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Marianne Paskowski

NBC Olympics on Steroids, and I’ve Had It

August 11, 2008 2:43 PM

Beijing Olympics

I can’t believe this: I just tuned in to watch my favorite show, CNBC’s “Fast Money,” hosted by Dylan Rattigan and it’s been preempted with some boxing Olympics event.

Have its parent companies GE and NBC Universal lost their minds? “Fast Money” is one of CNBC’s fastest-growing shows, and given the volatility of this market, I can’t believe they made such a bone-headed blunder here.

Gold hit a two-year low, Russia and Georgia are at war affecting the price of crude, the market is a mess, and I can’t listen to what the “Fast Money” crowd has to say about it all.

NBC has plenty of other cable networks to overkill with its mindless Olympics coverage. I’m so ticked I just called to complain, and you can, too, at 201-735-2622 and ask for an operator. I got a very tired one who answered, sounding weary from what I hope is a host of complaints.

Just goes to show you why GE’s stock is in the gutter: It knows nothing about business.

Should GE sell NBC Universal?

Absolutely, and I have no skin in this game—I don’t own a single media stock.


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Comments (22)

My goodness, Ms. Paskowski, such fluster over economic news that we know is half true due to the on-going, 24/7 manipulation of The Market by a variety of self-centered, selfish, money grabbing Wall Streeters....R E L A X !!!

Stretch out...between the elongated, now comical hour by hour BS coverage of these two Senators who have not, and will not, do the job for which they were elected, to the marionette-like string pulling of The Market and the messing in all affairs by the Administration, it's Summer Time, everything is in control by the twisted few and you might as well take a swim, ride a bike, have great sex, enjoy a smooth Cabernet and perhaps even catch some Olympic events on your plasma.

Nothing is normal, for there is NO normal!

Catch a Z, or two, and know you are loved and that someday after November 4TH, maybe then, we'll get a sense of what to expect after February 1, 2009.

Until then....Adieu to NORMAL.
Peter Bright

Marianne Paskowski:

Of course I know the market is manipulated, as do you. However, being a Type-A personality I just don't sit back and roll over waiting for someone to scratch my belly and tell me everything is OK.I am not a lap dog.

Like you, I'm not happy with our choice of presidential candidates, but I try to do things, like ask for the SEC to reinstate the abandoned uptick rule that now aids and abets market manipulation. In part that's what you're seeing here. And who would know that if you didn't watch shows like "Fast Money?"

But I'll take your advice and chill out and have a relaxing dinner with my husband and play with our baby yellow lab Maizey.

Always good to read your pearls of wisdom,


Definitely play with the dog.

Best damn thing we'll ever hear in here.

With a woof and a wink,
Crazy for Canines in Califreakinfornia.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Cory,
I am playing with Maizey, she's insane about senior Sammy's departure. I can't get her to eat so I read PC week to her while I hand feed her and speak in dulcet tones. She's suddenly become a barker, chasing ghosts.

I guess I did, too, with this last posting.

We're working our way through this all, and Maizey is no lap dog, takes after the old lady here:}

A Woof and a Wink Back,

Marianne Paskowski:

It was on the kitchen table so I grabbed it to read a story about the best TV on computers.


You're also probably one of those silly viewers who calls and complains because "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jag" is being pre-empted for the NCAA tournament in March. C'mon. The only way NBCU is going to make a profit from the $80 trillion it paid for the Olympics is to air the games on a ton of different platforms.

Yes, "Fast Money" is one of CNBC's fastest growing shows, but think about from this point of you: NBCU is allowing all of the Olympic sports to be seen on national TV at some point. If it was only NBC, then it would just be mostly swimming, gymnastics, and track & field. What about all of the boxing fans out there who got to see Olympic boxing because it was on CNBC? Sure, this is probably a small number, but I bet it reached just as many people as "Fast Money" yesterday.

And then why do you have to bring up GE again? So, it's GE's fault that CNBC pre-empted "Fast Money" for the Olympics? They still would have done that if NBCU was owned by anyone else.

No hard feelings :)

If I learned anything as an infantry grunt in Vietnam in 1968-69, it was, to be ever on your guard, know your situation and choose the most opportune time to act and when you do, make it swift and complete.

So I do have compassion for your predicament of wanting your information source kept available.

Scratching the D.A.D.(dumb ass dog) has it's many wonderful merits. So, rub your hands together and give Maizey a loving roughing up!

Come Fall, we'll all be wishing for these Summer days.
Peter Bright

Thurston Last:

Marianne. I love you to death, but I think relaxation is needed in this case.

You know what I actually miss?

The Games (I don't like using the "O" word) being on broadcast television all day long. I think that's the one real complaint about the broadcasting of The Games I have is that after 1 PM in the East, they're not on broadcast television until 8 PM. If you don't have cable nor broadband access and you want to watch The Games, you're screwed for at least seven hours.

