For the first time, NBC, owner of the distributive rights of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, is releasing its vice-tight grip on providing content to other platforms.
A partnership between NBC and Facebook, which also includes the Facebook-owned social media app, Instagram, will kick off prior to the Opening Ceremony on August 5. NBC will publish up to 20 Olympic highlights per day on the platforms, as well as a two-minute daily recap show, available exclusively on Facebook. Instagram will additionally provide its own daily slow-motion video covering the action featuring NBC Olympic commentators and athlete highlights.
NBC will use the media sites to push its live NBC telecasts and specifically, Facebook’s live-stream feature to create athlete focused videos accompanied by NBC’s on-air correspondents. Olympic-related content posted by athletes and celebrities will be incorporated across Facebook and Instagram in addition to NBC’s prime-time coverage. After each night of the games, Ryan Seacrest will host a show that will highlight all the biggest content from the Olympics that was covered on the social media platforms.
“We’re excited to work with NBC Olympics to provide fans with a unique, immersive and engaging Rio 2016 experience on Facebook and Instagram,” said Dan Reed, head of global sports partnerships at Facebook. “As a complement to NBC’s programming, our platforms will allow fans to access, interact with, and share a wide variety of engaging NBC video content from Rio to stay current and connect with their friends and communities. Together, our platforms will provide both a front row seat and backstage pass to the biggest event of the year.”
However, there is a catch.
NBC will not provide live footage of an actual game or event on Facebook or any other platform. The content is aggressively sought after by advertisers and NBC plans on raking in the profits by keeping this aspect shown exclusively by the network on television. The partnership hopes to limit the amount of pirated Olympic videos which have been an issue in the past. The younger demographic’s access to the internet is extensive, so getting your hands on an illegal live streaming channel is easier than ever. NBC hopes that Facebook and Instagram will be an asset to combat against this issue.
The main goal of the partnership is to provide Olympic insights in a way that has not been done before across multiple platforms.
“This partnership is about reaching fans on Facebook and Instagram with NBC’s great and compelling Olympic content,” said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics. “It’s about fueling the Olympic conversation and driving interest in watching the Games – and it’s a natural outgrowth of our mission to share the powerful and captivating stories behind the world’s most accomplished athletes.”
NBC and Facebook are also teaming up to create a “Social Command Center” featured on-site in Rio which will bring Facebook users closer to the action. The Command Center will provide Facebook Live content, interviews, athlete features and NBC commentary in order to bring these video shorts to viewers across the globe.