Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

WSJ: NBCUniversal’s Olympics issues could impact future ad deals


Despite making moves to strengthen its omnichannel ecosystem, NBCU proved to be too fragmented in its coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, confusing consumers and leading to the broadcaster’s lowest-ever Olympics’ ratings. While viewership was forecast to be low due to the continued threat of COVID-19 and the lack of live spectators, viewer frustration was more bad news for NBCU after a disappointing two weeks.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What are broadcast rights?
  2. Why do companies like NBC spend billions on the broadcast rights to live sports like the Olympic Games?
  3. What are ratings?
  4. Why are ratings important to broadcast companies?
  5. Why are they important to event properties or sports leagues?
  6. Why are they important to advertisers?
  7. Why do you think ratings were low for the Tokyo Games?
  8. What is pricing?
  9. Why is pricing an important function of marketing?
  10. What are ad rates? How might that provide an example of pricing?
  11. Based on information from this story, how might this impact ad rates moving forward?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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