businessinsider.com/uh-oh-new-nielsen-data-says-p...

More and more people no longer channel surf, and more and more people no longer watch tv (even if they have it) even at a rate of once per month. Increasingly people are watching other content or consuming tv content differently (through netflix, for example). And just as the trend of going without a landline telephone started with the younger, more tech savvy folks and spread from there so has the trend of going without traditional cable tv.

The writing is on the wall. It will likely be a good while before the decline in subscriptions makes a big impact, but it's very much on the horizon, and the networks and the cable companies ignore it at their peril.

Things are in transition, and it is going to be a slow grind. Why would you expect cable companies to start acting before they have to? They're still making plenty o' money on the 'old' model.

They won't change until the absolute last second, if even then.

That's the problem, the last second is too late. The time to change is before the competition has built up momentum. If you wait until big shifts in marketshare are taking place then you will not have enough time to respond. It's a matter of acceleration and momentum, if you wait until the brick wall is right in front of you it won't be possible to generate enough acceleration to change momentum fast enough to avoid hitting it.

This is especially true in the case of big companies that are much less agile than their competition. The traditional tv companies are facing a very similar fate as the newspapers, they just don't know it yet.

I'm hoping Google Fiber will force their hand, or put them out of business entirely.

Here's the way I view it. If any industry or business can be potentially disrupted by a tech company in the next decade or two, they will. I think to bet otherwise is naive. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that all currently entrenched interests are going to go away, obviously not, but most of them are going to end up in a fight for their lives at some point, and many of them will end up losing.

So many businesses today are profitable because they have a monopoly or oligopoly on some aspect of a supply chain. The onset of ubiquitous computing, network connectivity, automated manufacturing (3D printing et al), and so forth will disintermediate damned near everyone. A lot of those intermediaries have become fat, lazy, and myopic due to how easy it has been to hold onto their business up until now, for the most part they won't know what hit them until it's far too late to do anything about it.

Apparently someone disagrees with me enough to downvote, but is too stupid to actually explain why.

Exactly. I just find this whole view ridiculous. The whole "cable is evil, I would never have that" or all the "cord cutter" stuff is just on a spectrum that ranges from sensationalism to Adbuster level hysteria against "the Man." It's like this weird, vague, sort-of-reverse-Luddite situation.

Just an FYI, I pay for nhl.com, nfl.com and nba.com live video feeds for the seasons. It is TOTALLY worth it, cheaper and easier than DirecTV or cable. My total bill for the year is about $250 for all three sports. Sports was the only reason I still had cable/satellite a while back. No need anymore, and a better product.

Just as a comparison, NFL Sunday Ticket Max on DirecTV is $299 for the season. Standard Sunday Ticket is $199. No brainer.

NBA League Pass is $170… NFL, Season Rewind alone is $70, NHL's GameCenter Live pass is $170… How are you paying $250/yr for all three?

NHL - https://gamecenter.nhl.com/nhlgc/secure/vaultsignup?cmpid=vl... $5/month = $60/year

NBA - http://www.nba.tv/nbatv/subscribe $5/month = $60/year

NFL - http://www.nba.tv/nbatv/subscribe from $110/year, $130 or $200/year (depends on what you want)

So, range for the three would be $230/year, $250 or $320/year. I went for the season pass in NFL, so $250/year.

What is the direct link to subscribe to NFL live video feeds?

I wouldn't mind the requirement to have cable so much if that was all it was.

I have cable, but my cable provider does not offer a package with MSNBC so I'm out of luck.

We haven't had TV for three years now, and don't miss it at all.

Funnily enough we dumped it because at the time Desperate Housewives was a season behind the US, and by the time we'd get to see it the ending was already spoilt.

We've only this year got Breaking Bad.

Instead it's a subscription to an NNTP provider. High quality, we can choose where and when we watch, and we don't have to wait for some high authority to decide if/when we get to see it.

NNTP? for TV? Is this legal?

Of course not. But if You were running a company selling a product, and there were large groups of people that wanted to pay you for this product, but you refused to offer them a manner to do so, would you be surprised that they go and "steal" it from somewhere easily accessible? I don't claim piracy is "right", but it certainly isn't unreasonable.

It's brought about through market failure:


Yes, in The Netherlands it's perfectly legal. We have to pay a considerable fee for our blank media (it's twice UK price) but in return downloads are accepted.

That's why NNTP "sharing" is so popular here.

