Better late than never? NBC has come under a lot of heat for holding back live coverage of the Olympics, using tape delays to aggregate larger audiences during prime time hours. But it looks like the broadcaster might finally be embracing live, open coverage of some Olympics events, with the news that it will make today’s semifinal Men’s Hockey match between the United States and Finland available for free on live broadcast TV and on the web.
Beginning at 3:00 pm EST / 12:00 pm Pacific, the match will air on NBC. But unlike Wednesday’s match-up between the U.S. and Switzerland, which ran live on the east coast but was held under a time delay for Pacific and Mountain time zones, this time it will run live on both coasts. That’s great news for hockey fans that will be at home during that time, but for those that are working and won’t be in front of a TV, the match-up will also be streamed live online at NBCOlympics.com.
Importantly, the match-up won’t be restricted behind an authentication hurdle, but will be available to all viewers at the broadcaster’s Olympics site. Previously NBC required viewers of live and on-demand video streams to prove that they were paying cable subscribers by singing in through a log-in system. It seems to be making an exception for Men’s Hockey, which will probably bring in large audiences during daytime work hours. On Wednesday it streamed the entirety of the quarterfinal Men’s Hockey matchup between the U.S. and Switzerland without requiring users to log in to the site, making the video open to anyone who tried to access it.
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