Olympics Could Sap Office Productivity

NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics includes 3,500 hours of live streaming of events online. That's posing a problem for workplace productivity.

The six-hour time difference between London and Houston means that many local fans who want to watch live events are doing so from their work desks. CEO John Challenger of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says this puts a strain on IT departments, particularly at small to midsize companies.

“There’s just so much accessibility to the live streaming, and there’s so much of it, and because these events are occurring during the workday in the US, there’s going to be many people who are watching the games from their desks and just slowing down computer systems that don’t have the bandwidth.”

NBC is holding some of the most popular events on tape delay till prime time in the US. The network paid billions for the rights to broadcast the Olympics and is hoping to maximize its commercial revenue. But events that don’t make it into the live stream can interfere with productivity as well, as workers check for spoilers on the Twitter feeds of those attending the games in person.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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