IMO, they can easily give people an online only option and still make more money. 500$ for the entire Olympics seamed to any device for the next 2 years. Bean counters say that's not enough, fine 1000$ or whatever, but there is nothing for NBC to gain from not even having the option.

PS: Then again I have cable and I have yet to watch any of the Olympics this year, but I assume some people care.

> They’re doing this for a reason: m-o-n-e-y.

Uh, yeah. It's something you need in order to run a company. A company that employs people and gives them, guess what? m-o-n-e-y. And how does it do that, and how does it continue doing that? By being profitable, which it does by having (among other things) exclusive content and advertisers who want to be seen alongside that content.

But no, NBC should just put all their stuff online, where it's less clear what kind of profit they would make, because fuck them, this is the internet, and money is bad. We internet people can work at companies that don't have a business model or make a profit, so why can't everyone else?

The point is that they are pursuing short-term profit and sacrificing customer satisfaction. That's a terrible way to run a company.

In order to sacrifice customer satisfaction, there is a requirement that the person be your customer.

Not giving something to someone for free just because they demand that they should have it is not sacrificing customer satisfaction.

Yes but if your product is the viewer and your decisions cause the number of viewers to decrease over time, you're damaging your product, and that will reduce the value of that product to your customers.

Well, the opening ceremonies had the highest US viewership ever (including against US-based Olympics). Are you sure your contention is accurate?

In fact, broadcasting the Olympics is a massive _LONG_ term bet since NBC loses tons of money on the games themselves.

If you are a cable subscriber, you are both NBC's customer (that gives them subscription fees via your cable company) and NBC's product (eyeballs sold to advertisers). As NBC's customer, you are already receiving the Olympics.

If you are not a cable subscriber (i.e. over-the-air broadcast receiver), you are NBC's product only, and not their customer.

I don't think anyone (or many at least) are arguing that NBC shouldn't be able to make any money off of the olympics. But, really, how shitty is it that the only ways to watch the olympics is to pay out of your ass or do things that aren't totally legal. And we aren't talking about some latest blockbuster, or NBC's sole source of income, this is watching our nation competing in the most popular international games. The BBC offers the games online because they are being subsidized by their gov't right? And why would the gov't subsidize that? Because most people that is the right thing to do, and they're willing to pay the taxes to support it.

Anyway, the core of your argument seems to be that it is okay for a company to do what it can to make money but even ignoring legal/illegal activities, companies are supposed to provide value and people are supposed to give them money for that exchange of value. This is a company milking money because they can. This isn't price gauging; this isn't stores in flooded areas selling doubly marked-up bottles of water and flashlights. In those cases there is a real cost and shortage of those goods. In this case the olympics could be put on the internet for pocket change (relative to gov't or NBC spending).

And what about this "exclusive content" defense? The line is fuzzy for sure but surely it exists somewhere separating what kind of content companies should be allowed to have exclusive rights over. Moon landings? Presidential addresses? Presidential debates? Emergency alerts? Emergency news? Weather?

Money isn't bad. But abusive monopolization is.

(the critics at 4chan must be on to something when this blind loyalty to raw capitalism and wannabe entrepreneurship gets 2nd in this thread)

But, really, how shitty is it that the only ways to watch the olympics is to pay out of your ass or do things that aren't totally legal.

This is not true. They broadcast about 20 hours/day of olympic programming for free OTA. Most of it live, they delay high ratings events. I know it so 20th century, but they provide you free and legal option to watch Olympics.

Just a thought- NBC is a for-profit company. Because of that they are able to pay hundreds of millions for the rights to cover the Olympics. Because of that, they want the largest viewership. That occurs during primetime. If the tv industry is so "disruptable" as many keep saying, why hasn't it happened? Clearly people want the ability to watch as much shit, wherever, whenever they can, preferably for free. Apparently the problem is that unlike most internet sites, television requires an actual business model.

The fact that this guy is literally asking people on an internet blog not to watch what will inevitably be viewed by tens of millions of people kind of does more to prove this point than anything I can say here could.

I'm not sure why people don't get this. It's pretty obvious that companies need to make money, and that it's big business.

I haven't had a TV for almost 3 years and I suffer through missing out on lots of stuff. However, until the economics change (e.g. cable companies die) it's going to be like this for several more years. At least I got a real streaming Superbowl this year.

Rather than complain, let's change the economics and help to make the transition faster. Btw, http://justin.tv is a going place to start in a pinch. :-)

Yesterday's discussion on HN had the price of broadcast rights at $1.1B, not including production costs. The tv industry is not disruptable. Content is expensive, and margins are not huge. People need to stop saying it is disruptable just because they are unhappy with it. There is a ton of inertia behind the entertainment market.

