NBC Selling Online Olympic Ads At Solid Pace

    July 14, 2008

At least a few serious sports fans are probably ready and waiting to start watching the Olympics online.  And a new report indicates that NBC is mostly prepared to bombard them with commercials before and during events.

NBC has sold 85 percent of its online ad inventory, according to Mike Shields.  Viewers can expect to see pre- and mid-roll ad clips from Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s (along with other major corporations) as a result.

NBC Site
 NBC’s Olympics Site

From at least one perspective, NBC and those brands all seem to be betting on a risky experiment; Shields notes, "NBC plans to deliver an unprecedented 2,200 hours of live footage on NBCOlympics.com – after streaming just a single hockey game during the winter games just two years ago."

Also, there’s the timing conflict with television to consider.  But since even people who don’t care about sports tend to be interested in the Olympics, NBC and advertisers could have made some worse wagers.

Shields writes, "NBC executives anticipate heavy Web viewing among office workers, given the 12- to 15-hour time difference between the U.S. and China, which will result in many events unfolding early in the morning on the East coast and late in the workday out West."