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Reports circulated over the weekend that NBCOlympics.com only made $5.75 million in video ad revenue, according to eMarketer, a drop in the bucket compared with the more than $1 billion the peacock pulled in on oldteevee. But with the NBC offering twice-delayed video coverage and a confusing user experience in a video format not widely prevalent, it’s almost amazing the take was that high.
EMarketer came up with the figures by taking the streams reported over the first seven days and extrapolating that out over the entire 17 day run of the games. It then figured 1.5 ads per stream with an estimated $50 CPM. This is all, of course, speculation, and does not take into consideration any broader sponsorship deals.
By way of comparison, CBS pulled in $23 million in ad revenue from the March Madness basketball tournament. That contest lasted three weeks, but CBS streamed all of the games live, didn’t require registration and distributed the video across other ad-supported platforms.
Given NBC’s history of high-demands (like yanking its content from iTunes and wanting a piece of iPod sales) and the fact that, despite gripes, NBCOlympics.com generated 1.2 billion page views and 72 million streams through this past Saturday, it’s unlikely the network will be swayed to change for the 2010 games. With the Olympics in the U.S.-friendly time zone of Vancouver, NBC will be able to continue its Olympic lock-down.