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Summary:

Adobe introduced the two Olympics mobile apps it made for NBC this week, explaining among other things how authentication for live video streams will work. Viewers will have to prove that they’re subscribers of a pay TV service, but there will be a short grace period.

olympics nbc app

The Olympics are about to start in a minute, but you can’t find your cable creds anywhere? No worries, NBC will give you a little extra time: The broadcaster will require viewers of its live online Olympic coverage to authenticate as pay TV subscribers when the games begin later this month. However, users of mobile devices will get a one-time temporary pass, giving them an hour of access even without their credentials at hand, according to Adobe’s director of product management, Video Solutions, Ashley Still.

Adobe is powering the mobile app experience for NBC, and as such it is also responsible for the authentication piece of the puzzle. Still told me during a phone conversation Wednesday that Adobe has agreements with 100 U.S. pay TV operators in place, which should cover 97 percent of all pay TV households. But whether or not you can actually access the games online also depends on your cable bundle: Only subscribers with access to both CNBC and MSNBC as part of their cable bouquet will be able to access any of the live streams.

NBC will offer two apps for each iOS and Android users for the event: One app will offer access to 3500 hours of live programming, while the other will be more of a companion app, offering video highlights and background information about the competing athletes and their performance.

Both apps will be made with Adobe’s Air runtime, so they’ll look consistently across all platforms. And the apps will be interconnected, as long as you have both of them installed. If you read up on a competition in the companion app, you’ll be able to press a watch it now button to tune in live, which will power up the live app. So why not just combine everything into one app? Adobe decided to split up the experience to make sure that users aren’t overwhelmed with features within a single app, Still explained.

Plus the experience might be less frustrating for those users who can’t authenticate even after that one hour grace period is over, one might add.

  1. dalefeinstein Thursday, July 12, 2012

    NBC is a broadcast television network whose affiliates provide free over-the-air broadcasts. Anyone within range of these affiliates can receive NBC shows for free using just an antenna. Therefore, why require users to have to be pay-TV subscribers in order to watch what is given away for free?

    Is is not in the best interests of broadcasters to obtain the largest audience possible? If so, why try to artificially limit the size of your audience with unnecessary restrictions? It seems that this is just an example of NBC cutting off its nose to spite its face.

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  2. I completely agree with poster, dalefeinstein. This is a ridiculous restriction.

    I’m prefer to watch the Olympics on my laptop live. I have have stayed up all night in the USA to be able to watch the one event I want to see and I can’t watch it due to this stupid set up. I remember when anyone could watch the Olympics right on their TVs for FREEEEEEEEE. What happened to that? I hate searching for a way to watch the games online just find out it’s all a scam to get money out of me. I gotta have a certain TV provider to watch something ANY ONE in the WORLD should be able to watch. This is part of our history.

    NBC you suck!

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    1. I am a subscriber to the channels needed to watch online. My computer has all the requirements needed, but NBC continues to give me an error message that says I don’t subscribe to MSNBC or CNBC. But I do have those channels. NBC is making me sick.

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  3. The internet and its content should not be controlled in the US by cable companies! The 2012 Olympics is free to all internet users in England why are Americans required to pay for cable to watch internet content? Too many lobbyists for cable companies!

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  4. THe same Error message here here, pass 2 days try to connect and no can DO… Thanks NBC

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  5. I am disgusted with NBC.They offer FREE programming, I should be able to watch the freaking OLYMPICS without paying Comcast! This is complete crap.

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  6. wow. did you seriously write this post without including any links on where to go from here? nice..

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  7. Super Fed UP Monday, August 6, 2012

    I just lost all respect for NBC!! I was work and didn’t have the info required to US Soccer! Bigg Goof by NBC to isolate one of the worlds biggest sport to millions of people I wonder do the sponsers know how many people didn’t catch their ad due to this blunder??

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  8. Super Fed UP Monday, August 6, 2012

    HELL I CAN’T EVEN TYPE RIGHT THATS HOW PISSED OFF I AM

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