Watching the 2016 Summer Olympics in the US will be a snap, thanks to a freshly minted deal between NBC and photo sharing app Snapchat.
Highlights from the ultimate sporting competition in Rio de Janeiro will air exclusively for Snapchat users in the US on the app’s Live Stories tab. It’s here that at-the-scene snippets of festivals, holidays, breaking news, and sporting events are aired for bite-sized viewing.
“We have never allowed the distribution of any game highlights off NBC’s own platforms,” said NBC Olympics Gary Zenkel in a Bloomberg report.
This makes the Snapchat deal the first time the Comcast-owned network has shared Olympics coverage with, well, anyone.
Bring in the youths
The network’s rationale is that Snapchat’s large youth audience will help boost viewership for the Games, encouraging younger folks to take an interest in the competition and its athletes so that they’ll catch the rest on television or via NBC’s website.
The app’s reputation of “that thing all the hip kids are into” has spread to several other organizations, including the White House. Snapchat itself even lobbied state legislature earlier this week to urban ballot selfies, saying it will make voting more popular among whipper-snap chatters.
After experimenting with different sources of revenue, like specialized selfie lenses and premium stickers for texting, deals like the Olympics could be the answer Snapchat is seeking in order to keep a steady cash flow.
While Comcast paid $1.23 billion for broadcast rights to the Olympics, Snapchat won’t be chipping indirectly, instead agreeing with NBC to share revenue created from ads paired with its content.
Should the deal prove gold for NBC and Snapchat, we might see more than the summer Games coming to the Live Stories tab. Personally, those slick snowboarders from the Winter Olympics hitting the halfpipe would make for quite the follow-up*hint, hint*.