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NBC Skimps on Online Olympics Coverage — Again

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Don’t expect to watch the 2010 Winter Olympics live online — unless you like cross-country skiing. NBC Sports has released its coverage schedule for the Vancouver games, and once again, it has made the decision to keep marquee events from being shown live online. Despite touting more than 835 hours of live video from the Winter Games, less than half of that will be actually be streamed live online.

As usual, the company is saving premiere events — figure skating and alpine skiing — for broadcast on NBC network, along with freestyle skiing, speed skating, snowboarding, and short track. Meanwhile, the various cable nets, including USA, CNBC and MSNBC, will have extensive live coverage of sports like ice hockey, the biathlon, and curling. But none of that will be live online; instead, the remaining 400 hours of live coverage on will consist primarily of events like bobsledding, cross-country skiing, the luge and snowboarding.

The situation is similar to what happened during the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, when NBC touted more than 2,200 hours of live Olympic coverage on and a total of 3,000 hours of on-demand video. In that case, the remaining 800 hours were events that were scheduled for live broadcast on NBC and the company’s cable networks. (Unfortunately, NBC didn’t take our suggestion to get rid of tape delays for online video.)

The big difference between the 2010 Winter Games and the 2008 Summer Games is that this year, NBC plans to tie online access to its coverage of the events to an authentication scheme that will determine whether or not users have a cable subscription. So live, streaming video at will only be available to those that have paid for cable access.

So between the lack of live events online and the authentication scheme, you can expect that a number of users will seek alternative ways of finding Olympics video, just as they did in 2008.

33 Responses to “NBC Skimps on Online Olympics Coverage — Again”

  1. It’s the American way.

    This small gov’t and corporate freedom you were all asking for, here’s where it’s gotten you.

    Now your society sucks, and you are a bunch of sheep, rolled over on your back and fleeced every day.

    BBC is airing it live in its entirety.
    Canada is airing it live in its entirety.

    There’s so many signs at once showing me that this is the worst society in the modernised world.

    I don’t even use American spelling anymore. I want to watch this country burn.

  2. Well thank god for the few streamers that have allowed me to watch some of the events online. Despite NBC’s best efforts NOT to show me the Olympics, I’ve managed to see a few events live and learns some new languages as well.

    Screw you NBC.

  3. AllieKeegan

    CTV: Olympic Daytime Coverage
    NBC: The Ellen DeGeneres Show


    CTV: Men’sSuperG
    NBC: Rachael Ray


    CTV: Men’sSuperG
    NBC: Local News/Jeopardy!


    CTV: Ladies 15K Pursuit
    NBC: Days of our Lives


    CTV: Olympic Daytime Coverage
    NBC: The Dr. Oz Show

    Please select the best response. NBC’s coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver…
    [ ] A. bites
    [ ] B. blows
    [ ] C. sucks
    [X] D. all of the above

  4. Commercials, promos, mindless chatter and not much else. “NBC Olympic Coverage” is an oxymoron. Makes one pine for the old days of ABC and Jim McKay. Now there was coverage.


    What about us college students who paid for THEIR cable but don’t have tvs!!!!! We don’t have stupid passwords and crap to access online and we’re paying good money for cable tooo!!!!

    NBC, you guys can just go !!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. NBC just sucks!!! It’s sad to see the Olympics go the way of professional boxing. Pay-per-View. Aren’t the commercials enough! If I’m watching on-line, I will still see the commercials. It would actually be easier for them the count the number of commercial viewers for their advertising customers. NBC = fail!

  7. What a PATHETIC downhill coverage !
    5 skiers !
    #8 – USA – finished 3rd
    #16 – Norway – finished 2nd
    #18 – Swiss – finished 1st
    #22 – Swiss – favorite but finished 6th
    #24 – Canada – crashed

    • Yes, NBC has freaking blown the coverage again!!!. 8 minutes of the Downhill, BS Studio commentary, idiotic commentators. I just pray the Universal Sports will show all the events in the ENTIRETY when NBC is done. Once again, NBC shows why it should NEVER be allowed to broadcast the OLYMPICS. What we need is a station totaly devoted to Olympic LIVE no matter what the time the events are.

  8. Here we are Feb 2010…. NBC coverage still sucks… SLING BOx and HAVA Proxies or even ip proxies are badly needed so we can see what good coverage actually looks like in a country other than the US..

  9. The United States is the DUMBEST country in the world, and the Olympic coverage is reason #2,873 why the U.S. sucks and why Americans are stupid. Whenever foreigners say they love America, I cringe.

  10. George Patton

    NBC has the lamest and worst Olympic coverage. It has way too many commercials. But what’s worse are those stupid lame ass human interest stories of the athletes. Who cares! BORING.
    They always seem to edit them against some sappy film score (like Forest Gump or Rudy) with soft dissolves.
    Just show the damn sporting events and let the athletes actions speak for them. No wonder that network loses money.
    Absolutly should be LIVE, in case they don’t know Vancouver shares same time zone with Pacific USA.

  11. The US may have the worst Olympics coverage of any modernized country. Not only are the events butchered for prime-time and biased towards certain countries (mostly the US), they purposely delay events so Bob the genius Costas can frame the narrative so that he looks like he knows something.

    I don’t usualy call for Govt intervention in sports except for safety issues, but the Olympics should be required to be shown live, or don’t bother bidding for it. The coverage will probably stink again this year. Go to the Vancouver site:

    …compare this with the NBC schedules and see how they match up.

    You can’t figure out what NBC is showing or if it is live, and if it doesn’t say live, assume it’s canned.