NBC has made no secret of the fact it plans to use the Beijing Olympics as a campaign platform for HDTV.
Now the US network has announced that the summer games will also act as a research lab to guage how viewers use different media platforms.
The network hopes its research will reveal how people combine, for example, high def TV coverage of an event with tools such as video streaming, video on demand and mobile phones.
Alan Wurtzel, NBC’s research chief, said the company would publicly issue a TAMi (Total Audience Measurement Index) for the first time.
This is designed to measure the full range of cross-platform media consumption of the Olympics throughout the 17 days of coverage.
NBCU will also conduct the largest research project in its history, taking advantage of the unique scope and duration of the Olympics to further the industry’s understanding of cross-platform media usage.
“An event of this magnitude requires the biggest and most sophisticated research effort to measure it,” said Wurtzel.
“The size and duration of the Olympics presents us with extraordinary opportunities to gather data on viewer behaviour.”
NBC has scheduled 3,600 hours of Olympics programming on its main network, along with Telemundo, USA, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo.
In addition, the company is planning to make 2,200 hours of streaming video available on NBCOlympics.com.
Consumers may also get video on demand via their computer and Olympics content through their mobile phones.
“Not only will we measure these Games in a way we’ve never done before, but we’ll also be able to gather data that helps us better understand the new media consumer,” said Wurtzel.
“At the end of the Olympics, no other research entity in the world will have as much knowledge on cross-platform usage as NBC Universal.”