NBC will stream Olympics coverage on Facebook

NBC Universal and Facebook have reached a deal that will give Facebook users access to streaming content from the 2014 Winter Olympics. According to Variety, 1000 hours of footage from the upcoming Sochi Olympics will appear on Facebook. 

“Building off of our successful collaboration for the London Olympics, we have expanded our relationship to better serve Olympic fans’ insatiable appetite for Games’ content,” Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics, said during a statement about the partnership. “All with an eye on driving viewership to our multi-platform coverage, we will use our unique access to all aspects of the Sochi Games to ignite the Olympic conversation and engagement on Facebook.”

As Zenkel mentioned, NBC and Facebook had previously teamed up during the London Olympics, so this is more of an expansion of a pre-exisiting arrangement than a whole new thing, though video will shake things up. 

NBC has already started posting Facebook clips. The first one centers on rapper Macklemore’s friendship with U.S. short-track speed skater J.R. Celski: 


It’s easy to see why NBC would want this deal, since it provides a great promotional venue, but it’s less clear what Facebook is getting out of it. I suspect it’s because the Olympics are exactly the kind of of-the-moment newsworthy topics Facebook wants people to be talking about. By giving Olympics fans a reason to come on Facebook to check out coverage, it could encourage them to use Facebook for real-time talk about the events, rather than Twitter. Or, that’s what Facebook may be thinking — we’ll see if that’s the case. 

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