Zucker Defends NBCU's Online Strategy for Olympics


NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker defended the company's multiplatform coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in a March 31 letter to Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), saying he was "extremely proud" with how the company presented the event.

"[O]verall both the 90% of American viewers who receive their television through MVPDs and the 10% of American viewers who receive their television on an ad supported basis over the air had access to more coverage than in any prior Winter Olympics," Zucker wrote.

Kohl had sent a letter to Zucker in late February, expressing concern over how Olympics video was distributed online. Kohl wondered why NBC didn't just offer consumers the ability to buy that content directly, instead of through an intermediary, like the cable or satellite company.

NBC limited live event streaming at the games to curling and hockey, and required users to subscribe to a multichannel video programming distributor, like Comcast, DirecTV or Verizon FiOS, to view some videos. Participating MVPDs paid NBCU an additional monthly fee for access to the Olympics content on the NBCU-owned cable networks and on video on-demand. Videos were made available to everyone, including people who did not subscribe to an MVPD service, after a 40-hour window.

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