Importance of “Real-Time”

July 27th, 2012

Now that the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics is over NBC (who has the rights for the US) will start showing the Opening Ceremony, complete with whatever “context” is so important that they couldn’t stream the event live.

Problem for me is, it feels over already.  I’ve lost interest, and I don’t plan to watch the Opening Ceremony.   Eventually I’ll probably watch the snippet with the Queen, but not the event.  This isn’t because of anger, or to get back at NBC.  It’s just too late for me.  I not interested in watching the re-run.

Wondering, does anyone else feel this way?

8 comments for “Importance of “Real-Time””

  1. 1

    Mike Manning said on July 27th, 2012 at 10:34 pm:

    I mainly wish NBC had showed an online stream of the opening ceremonies, since I don’t have a cable subscription. Their stated reason for not doing so was strange: “It was never our intent to live stream the Opening Ceremony or Closing Ceremony. They are complex entertainment spectacles that do not translate well online because they require context, which our award-winning production team will provide for the large prime-time audiences that gather together to watch them.” Source:,0,6531230.story

  2. 2

    Emanuel Hoogeveen said on July 27th, 2012 at 10:56 pm:

    I’m probably not the best person to comment here as I had the opportunity to watch it live, but found that there were other things going on that grabbed my attention more.

    However in general I certainly agree with you – there’s a certain level of excitement to knowing you’re watching something unfold, rather than something that already happened. On the Internet this is especially important, as there is often an option to chat and join in the excitement. Indeed, I would argue that the thrill of watching events live can easily beat the quality and polish of an edited video. In this case – whatever ‘context’ the ‘award-winning production team’ might be able to provide – we probably have the worst of both worlds: the excitement of following along with the live events has been lost, and there’s not enough time to make a truly polished compilation video.

  3. 3

    Mike Ratcliffe said on July 28th, 2012 at 6:11 am:

    Being British I could watch it live in 3D on my TV at home but I am surprised that they didn’t broadcast it live in the States.

    If I couldn’t have watched it live I probably wouldn’t have bothered watched it for exactly the same reasons as you. By watching an event live we become part of the event … a re-run will never be as attractive as a the real thing because we all want to be part of something special.

  4. 4

    Mike Ratcliffe said on July 28th, 2012 at 8:07 am:

    If you do watch it then try to get a copy with the British commentary … it explains the parts that the NBC commentators were at a loss to explain.

  5. 5

    David Baron said on July 28th, 2012 at 9:22 am:

    (Er, in my last sentence above, I probably should have removed the words “a problem”; it’s only a problem in terms of sharing media consumption, but it’s great in many other ways.)

  6. 6

    David Baron said on July 28th, 2012 at 2:10 pm:

    On the theory that my previous comment got stuck in moderation due to the hyperlinks, reposting with the links broken:

    Absolutely. I feel like the entertainment industry doesn’t understand that the Internet has given people the ability to maintain friendships in other parts of the world in real-time, and the industry wants a controlled model of launching and marketing things separately in each country, where they not only lose the benefits of the word-of-mouth marketing within these friendship networks, but where it hurts them. With movies and television, the US (where I live) usually gets the better end of the deal while other parts of the world get things late; I think this sense of wanting to participate in the culture combined with the feeling of not even being *allowed* to be a paying customer is what makes people feel that “piracy” is more ok, especially outside of the US, but also in some contexts inside of the US. Yet another example of the sense of not being allowed to be a customer is people who don’t have a television but want to watch the Olympics streaming online, such as https twitter com bz_moz status 229058790127968256 or https twitter com michaelrhanson status 229077143722799104 .

    Then again, I also wonder how much having friendship networks that span around the world is [strike]a problem[/strike] limited to a thin slice of the elite that we’re a part of.

  7. 7

    John Huner said on July 31st, 2012 at 3:15 pm:

    For me there production is a symptom. I could watch it tape delayed. I don’t have any desire to watch this live or tape delayed though. But their whole production is just wrong headed. Ok, it is lame to not know who Tim Berners-Lee is but it is just a thing to poke at people for (our society greatly influenced by production at big media values appearance more than substance – so them not knowing is not a surprise). When you make patently false claims about delaying for “context” and then fail to provide context well, it just makes your false claims more lame. And to me exposes the hollowness of their production.

    I like sports, but I have given up on the Olympics (for the last several actually). Sports production has just made the actual content surrounded by so much junk it makes it not worth watching unless you really really really want the content and will tolerate how much they degrade it.

  8. 8

    essay said on August 21st, 2012 at 9:03 am:

    yes real time problem 🙂

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