NBC’s Totalitarian Olympics: More on Restrictions; Online Video Only After TV Broadcast

And here I was rejoicing that finally we could do away with the lame soft-focus athlete stories and parochial commentary from NBCU with this Olympics: Yes, the company will have 2,200 hours of live competition from Beijing available online on NBCOlympics.com, but with some heavy restrictions…we mentioned some of this heavy handedness earlier about Olympic trials.

Now, during the main Summer Olympics, some more restrictions on watching the action live, according to this AP story:
— Other TV networks have a limited window in which to show Olympics highlights, but no video of Olympic events is permitted to be shown on any website besides NBCOlympics.com
— No events that are scheduled to be televised (on NBCU’s six TV channels) will be available online until after they are seen on TV. If this is the case, what’s this about 2,200 hours of live coverage online? Is it only on-demand later?

Meanwhile, in related chest-beating, by next year NBC.com, which is a repository of TV shows on NBC, will generate “tens of millions of dollars” in revenue “in a business that didn’t exist” a few years ago, according to NBC TV Network President John Eck, speaking at a PwC conference earlier this week. Compare that to Jeff Zucker’s claim that NBCU’s digital revenues will cross $1 billion by 2009, and you get the picture.

For our coverage of NBC Sports’ digital strategy for Vancouver 2010 Olympics, check out our Digital Olympics archives.