People saying an industry is disruptable, nine times out of ten, means that people want that industry to be disrupted -- not that such a disruption is easy or even feasible.

Sometimes disruption is just a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

> The tv industry is not disruptable.

Of course it is, think out of the box. Netflix is already doing it, see the discussion elsewhere in the thread. Apple/Google might buy the Olympics rights and put it in iTunes/Play.

"Apple/Google might buy the Olympics rights and put it in iTunes/Play."

Are you sure that's better than the current model? You have to be very careful about listening to customers, because what people say they will pay for is quite different than what they will actually pay. Aggregately I might pay $80 for access to the Olympics and several other channels as well (I already do this, so this isn't really a stretch). I'm not so sure I'd pay $1.99 to watch the US Men's Basketball team play one game, and even if I would, NBC makes its money through advertisements. There is no proof that a pay-per-view model would bring nearly as much revenue as advertisements over wide broadcast would.

And this says nothing of the people who don't necessarily live in Silicon Valley and have ready access to broadband and iTunes.

It could be thought of as a loss leader that would bring a lot of people to buy Apple TVs or the Google equivalent. They might sub-license the rights to transmit the SD stream live on terrestrial TV. Etc.

Note that NBC stands to lose $1-200 mio on the olympics (I think is was in this week's Economist), so it's a loss leader for them as well.

Anyway, my point was merely to react to the idea that "I can't think of a better business model off the top of my head" somehow equates "it can't be disrupted".

Just because the barrier to entry is high doesn't mean you can't disrupt the industry.

I understand the frustration, but NBC is just trying to optimize for primetime viewers so they can extract maximum advertising dollars. They paid over $1 billion dollars for the right to broadcast the Olympics and now they must recoup that investment.

That model no longer works in the modern age. Simply put, there is demand for viewing coverage of the olympics that is not being met, thus they are leaving money on the table. Unfortunately for them and for their potential customers they are constraining themselves to a business model that is obsolete. They are doing the equivalent of covering the olympics via newspaper in a television era.

They need to provide live streaming coverage of a wide variety of events, whether for free (with ads) or for a fee. That's the minimum bar these days, if they can't meet that bar people will just get their olympics coverage some other way (such as pirated bbc coverage) and NBC will still have lost out on a massive amount of potential revenue. And in the meantime they will have tarnished their brand as well.

I don't think it's as clear cut as all the armchair CEOs on the internet say.

By making this stuff available online, the amount of money they can get for the primetime TV spots is reduced, because fewer people will watch the primetime stuff, and it has less cachet because it's no longer exclusive. They will recoup some of that loss by charging money for internet access and having ads on the internet stream, but the ads online will be even cheaper, because that's just how internet ads work. Not only that, but they have to have a platform that they can use to deliver and charge for this content at scale (they might already have such a platform, but it may not be up to this kind of scale, I'm honestly not sure.) So that costs money, too. It's likely the folks at NBC did this analysis and found that it didn't work out in their favor, or there was too much uncertainty.

Meanwhile, most people will be at worst annoyed by the lack of internet coverage, but they'll just record it on their DVRs, or miss out on an event here or there. A very small number of people will go the trouble of pirating it, but those people are likely a margin of error in the grand scheme of things.

How can you say the model no longer works? The model just doesn't fit your view. There's no requirement to provide live streaming online. In any case they do have online streaming if you have a cable subscription, I've heard it could be a better service but it's there. The only people complaining about this are tech savvy, and if they were to get free viewing online with just some ads how many of those people would use some form of ad-block? How is that profitable for NBC? People act like they are entitled to view the Olympics for free when they're not. Even the British don't get to watch online for free as they all pay taxes to BBC.

Traditional television broadcasters and networks are under immense commercial pressure now. There's no secret about that.

What's not clear, as with the newspaper industry, is what the alternative is.

Henry Blodget, tarnished prophet that he is, has been beating this drum loudly and fairly convincingly for a few years now:



They do. I watched the swimming race in question today live in HD with NBC's iPad app. It's a shitty app, no true full screen (there's an ad) and I can't send it to my Apple TV, but it was free with my TV subscription and provides a dozen or more live feeds in very high quality.

Did you also get 100 channels for free with the subscription?

I want to say that they just found a local optimum, and that they're sacrificing long-term viewership for a short-term profit.

