Mullens’ lawyer accused Martinez of filing “a meritless and clearly frivolous” lawsuit that attempts to retaliate against his ex. “Ms. Mullens will not be bullied by Mr. Martinez’s abuse of the legal system; she intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit and she is confident she will prevail.”
NBC is crowing over how its Beijing Olympics has been the most watched American TV event of all time. But all I can think about is what a lost promotional opportunity this was for the network whose fall prime-time schedule is a wasteland when it comes to both quantity and quality of new shows and specials.
How pathetic that Christian Slater’s lame “my evil twin is me” series seemed all that NBC had to market over and over ad nauseam during the games. It’s already clear that Jeff Zucker’s brilliant idea to save money by killing the pilot season backfired big-time, and NBC will wind up in fourth place yet again.
Still, at a time when U.S. networks even have trouble attracting dougle-digit Nielsen ratings for shows, the Olympics are a big reminder that eyeballs and not just demographics do matter to advertisers. NBC reached a record $1 billion in ad sales before the start of these Olympics, and pulled in another $25 million after the games began.
Which is why next time around NBC is going to face stiff competition for the U.S. broadcasting rights to the Olympics after their contract expires in 2012. For instance, ESPN and Fox said last week they plan to be in on the bidding process for at least the 2014 Winter Games and 2016 Summer Games when the IOC begins the auction process next year.
I say a change is long overdue. For one thing, Bob Costas is no Jim McKay, and he clearly was afraid to ask hard questions or adequately express pathos over the unthinkable tragedy of a murder and near-murder at the games, much less arrests or human rights.
But even overall, NBC’s coverage in Beijing was overedited and ridiculously compliant to the Chinese government, and the programming still failed to let viewers watch what they wanted when they wanted on TV or online despite all the hype promising just that.