I think the world could survive without Days of Our Lives and reruns of game shows, talk shows, and court shows (seriously, there are WAY too many court shows on television these days . . . is America really that litigant-happy?).

While I do share your concern about CNBC and MSNBC preempting their regular programming for The Games, I don't think GE should sell off NBC Universal because of those preemptions. You probably don't either, it's just another reason for you to think that way.

I wonder how much longer NBC Universal will actually have access to The Games, especially if ESPN and *shudders* Fox are actually trying to outbid them either separately or, to the obvious dissatification of the folks at ABC, jointly.

Marianne Paskowski:

No Peter, come two weeks or so, I'll be glad the Olympics are over:}

Marianne Paskowski:

No Thurston,
I do believe GE should sell NBC, the parent company has lost is fast ball in this space by becoming such a hydra-headed global entity.

Marianne Paskowski:

I've never called a net about a preemption until yesterday. Come on, this is overkill. FYI, CNBC is giving "Fast Money" 30 minutes at 1 p.m. and another at 9 p.m., at least today.


Thurston Last:

That's the nature of the beast on all entertainment/media outlets. They have all become multiheaded beasts relying on complacency, laziness, and arrogance.

NBC Universal is no worse nor better than Time Warner, Viacom/CBS, Disney, or News Corp.

There's no more institution called "Saturday mornings." Most shows on television are produced by the companies that own the networks they air on. There's no real syndication. Smaller groups and producers barely get noticed and buried underground as a result. They all treat the internet like it's television (and it's not), while virtually ignoring the potential of the upcoming digital switch.

Which leads me to pose this challenge to you? Your opinions on NBC Universal is obvious, but which company fancies you at this moment?

The one ran by an egotistical moneyman who doesn't believe in the individual units cooperating with each other and whose stocks are drastically dipping towards the sub-$10 mark?

The one that is claims to be two units, but still largely connected by the hip by one entity?

The one that abandoned many institutions, including a venerable brand name in broadcast television and their core businesses, just to get a lock on the female market?

The one ran by an arrogant media kingpin who espouses his political beliefs in all his outlets, but pretty much contradicts those beliefs on his major broadcast channel?

Or do you, like me, believe all those companies are flawed and equally jacked up from head to toe?

Thurston Last:

And what I was saying earlier is that I don't believe that you feel GE should sell NBC Universal JUST because of the preemptions. That was just another reason you felt that way. Sorry for the miscommunication on my part.

LOL...I was refering to the Summer Days in general, not the Olympics...Carry on and still know you are loved!

Marianne Paskowski:

I am bearish on all media companies. I don't like any of them, for all of the reasons you cite above so politically correct.

As much as I am in disbelief about what GE had done with NBCU, Rupert Murdoch is right up there with GE in my book. He's just not on my radar screen right now.

I thought I liked Verizon with its FiOS triple play, but they screw up billing big time,I hear from readers. Still, they might be a real competitive threat to Comcast, Time Warner and Cablevision. But there, too, the stock is not attractive, and I don't see shareholder value there.

But remember, I look at ALL companies from the jaded eyes of an investor/trader, at the end of the day. I'm not out to save the world, just people's IRA's and 401K's.



Yo, Blondie --

Now that record Olympics audience numbers are appearing, NBC and its sponsors are getting the last laugh -- at the expense of you relatively few Wall Street-obsessed viewers. The guys and gals on the street keep hammering GE and Jeff Immelt, and they're getting even.

Cruisin not bruisin

Marianne Paskowski:

Not really, they're are some very ticked off Olympic advertisers who were alarmed when the Chinese government did not give people access to the green lawn, another broken promise, where their exhibits are displayed. It's in tomorrow's WSJ.

Had a funny email round with the AP TV reporter who also reported about the over-hype of the NBC styled Olympics coverage.

Apparently he's getting dissed like me, says he's ready to go into a witness protection program. To say anything bad about the Olympics he wrote today is like spitting on the flag.

Neither of us are, the saliva is aimed elsewhere.



And I suppose that because the Chinese gov't wouldn't let people onto the green lawn then it is NBCU's and GE's fault, right?

Marianne Paskowski:

No, just the dangers of doing business with the Chinese government, and another surprise for NBC and the sponsors.

Hey, at least the Chinese are no longer arresting people for spitting on the streets, I hear from a cable exec who is there and BB's me three times a day. So see, there is a bright spot:]


Hey Marianne,
As someone who won't watch either of those NBC units regularly, I say the Olympics is a welcome addition and they give NBC a chance to promote their second rate cable news operations. That said, in response to the person who earlier had stated ESPN and ABC were wanting in, I'm all for it. ABC could really use summer programming more than anyone else and ESPN would be the perfect cable platform for the less important sports. Not to mention they have ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and ESPNU to air all the events. That would be great imo.
Take care,

Marianne Paskowski:


I do wish ESPN had the Olympics, but it doesn't. This nonsense of sports being on CNBC shall too pass, and none too soon for me.

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