But who am I kidding? Nobody's going to stop watching NBC permanently because they won't air the olympics in a timely manner.

Exactly. People are not going to stop watching NBC because of this. It's really not a big deal to most people. Most people want to be able to come home from work and watch the biggest events of the day.

I agree as far as the delay goes, but I think they're handling the spoilers badly. A lot of people are annoyed that they went to http://www.nbcolympics.com/ to find a broadcast schedule, or watched the NBC News before the Olympic broadcast, and were told the results of stuff that hadn't aired yet.

An option could be to double down on the tape delay, and uniformly embargo results until the airing: pretend that when something airs on NBC is when it really happens, at least for NBC-property purposes.

I could see this argument for a Tuesday, but who the Hell wants to watch TV on a Saturday night—especially when the events happened 5 hours (± whatever) earlier?

I do.. not everyone goes out to get drunk or party on a Saturday night. Watching the Olympics was actually something I was looking forward to yesterday.

Between NBC's behavior (and I'm recalling the unwatchability of the winter [CENSORED] two years ago, as well), the branding bullshit (including special, specific protective legislation), the outsourcing and outsourcing fiascos, and several other things I've already managed to consciously forget, I've already made my decision. I will not seek out one second of coverage.

Sportsmanship left the venue, if not always the specific athletes, a long time ago.

This coming from TechCrunch? I ended up turning on NBC (because the enemy of my enemy must be my friend).

Just seems like someone trying to make a story out of nothing to me. I'm enjoying watching the German men in their gymnastics routine and this women's weight lifting is pretty cool. But I wouldn't have watched it this morning or afternoon live on any device. Sunny Saturdays are not meant for watching television.

I had this reaction too. :) Although, I haven't had any kind of problem of the Adbuster type with NVC.

Like many people here I would like to believe that the state of the world that ensures the highest profits and the state of the world that makes the most people happy are one and the same. I am coming to think that isn't true.

How could that ever be true? As an example: most people would prefer everything to be free, and a company would like to have a monopoly on a necessity and thus the ability to charge arbitrary prices.

Or even shorter, everyone wants to get stuff, lots of stuff without having to lift a finger.

Out of this, every company-customer relationship has to be dysfunctional.

The idea that the economy is a perfectly fair system where everyone profits equally in a transaction is a fairy tale. It completely ignores the imbalances of power inherent in social systems. In a perfectly free market, imbalances of power will be compounded over time, similar to the theory of the big bang where small imperfections of the early universe are fundamental to the large structures that follow.

> everyone wants to get stuff, lots of stuff without having to lift a finger.

We don't know how to make such a world exist. The claim is not, "if we could snap our fingers and make the world look like anything we wanted, the happiest world we could create would also be the world with the most massive profits". It's closer to, "if we want to optimise for happiness going forward from the world we have, then we should also optimise for allowing companies to make profits".

(Not to say I agree with the claim, but that particular argument is missing the point.)

I was thinking about a service like Uber, which people love, even though it's more expensive. When I take an Uber I don't complain about how I should be getting cab rides for free (although that would be nice) - I revel in how much better the experience is than waiting around for a regular cab.

Über appeals to maybe 10% of the population.

Coming to think? Here, let me help you along. A mining company or an oil company can ensure highest profits by cutting corners (on worker safety, on disposal of toxic waste, on the rights of those around them). Those profits come at the expense of the workers, the people who live near the facilities, the environment around those facilities. Examples are almost too numerous, so I'll give a few recent ones: Massey Energy in West Virginia, BP in the Gulf of Mexico, Royal Dutch Shell the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

Oil companies have reputations, and are playing repeated games, not just one off games... in addition they have incentives not to behave this way, such as the large fine and giant loss in shareholder value after BP spilled oil into the Gulf.

Ha ha. Imagine a world where multinationals are held accountable for their mistakes! It took an error the size of the Gulf incident to even draw the public attention. Meanwhile in Nigeria there are hundreds of square kilometres of devastated landscape because of oil company shortcuts. Nobody cares about environmental destruction in far away places. The oil companies have no incentives not to cut corners there.

Realizing now that this comment came off as way too sappy.

Some companies make products that make people happy, and profit as a result. Examples: Apple, Southwest, Uber, Sonic.net, Flip etc. I would like more of these companies to exist, and for companies to focus more on customer satisfaction.

To my chagrin it's not clear these companies are any more profitable than their competitors who focus less on customer satisfaction.

Do... people... really believe this?

