Burriss on Media: The Olympics

Aug 6, 2012

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS)  --  Since just about everyone else is talking about the Olympic Games, I might was well jump in, too.

Let’s start with a couple of clichés that may or may not be true: it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. And second, the customer is always right.

It seems that N-B-C has been doing everything it can to get as much exposure as possible for the games. You can watch on your television, your computer, your tablet and even your phone. But the company has also come under a lot of criticism for tape-delaying popular events and putting them on television in prime time. And unfortunately, because of the ubiquity of information, many results are already known by the time viewers tune in. So the complaint seems to be that knowing the results somehow diminishes the viewing experience.

But apparently the customers, the viewers, don’t really care, because a record number of fans are watching the events, even if they already know the results. Maybe it’s because true fans really are more concerned about the performance, rather than the actual result. Sure it’s nice if your team wins, but what if your team loses to a much better performance? Wouldn’t you want to see that as well?

I have a feeling that the people who are doing the most complaining are the same ones who want to convince us that the only way to watch the games is via new media. But the viewing public, the customers, just aren’t buying into that mind-set.

I also believe that many people who are complaining are the same one who, while watching a televised game, shout encouragement to the players. As if all of those histrionics can really impact the game. I think the viewers know that, and yelling and cheering for a team when the outcome is already decided is pretty foolish.

So while the new social media advocates are telling us all about the demise of television, the fans are flocking to the old social media: you know, the one where you invite a bunch of real friends to your real home and you all watched together, in the real world in almost real time.

I’m Larry Burriss.