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Where to Watch the 2010 Winter Olympics Online

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Figure skating! Snowboarding! Curling! The Winter Olympics are about to start in Vancouver today, and sports fans of all colors are ready to tune in and count the gold medals. Of course, having the Olympics in Canada is nice, because we don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to catch competitions in real time — but it also means that a number of the snowy events will play out while many of us have to sweat in a cubicle.

Here comes the Internet to the rescue! NBC’s Olympics site will feature a number of live streams, but accessing them will be a little more difficult this time around. Luckily, there’s also going to be video coverage of the games available on other sites.

NBC Olympics will stream around 400 hours live from Vancouver. The live streams will for the first time be restricted to subscribers of cable, satellite or IPTV services, so you’ll be out of luck online if you don’t already pay for some kind of TV service. NBC also once again decided to show some key competitions on TV only, where its family of broadcast and cable channels will air 435 hours of live programming. Check this listing for a complete schedule of the competitions.

Users willing and able to deal with the authentication hurdles are actually given some innovative features. NBC Olympics uses Microsoft (s MSFT) Silverlight for its live streams, and the Silverlight player developed for the Winter Olympics will offer slow-motion, fast forward and information overlays, as well as a live-blogging play-by-play of the event. Users will also be able to share select moments of the games on third-party web sites. However, don’t expect blogs to share hockey game highlights. Sharing will be restricted to non-competition content, so we’re all going to be able to watch press conferences and similarly exciting events. will feature daily highlights of the events for mobile phone users. is having a daily live broadcast with TJ Lanning and Resi Stiegler, two members of the US Ski team that aren’t able to compete due to injuries. The duo will broadcast live for 15 minutes from Whistler Mountain, where all the alpine skiing events are going to be held. The show, dubbed Live at the Lodge with TJ and Resi, is scheduled to stream daily at 6:30am PST / 9:30am EST, starting on the 13th. is going more for the glam side of the Olympics with a show called Live from the Club Bud Red Carpet in Vancouver. The NHL’s Heidi Androl and’s Brad Blanks are going to cover the parties that are supposed to be the hot spot for athletes and famous sports fans alike live on the 19th and the 20th from 10pm to 11:30pm PST.

Yahoo Sports has started to offer lots of news coverage of the games on a dedicated Winter Olympics page. The page is currently featuring mostly archived footage, like video profiles of many major athletes, but it will also feature a live feed promising “fan interaction.”

AT&T Mobile TV and Mobi TV will carry the NBC Olympics 2Go channel with live video coverage from the games. is scheduled to feature “exclusive Team USA On Demand videos,” according to an AT&T press release, but the site currently redirects to a Olympics-related music offering powered by AT&T. We suspect this will be fixed once the games go into full gear.

We will update this post with new links throughout the 2010 Olympics. Meanwhile check out Liz Gannes’ Guide to the Vancouver Olympics Online on GigaOm for links to relevant Flickr, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Related GigaOm Pro content: Live Event Coverage: Video Rights Roundtable (subscription required)

30 Responses to “Where to Watch the 2010 Winter Olympics Online”

  1. I have internet service but no cable tv service, so our household has been forced to miss nearly all of the winter olympics. Although NBC is a horrible joke, during the summer olympics we were able to watch nearly any and every event online with that stupid siliverlight program and got to watch roughly 15 LIVE events per day. Their olympics coverage is a complete joke. The only thing I ever being shown on TV is USA coverage and the last time I checked there are a few other nations competing and this is an extremely important world event. NBC is a joke, I bet VH1 could do a better job broadcasting the olympics

    I have caught just a few events on but only a few and the vast majority of the real events that I wanted to watch I have simply missed since I don’t pay for precious, useless Cable TV service. Thank god for torrent.

  2. NBC screws up another Olympics after being handed a gift with the Olympics being held in the Pacific Time Zone!!! NBC this is what you SHOULD have done with your coverage:

    Alpine Skiing: Live on NBC, daytime
    Biathlon: Live on NBC, daytime
    Bobsleigh: Live on NBC, nighttime
    Cross-Country Skiing: Live online or NBC
    Curling: Live M$NBC & CNBC
    Figure Skating: Live on NBC, nighttime
    Freestyle: Live on NBC, nighttime
    Ice hockey: Live on M$NBC & CNBC
    Luge: Live on M$NBC & CNBC, evening; Live on NBC, nighttime
    Nordic Combined: Live on NBC, daytime; Live on M$NBC & CNBC, evening
    Short Track: Live on NBC, nighttime
    Skeleton: Live on NBC, nighttime
    Ski jumping: Live online or NBC
    Snowboard: Live online; re-cap on NBC, nighttime
    Speed Skating: Live/delay on NBC, nighttime

    Priority of Daytime coverage:
    1 Alpine Skiing
    2 Biathlon
    3 Ski jumping
    4 Nordic Combined
    5 Cross-Country Skiing

