2016 Rio Oly media consumption: Read the label, consult with family

Yes, that's Bob Costas leading the conga line, still not fully recovered from pink eye. Illustration by Jim Thompson

Yes, that’s Bob Costas leading the conga line, still not fully recovered from pink eye. Illustration by Jim Thompson

In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell was asked: If you’re giving consumers some 6,700 hours of coverage from Rio, how it it possible for you to consume all that and make decisions about what gets on the air?

“We have enormously talented people within our organization, and just as important is having the OBS — Olympic Broadcasting Service, the IOC broadcasting arm, who we work closely with — and the quality and production and the gear they’re using is the highest quality,” he said. “It affords us the ability to do things like have 1,000 people back in Stamford, Conn., knowing the pictures and the sound going back there to our announcers, it allows the viewers at home or streaming to still have a great experience as they consume the Olympics.

“The lion’s share of the attention as we get close to the Games with me are with prime time and late night. We feel good about the plans we have. We let the genie out of the bottle in London and we’re willing to take it a step further and see how it goes.”

That goes to another story angle will eventually cover — of the 30-odd sports that NBC will cover over the next two-plus weeks, more than half are with play-by-play and analysts sitting in a studio thousands of miles away, no where near the issues of Rio.

But volume control is what we’re talking about loud and clear here. Consumption habits needed for NBC’s presentation of the 2016 Rio Summer Games may need to change if you’re still stuck in the prime-time mode of waiting for results and commentary, starting with preliminary soccer matches before Friday’s Opening Ceremony and marching up to the Closing Ceremonies on Aug. 21.

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