London 2012: Canadians Pleased with Local Olympic Coverage

6:40 PM PST 07/31/2012 by Etan Vlessing

As U.S. viewers complain about tape delays, Canada enjoys live, round-the-clock coverage.

Canadians seem happy with the CTV and its consortium of cable channel offering the London 2012 Games live on TV and assorted digital platforms, unlike NBC’s tape delay access to Olympics coverage stateside.

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Canadians get round-the-clock live coverage on the CTV, TSN and Sportsnet channels, among others, and assorted consortium and world feeds online, again featuring live Olympics coverage in addition to highlights and replays.

And as an indication of changing viewing patterns for how Canadians are consuming London 2012, the CTV-led Olympic Broadcast Broadcast Media Consortium saw more than half the traffic, or 54 percent of viewing on its CTVOlympics.ca and RDSolympiques.ca websites for the opening ceremony last Friday night come from a mobile device.

And Canadians have apparently taken to social media to express their viewer preference for live coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics, over NBC’s iron-clad control of its U.S. coverage.

Ottawa-based digital consultant Media Miser surveyed around 50,000 tweets to measure the CTV-led TV coverage of the 2012 London Games against NBC’s, and there’s definitely rooting for the home team.

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Media Miser reported half of tweets referring to the Canadian TV coverage were positive, while 83 percent of tweets commenting on the NBC coverage were negative, according to a Global and Mail newspaper report on the online temperature-taking.

The cheers for the Canadian Olympic coverage stands in contrast to the hardball bargaining so far by domestic broadcasters for the Canadian media rights to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and the 2016 Olympic Games.

CTV-parent Bell Media has apparently pulled out of the bidding for the Sochi and Rio de Janeiro Olympics after its joint bid with the CBC was rejected by the IOC.

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Bell Media-predecessor CTVglobemedia and Rogers secured the rights to the Vancouver and London 2012 Summer Games for a record $153 million.

But Bell Media reportedly submitted a $75 million bid for 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games, more in line with the $73 million paid by the CBC for the Canadian rights to the 2006 and 2008 Games.

The rethink by Canadian broadcasters on Olympic rights is spurred by concern over how to monetize future Games that are increasingly consumed by viewers across multiple digital platforms.

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