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Summary:

The upcoming Olympics are bringing out the competitive streak in NBC. Though the network will make more than 2,200 hours of live competition available online, according to the AP, events scheduled to be on TV won’t be shown on the web until after they’ve been televised. […]

The upcoming Olympics are bringing out the competitive streak in NBC. Though the network will make more than 2,200 hours of live competition available online, according to the AP, events scheduled to be on TV won’t be shown on the web until after they’ve been televised.

Translation: Hope you enjoy synchronized swimming, because track and field won’t be live.

But while my initial gut reaction was that NBC really blew this one, upon closer inspection I realized that’s maybe it won’t be such a big deal after all.

To be sure, NBC seems to be missing a — pardon the phrase — golden opportunity by delaying the webcast. Live sports is scoring big online. Major League Baseball’s MLB.tv, March Madness and the U.S. Open are all pulling in good if not record-breaking numbers. What bigger sporting event is there than the Olympics?

But the question that needs to be answered above all other is how long will the delay between the televised event and when it goes online be? If it’s just minutes, that’s one thing, if it’s hours — that’s another. We’ve asked NBC what its policy will be and will update when we hear back.

Additionally, it will also depend on when the games are scheduled. As I write this is, it is Monday, June 30th at 11:30 a.m. here and Tuesday, July 1, 2:30 a.m. in Beijing. That’s a 15-hour difference. Any events scheduled past 1 p.m. China time (10 p.m. local), and I’d be asleep anyways, not watching TV or the web.

But there are those die-hard fans who wake up at 3 a.m. just to watch their favorite event, or cheer on their country as it goes for the gold, and NBC should reward their zeal/patriotism. What’s a little live webcasting going to hurt?

  1. [...] Olympics Video Player Debuts The summer games are just a little over a month away, but you can start catching Olympic fever online now, thanks to the new video player on NBCOlympics.com. With more than 2,200 hours of live footage being streamed from the event, the new player offers a host of features that will literally let you catch all the action (though some of it will be delayed). [...]

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  2. Here’s a really good argument for why this decision is stupid.
    http://erikstuart.com/post/40760905/online-olympics-coverage-too-good-to-be-true

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  3. [...] out how people are consuming the games beyond traditional oldteevee. Our question is, If NBC is delaying the webcasting of the most popular events until after they’ve aired on television, isn’t the network [...]

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  4. [...] Will Webcast After Pacific Coast TV NBC finally let us know how long the delay would be between Olympics events appearing on television and then online. According to an NBC rep, [...]

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  5. [...] Olympics that start next week will be the first “online video” Games, with NBC’s 2,200 hours of live Web coverage. But the sporting event has also become a case study for the push-pull war between consumers and [...]

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