There's a certain pop-libertarianism that does take this Panglossian view that we live in a perfectly tuned universe, where market dynamics, unless interfered with by the state, always produce the best outcomes, recognizing value and allocating resources. It reminds me a bit of some new-agey environmentalism, which believes that ecosystems always work optimally in a harmonious balance, unless humans interfere with Nature's dynamics.

(To be fair, I would say most hardcore libertarian philosophy is based on natural-rights type views, and doesn't make arguments about maximizing outcomes at all.)

If you believe, clap your hands and say, "I believe in the market economics fairy!"

Hi! I'm the Market Economics Fairy! I help supply and demand equilibriate everywhere! There are a bunch of things that can lead to markets working poorly. For example, transactions are not free. Theoretically, if a rambunctious man could persuade his neighbors to let him blast his stereo at high volume in exchange for a bit of cash, all would be slightly better off -- but since this would require repeated bargaining with a bunch of neighbors, in practice it probably would not happen.



Another problem is that humans and fairies are not omniscient, nor are we perfectly economically rational, no matter how much the sparkles in our hearts may ache with yearning to be so! Perhaps there is a way to replace NBC with something far better, and in order to make it happen, all we need is some hard work and a few billion dollars of investment money, carefully applied. If only we had the foresight to take such a gamble -- but in this imperfect world, none of us have the clarity of foresight needed to make such a huge gamble reasonable.


And that's before we need to worry about ugly stuff like regulatory capture and violent coercion! If you can improve any aspect of this situation, I will shoot abundant glitter out of my wand in your honor, and the world will be improved!

Sincerely, the market economics fairy!

Apparently the results of today's 400M Men's swimming individual medley were the lede for NBC Nightly News tonight... before NBC has even aired the race. Just when you thought they couldn't make things worse....

They live-tweeted the opening ceremonies, and today live tweeted events including that one.

I'm quite happy to see angry @replies. I don't anticipate them changing how they're doing things mid-games, but maybe they'll realize they made a mistake if every "Such and such just won the blank event!" gets multiple angry responses.

I can understand a tape delay during the weekdays - hell, I'd even prefer being able to watch at night instead of at 2:30pm EST. But for weekends, it is so stupid.

I saw the 400 IM was on at 2:30pm today, so I turned on the tv to NBC - only to see yet another pointless interview with Ryan Seacrest (why is he doing sports coverage??). Had to watch a stream of the race live even though NBC was airing Olypmics coverage at the same time!

I do not see any issue here. They are broadcasting the Olympics when the majority of people can actually sit down and watch them instead of in the early hours of the morning when most of us are sleeping. Some people could probably DVR what they want, but not everybody can (the majority?).

I have not looked thoroughly, but from what I have read and seen briefly, NBC is working hard to make it easy to view and access online streams of the individual events if you know what you want to watch. I could be wrong though on actually how easy it truly is.

Also, the argument about money. They are a company that is in business to make money. Is this not the one of the main reasons for going in business? To make money. Why would they spend all that money on exclusive access if they were going to lose it all?

> I could be wrong though on actually how easy it truly is.

It's impossible, unless you're already an NBC cable subscriber. If you _are_ an NBC subscriber already, it's only pretty painful (involves passwords you basically never use otherwise and so forth).

But yes, they're working hard to make it as easy as they can within the "you can't get this if you're not already one of our customers" constraint.....

According to this article from 2011: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gameon/post/2011/06/...

> In a break with predecessor Dick Ebersol, new NBC Sports chief Mark Lazarus promises to show all events live rather than saving the best for tape-delayed coverage in prime time.

So I guess they figured it's not profitable. But I wonder how many people have been pissed at missing the live coverage, see the results on twitter or the rest of the Internet and then just not bothering to tune in during prime-time?

How about charging $X to watch it live online? And if you don't want to pay that money then you can just wait until Prime Time.

I put this on the IOC more than NBC. World sporting organizations like IOC and FIFA (hell, let's throw in the NCAA while we are at it) have sold their souls. It's just plain sad how corrupt and counter to their mission they have become.

I miss journalism. How is this a monopoly? Just because I buy a meal doesn't mean I have a monopoly over eating. Can we now construct arguments with cuss words?


That's not a monopoly. That's exclusivity. NBC had to bid against other major networks for the rights to cover the Olympics.

Maybe it's not entirely strategy. I don't know much about web protocols, but I suppose broadcasting a couple dozen live events to millions of people is much easier and cheaper than making recorded events available, which would require sending each of the million viewers an almost unique package in a given instant. Did I assume correctly, or is sending cloned packages not much harder than sending unique ones?

