Has NBC/Comcast Lost the Plot? A Warning for IndyCar.
To think things were going well. Then an announcement popped up earlier that made my skin crawl with sheer embarrassment.
With immediate effect, indycar.com will cease live streaming of practice, qualifying and the races for all IndyCar and Indy Lights events. The decision has come from executives at Comcast / NBC.
Have they lost their minds? As someone who has worked in the music industry for a long time, I can tell those folks now that this will backfire badly.
Randy Bernard was quoted as saying:
“…we’ve known this change was coming for a while. I understand their goal here, and it’s to drive more people to watch the broadcasts on television–to get the ratings up. That’s everyone’s goal.“
Really? That’s sounds just like outdated rhetoric from people with no concept of modern media, desperately trying to wield the ageing hand of disapproval.
Here’s a clue for the folks at NBC. You really count TV and Nielsen ratings?? Get over yourselves – you either start counting the people on the internet as legitimate audiences or the digitised folk of the world will just take your product when you’re not looking.
Worse still, those on the web may just not bother with you at all. There you go and there’s the scrap heap – simple. Very, very simple.
This idea that viewers will automatically switch back TV now that streaming is no longer available, is blinkered nonsensical garbage with little basis in reality. Audiences started diversifying a long time ago and that is not going to change any time soon – television companies desperately, desperately need to grasp that reality.
Will this drive more people to the likes of Justin TV and filesharing torrents. Absolutely and why wouldn’t it? The quality can often be found there and ironically enough, IndyCar’s HD broadcast will most likely make the illegal streams very watchable indeed.
Advertisers and executives… If you want to find people utterly clueless about their own product, just seek out its advertisers and executives.
Bernard also said:
“…I know we have a lot of fans overseas that have used our web streams to watch our races live, so we’re talking about what can be done to maybe offer the races online after they’ve aired first on Versus.”
Randy, by the time a race is on indycar.com or Versus.com, everyone will have already seen the streams or downloaded the files.
That’s how the internet works. Imaginary lines on a map will not halt the internet (unless it’s forced; see despotic regimes for examples) and they will not stop ripped online broadcasts. NBC may be scared about the numbers they need to sell to advertisers, but their blindness may be more of a problem.
Just ridiculous in this day and age.
The quotes can be attributed to Marshall Pruett’s article on Speed TV.com, which can be found here.