    Priority of Nighttime coverage:
    1 Figure Skating
    2 Short Track
    3 Speed Skating
    4 Snowboard
    5 Freestyle
    6 Luge
    7 Bobsleigh

    Coverage does not include just the Americans Olympiads, it includes the EVENT. Thank God NBC is loosing millions, so they won’t bid on the next Olympics. But whoever bids on the next Olympics, it won’t be a gift like this one. It will be held in Russia and thus (+/-) 8-11 hours time difference. Meaning the Olympic events will begin at roughly 1 a.m. Pacific Time and end roughly 11 a.m. Pacific Time. Best of luck with that!! Maybe NBC should bid on that, since it excels at tape delaying everything…

    Would NBC tape delay the Super Bowl if it was an afternoon game, so they could air the Super Bowl a few hours later on Primetime? Because the Primetime ratings is what it is all about!! Bob Costas would try to fool the nation into believing they are watching a live Super Bowl and there would be dumb Americans who fall for it! Don’t forget, they would fill the coverage up with feel good stories about the entire lives of the football players. Bob Costas: “In the 7th grade, New Orleans Saints Offensive Lineman Jonathan Goodwin was given a wedgie, he went home and cried. His grandmother told him to be brave and one day he would win the Super Bowl and show those boys who gave him a wedgie that he can be super awesome… blah, blah, blah”.

    • You can’t be more right. I hope nobody will watch NBC coverage of the Olympics. They dont show EVENTS they just show american athlets stories – nothing more!!! It is stupid, stupid, stupid.
      In the Internet age I can’t even watch FREE NBC programming on the internet!!! WHY??? Complete idiots. Oh I hope they loose big, big money!!!
      No, I do NOT wish Americans to win ANYTHING – you know why? Because those guys at NBC will lose BIG MONEY!!!
      Sorry to the great athlets!


      • Today the Nordic Combined Ski Jumping started out live on NBC, but then when NBC went to commercials, they came back at the same point they left off. So they progressively became more and more tape delayed. This is the equivalent of watching a golf game with Tiger Woods playing. The station starts out live but then covers it as though every stoke of Tiger is live. Stupidest thing ever! So by the time Tiger Woods is at the 16th hole on the tape delayed NBC coverage, the tournament is already over and Tiger Woods won. Absolutely ridiculous! All they have to do is say “this is what happened moments ago during the commercial break” and then go back to live coverage.

        Then last night, the short track semi-final race with American short track skater J.R. Celski happened while NBC was greedily extending their commercial break. The second semi-final 1500M short track race had no Americans, so NBC went to commercials, by the time the long commercial break was over, the third semi-final 1500M short track race had already taken place.

        Don’t get me started on the NBC’s luge coverage last night. NBC was airing the 1st round of luge on tape delayed, while the 2nd round of luge was going on in Vancouver! So NBC could have showed the 2nd round of luge live, but why show a live event when you can show tape delayed, right? NBC = absolutely maddening.

        To anyone reading this who thinks: “who cares if the events are taped delayed 10 minutes”, I respond, they let’s tape delay the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, you can find out who wins online 10 minutes before you see it on TV. The Super Bowl comes once every year, the Winter Olympics comes every four years and rarely do they come to an American time zone (Pacific Time Zone).

        The two sporting events I love don’t revolve around the American obsession of throwing as many mind-numbing commercials in as possible: The World Cup and The Winter Olympics. For both of these, I enjoy watching the entire world play LIVE, I don’t watch to cheer for Americans only. I am stunned ESPN does not break in for commercials during the World Cup games for the sake of good ol’ American greed. They show the entire 45 minutes halves commercial free!! They have advertising in the corner of the screen, something NBC should do for live coverage. (Hint, hint, NBC)

        NBC, giving ulcers and heart attacks to die-hard Winter Olympic fans, wants to kill off the people who watch their coverage. I know one of my favorite events is on right now live, the biathlon, but I too pissed to watch it.

        NBC should give advice to CBS for March Madness coverage: have all games on tape delay!!! Show most games 2-8 hours after they happen!! That will make all March Madness fans happy! Right? If it is good enough for the Olympics, it is good enough for March Madness. (BTW, I love March Madness, it’s my favorite yearly sporting event, so CBS better not do anything like that. Like the Olympics, I enjoy watching ALL teams play, not just my team.)

  3. where can i find non-live content? Right now i want to watch the ski jumping qualifier from earlier today. Put simply, where are the archive vids?

    Also, I’m on a mac that has issues with silverlight. Any non silverlight live feeds?

  4. Dave, shouldn’t affect you at all, pus you should get even more online coverage:

    Also, a quick tip for all non-US readers: actually features a nifty drop-down menu to find local online coverage. Just select your country of residence, and you’ll be forwarded to a site providing you with live video. I’ll add this in the next update to the article.