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Twitter Has Forever Changed The Olympics


Twitter has proven to be two-edged sword in the Olympic village.

Followers around the world have been able to get nearly instant updates from athletes, coaches and the media. That’s the good side. Alternatively, two athletes have been sent home for making racist remarks on the social network.

Much has been made about NBC’s 1980’s style broadcast format featuring prime-time delayed broadcasts that attempt to create the drama of competition end events as if happening before the viewers eyes. In today’s omni-channel, social driven world the NBC formula falls short.

Twitter was barely a blip on the radar four years ago at the Bejing Olympics. The challenge and opportunity for the broadcasting media is to harness social media and mobile platforms to their advantage – rather than adversarial association currently in place. By the time the next summer Olympics is held smartphone ownership is likely to exceed over 80 percent (it’s currently 54 percent in the USA). While smartphone ownership penetration that high it is imperative the media leverage the smallest of screens. If not they face the being irrelevant on the largest of screens – television.

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