London 2012: How A Change In Society Could Call For A Change In The Olympics

 @stevie_con21 on August 09 2012 7:16 PM

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, society has changed dramatically, which has allowed the London Olympics to be unique in its own way. It seems like the more new technology and equipment we are exposed to and we are allowed to use, the more that current Olympics breaks viewing and attendance records. Not only have these statistics raised, but also the amount of medals awarded and athletes competing. According to USA Today, in 1908 which was the first London Olympics, 109 medals were awarded, and 2,024 athletes competed. In 1948 London Olympics, 149 medals were awarded and 4,373 athletes competed. During the 2012 London Olympics, 302 medals will be awarded, and 10,490 athletes are competing to bring home some pride in their respective sports for their countries.

However, with the time difference between the United States and London, most events are broadcasted hours after they were held. In fact, 48 percent of prime-time viewers already know the outcome of the events held before they watch on TV in the United States. Of that 48 percent, 67 percent of those viewers say knowing them makes them more likely to watch.

 I find that hard to believe, because as a viewer myself, I feel inclined to watch events when I don't know the outcome, because naturally I appreciate the surprise and anguish it brings - but that's just me.

Despite the lack of live broadcasting in the United States of the London Olympic Games, teen viewing is up 28 percent from the Beijing Olympics. These Olympics are also ringing in the highest primetime averages for a summer's games outside of the United States.

Even though many ratings and percentages are up in terms of viewing the games this year, there is much controversy over the topic that many events aren't broadcasted live. The feeling is that many people would like to view events live, however statistics don't lie, and as mentioned early over half prefer to view them after the event has taken place.

Mark Lazarus, the President of NBC Sports, discussed the possibility of showing live action, then use it as primetime footage, however would have to stop streaming in between. This does seem possible, if there was a majority vote to go ahead with the motion, but there are still places where spectators can view events on a different type of streaming - on the internet.

This summer seems to be ringing in the most amounts of online streamers, with 28 million viewers on NBC's website, an eight percent jump from the Beijing Olympics. The games brought in 64 million video streams, a 182 percent jump from Beijing. Out of those 64 million, 29 of those are live streams, which is a whopping 343 percent jump from Beijing. It's evident that TV's are becoming less of a role providing Americans with play by play commentary of their athletes, but computer streaming may have come and gone as well. 86 percent of smart phone users stream live Olympic events as well.

Whether you are "old fashioned" and watch the games on TV, or you view them on your computer, the most live streamed event this year was the USA Gymnastics Team's first event, which drew approximately one million viewers. Archery is the number one drawing sport in terms of total views, with basketball runner up.

Now that the first week is over, viewing of the Olympics with fall in to a "sophomore slump" if you will, dropping viewers dramatically during the second week. 44 percent of viewers saying viewing start to cut into their sleep time -- go figure.

Statistics will be statistics, and they are an accurate representation of how our world is changing, and how the Olympic games can be changed as well. With rapid changes happening to our world, the Olympic Board has four years to decide how to effectively stream Olympic events.

It's obvious that there are no more parties where many gathering around the family room watching swimming events, or the "Dream Team" dominate all the competition. Who knows, maybe viewing on the TV will even decrease from this year. In 2016, anything can happen. It's also possible that they add more live streaming to their repertoire, with re-playing the events in prime-time. Some events maybe will even get more attention, maybe Archery, which, after all is the number one most viewed sport during these Olympic Games.

The society is changing, and the way we view games and our passion for Olympic Games is changing as well. Because of this, 2016 may be a very different Olympic Games then the London Olympics this year, for the better, or the worse; we have four years to wait and see.

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