How do you fill a 3,600 hour programming hole? NBC may be looking at just that situation, as well as scrambling to make up associated revenue, if a resolution submitted by eight Republican members of the House of Representatives becomes official US policy. The legislators are considering a boycott of the 2008 Olympics, scheduled to be held in China, as a protest against "human rights abuses."
According to AFP, the measure is sponsored by Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and lists Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) as a co-sponsor. Her support is critical, since she is Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where the issue is expected to be brought up for debate in September. And the measure may have legs – AFP said it is likely to pick up support on the other side of the aisle. NBC just announced that it is air to cover a record-breaking amount of footage from the event, which is to run from 8/4-24/08, although much of the 3.6K hours of coverage will be streamed online.
SmartMedia observation: The Olympics team up with elections to bestow on the television industry to two year roller-coaster revenue cycle, although the Olympics is a direct boon to only one network, the event helps numerous owner/operator companies, and causes business spill-over that benefits many other media outlets as displaced advertisers look away from (in this case) NBC to market their wares. NBC will no doubt want to suggest that lawmakers find some other way to express their objections to Chinese policies.