Multicast is pretty much dead, it doesn't go through consumer routers. So unless your library is large enough that storing it becomes an issue, it really doesn't make any difference.

Well, it's not like I own a television set anyway.

I pay for cable, but to me that isn't the issue here. The issue is that the results of this event were already posted, tweeted, and shared long before the event aired. It was a Saturday, why wouldn't they just show it live and if they wanted to increase nighttime ratings, just show it again?

The NBC Olympic coverage sucks.

Is it purely NBC's fault or the notoriously corrupt IOC's fault?

I don't know how with you guys, but on my iPad all techcrunch links are always create trouble with safari or even with chrome... I will no longer click on TC links :)

Can't wait for the article 4 years from now complaining about Twitter logjamming fans' real-time Olympic tweets with ads from P&G.

I'm not a big Comcast fan but I have 90 channels plus 30 mbps Internet for $40/month. Seems reasonable to me, maybe even a bargain.

I like watching edited, time-delayed, USA-oriented coverage. Am I lame?

The BBC thing is neat but quite unwatchable.

How about just don't watch the Olympics at all? The IOC is an awful, awful organization.

Can't agree more. There are so many reasons to actively boycott the Olympic games, it's plain ridiculous. They should be abolished, as they have nothing to do with sports anymore (did they ever?). It's just one gigantic corporate whorehouse that has ruined pretty much every locality it ever was held at.

Interesting sentiments, I don't know the IOC but neither of you are providing any reasoning behind your claims.

Out of curiosity, why the hate?

For a quick insight see this enumeration: http://www.protestlondon2012.com/10reasons.html

The IOC is deeply corrupt, and the olympics have long ceased to be about sports. They are about selling officially branded merchandise from official sponsors and simultaneously squashing local competition with ridiculous, speciallly drafted laws, which cricitically impacts the local economy even after the games are long over. It's akin to a swarm of locusts, really.

Also, the branding police of the IOC puts the MAFIAA to shame - you might have heard about their petty attempts at censorship ("you may not link to our sites if you report negatively about us!!1!1" or banning anyone from using word combinations such as "London 2012" and "Summer Games" - which the internet of course spitefully ignores).

> The IOC is deeply corrupt, and the olympics have long ceased to be about sports. They are about selling officially branded merchandise from official sponsors and simultaneously squashing local competition with ridiculous, speciallly drafted laws, which cricitically impacts the local economy even after the games are long over. It's akin to a swarm of locusts, really.

Perhaps on the local level this is all true. But (anecdotally, at the very least) for every viewer I know, it's about national competition between incredible athletes. The excitement about seeing a world record broken, the upsets when an up and coming young fencer takes gold, and the warm feeling I get when my flag is raised and the anthem is played.

All of your reasons are why it sucks for the host city. That's a problem that can be solved without sacrificing the best athletic competition in the world.

>for every viewer I know, it's about national competition between incredible athletes

That's like asking people in China about how the government treats dissidents, because hey, they watch TV. Surely that will be on TV, yes?

And yes, the comparison with China is apt. The IOC is a bunch of corrupt, corporate prostitutes who will do anything for their corporate overlords. London is in a state of military lockdown for the duration of the games - heard about the missile pods on civilian houses, for example?

Besides, about those "incredible athletes" - the olympic games were never about that, either. It's supposed to be a friendly competition between amateurs. Professional atheletes have their world championships/cups/leagues/whatever, and should have never been admitted to the games. They have absolutely no business being there.

My point still stands: the very absolutely and definitely last thing the olympic games are about is sports. It's about mind-numbing commercialisation, corporate greed and senseless destruction of local economies, all neatly hidden behind entertainment for the masses - panem et circenses!

>All of your reasons are why it sucks for the host city.

Yes, and that's more than enough reason to boycott the games, and loudly demand their abolition, instead of hiding behind "it doesn't concern me" and mindless patriotism. It concerns millions of people. Show some compassion. We'll lose nothing by abolishing the games that hasn't already disappeared long ago.

> Yes, and that's more than enough reason to boycott the games, and loudly demand their abolition [.]

No, that's reason to loudly demand their reform.

You can't fix what's fundamentally broken. It's better to start from scratch.

Those 10 reasons don't even hint at the IOC being corrupt or even the Olympics being bad (all 10 reasons are about how some supposed, ancillary benefits don't materialize, in someone's option).

Not about sports? That's beyond cynical.

Possibly more effective to boycott the sponsors?

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