NBC to Delay Some Online Olympics Coverage

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?

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