NBC Olympics coverage changes the rules — mass media to fragmented media


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In Olympic games prior to the Internet, America was riveted to a handful of big events selected by the TV networks. But NBC, presenting its 11th Olympics, is changing all the rules by taking advantage of the fragmenting power of cable and the Internet.

Summing it up is 22-year-old Jonathan Mays who notes, “NBC has a dedicated soccer channel [on cable] and live stuff on NBCOlympics.com.” He likes the fact that he can follow the progress of the teams as they move from the group stage through quarterfinals and finals. In effect, he is creating customized Olympic coverage for himself.

Will the same thing happen to news? Will Americans follow the news that interests them most and only share an interest in a handful of big stories — Michael Phelps-sized stories? That seems to be where we are headling.


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