Olympics Now Online

2012 London Olympics games onlineNow fans will be able to watch the 2012 London Olympics games online this summer, as for the first time in its history the Olympics will be aired live online. Fans will be able to watch their favorite player defending their title on a Thursday afternoon in the United States and it will be very different from the tape delayed, prime-time package that will still be aired a few hours later.

The executives at NBC have come up with a plan to shift from their traditional philosophy in order to make every event available as it happens and build interest in the viewers for the Olympics as well as retain the viewership of their nightly broadcasts.”You’ll be able to live the moment,” said Rick Cordella, the vice president and general manager for NBC Sports Digital. The move is aimed at attracting fans to re-watch the competition in a more sophisticated presentation on the network that evening, meaning the internet streaming will be minimalistic. The internet coverage will be using the world feed instead of the NBC camera angles so it will be high-quality but less specialized.  The viewers in many smaller countries use this feed on their local networks. The graphics will also be basic and for some popular sports the announcers will be form the Olympics Broadcasting Services. Cordella said he had no information as to which commentators would call for high-profile events like track, swimming and gymnastics for the Olympics Broadcasting Services.  A drawback of this feature is that if Bolt wins another world record then fans will have to wait till prime-time to see the post-race interview.

In the 2008 Beijing Olympics the NBCOlympics.com streamed many smaller events live for a total of 2,200 hours and the big events were held back for prime-time. This year however, more than 3,500 hours of streaming will be shown on the website. The replays will not be available online until after the event is aired on prime-time. Also the service will include extra feeds for certain sports like gymnastics so that fans can watch each apparatus in its entirety and there will be up to five courts for tennis.

The internet streams will be available only on subscription to the cable or satellite services which means that the viewers will have to authenticate and log in to prove that they are customers. This kind of “TV everywhere” model has become popular with the networks which allow viewers to watch their favorite programs on multiple devices without changing their network or satellite providers. NBC controlled by the Comcast Corporation is counting on the euphoria created by social media since the Beijing games from viewers who watch the events live to lure others to the prime-time broadcasts.


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