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This Is How TV, Social Networks Should Blend: NBC, Facebook & the Olympics

NBC Olympics Facebook

Broadcast programming still seems to be figuring out the best way to integrate social media into the fold. While most shows have websites, Twitter accounts and social media pages, most of these tend to exist separately from its broadcast content. Melding it together is a tricky problem, one that can easily come off as kind of cheesy. (Take “The Voice,” for example, and its pseudo real-time Tweeting interstitials. Not only are these spots sort of painful to watch, but social media correspondent Christina Milian might be the most useless reality TV personality ever.)

But that doesn’t stop producers from trying. And this one might be among the best efforts yet: NBC Universal and Facebook have struck a deal to hawk each other as a promotion strategy for the upcoming Olympic Games in London. NBC’s viewers will be encouraged to talk and share about the games on Facebook, and the social network will be touting the televised coverage of the games.

This could actually work. Half the fun of the Olympics is watching it with people and commenting on the action, making it a perfect match for the Facebook experience. But it’s not just about sharing the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat — Facebook data will be infused into the TV coverage, so even offline viewers will know what the most talked-about aspects are and what’s trending hot as it happens, courtesy of a “Facebook Talk Meter.” Then over on the social network side, the NBC Olympics Facebook page will boast exclusive content and frequent updates, and fans will be able to share their Olympics viewing activities (whether watching vids or reading NBC Olympics articles).

Of course, this isn’t the only web-related plan in the works for the games. The television network will also stream each event online (available only to participating cable and satellite customers), and to various mobile applications.

The Summer Games kick off on July 27. Will you be tuning in and/or logging on?

(via The New York Times)

Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...