Today, Valleywag tried to string two separate events and some made-up facts together to spin the yarn that NBC was not happy with the performance of Silverlight on NBCOlympics.com, and dumped the technology for Flash for their new NFL streaming site. At first blush, the reasoning sees logical… but take more than 2 seconds to think about it, and the specious reasoning just doesn’t add up.
  1. NBC *NEVER* said that using Silverlight for the Olympics meant they were dumping Flash altogether. MSNBC.com’s video player still heavily uses Flash, and will probably continue to do so for a while.
  2. Nowhere in the article was a quote, directly attributable to NBC or otherwise, stating that poor performance on the Olympics site lead to the technological choice to use Flash on this separate project.
  3. The article in context proposes the scenario that three weeks ago, NBC developers analyzed data from the Olympics, didn’t like the data they gathered. So they completely changed course and built the Flash-based NFL site in approx. two weeks. There is no way the NFL site was built in that timeframe, so it is highly unlikely that one had a single thing to do with the other. The decisions were probably made months beforehand, and built using two completely different teams.
Without a direct quote from NBC developers explaining the platform choice, this is nothing but speculation. Too bad the know-it-alls over at Valleywag and Silicon Alley Insider don’t know enough about journalism to be able to differentiate between speculation and fact before they hit the "publsh" button.

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