How much social media will be allowed at the Olympics?

With the London Olympics only a few weeks away, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its new social media policy that does not allow spectators and athletes to upload video snippets to various social media sites. It is an attempt to protect international broadcasters who paid millions for the broadcasting rights. I was interviewed about the actual enforceability of this policy by Peter Suciu for the E-Commerce Times.

The following are excerpts from Suciu’s article “IOC’s Love-Hate Relationship With Social Media Could Reach Olympic Proportions”:

… stopping the tens of thousands of spectators will be another problem.

“That is very simple. They can’t,” said Marcus Messner, assistant professor at the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. “It is very daring to attempt to police mobile phone videos and social media sharing.”

“There are just so many places to share, and we’ll see Olympic champions on places like Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter and Flckr,” Messner added.

It could also be that all this social sharing — between the athletes, the media and the spectators — might not serve as competition to the official coverage but could add to it.

“I don’t see how this diminishes the value of the broadcaster rights,” Messner told the E-Commerce Times. “I do think there is a way for broadcasters to monetize this by having the videos go viral. Plus, if you want to see the decision for the gold metals you’re going to watch it on TV.”

Please also read the entire article on the website of the E-Commerce Times.

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