Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Online video streaming to enable live viewing of all 2012 London Olympic Games events

NBCUniversal (NBCU) has detailed its plans for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and there is good news for those who love live sports: the network plans to leverage online video streaming and its multiple cable network adjuncts to provide live coverage of just about every event.

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Live streaming of every single event will be available at NBCOlympics.com. The online video capability will include streams of each of NBCUniversal's channels, including NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo. However, those streams will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers (in other words, you'll have to login using the login information you use for your provider's website, hopefully not in an excruciatingly painful manner).

That video streaming will encompass more than 3,500 total hours as well as the award ceremony for all 302 Olympic medals. Also new this Olympics will be the availability of multiple streams per event, meaning you could, for example, switch between different track and field events at will.

It wouldn't be 2012 if NBC didn't offer mobile device support, and it will. The network said it will have two different apps, one that provides streaming video of live events, and another that provides highlights. It's unclear what platforms will be supported, but we'd expect iOS and Android to be covered, at least.

It's also possible that using a Flash-enabled mobile browser (such as on Android or Skyfire on iOS) you might be able to watch directly from a browser on your mobile device.

NBCUniversal added that it is partnering with Panasonic for an unprecedented 242 hours of 3D coverage, although that coverage will air on 24 hour tape delay, unfortunately.

This is NBCUniversal's seventh consecutive Olympic Games and 13th Olympic Games overall. Both are the most by any U.S. media company, with ABC second with four (twice) and 10, respectively. London is also NBCUniversal's seventh consecutive Summer Games, with the network broadcasting each one since the 1988 Seoul, South Korea Games.

Other tidbits of information from NBC's press release:
  • The 5,535 hours of total Olympic coverage are a record, and surpass the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games coverage (3,600 hours) by nearly 2,000 hours. The coverage more than doubles the total amount of coverage from every Summer Games combined prior to Beijing (2,562 hours from 1960 Rome on CBS to 2004 Athens on NBC).
  • Including two days of soccer competition prior to the Opening Ceremony, NBCUniversal will average 291 hours of coverage per day over the London Olympic Games' 19 days.
  • NBCU networks will provide coverage of all 32 sports and all 302 medal competitions.
  • NBC's 272.5 hours of London Olympic coverage is the most extensive coverage ever provided by an Olympic broadcast network. It is nearly 50 hours more than the 225 hours of coverage in Beijing in 2008.
  • Daytime coverage will begin on most weekdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT, immediately following NBC News' TODAY, which is originating from London during the Games. On weekends, NBC's daytime coverage will begin as early as 5 a.m. ET/PT.
  • NBC Sports Network will act as the home for U.S. team sports, with 292.5 hours of total coverage from 2012 London Olympics this summer, including 257.5 hours of original programming. That is an average of over 14 hours per day, the most ever for an Olympic cable network.
  • MSNBC will carry 155.5 hours of a wide variety of long-form Olympic programming over 19 days.
  • CNBC will serve as the home of London Olympic Games boxing, including the first women's boxing events in the Olympics. CNBC will televise 73 hours of boxing coverage over 16 days, including elimination bouts and going all the way to the men's and women's finals.
  • Bravo will be the home of London Olympic games tennis. The network will air 56 hours of long-form tennis coverage from July 28-August 3.
  • NBCOlympics.com will live stream NBCU cable channels NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo, but that coverage will require authentication with cable, satellite or telco providers.
  • NBCUniversal announced the most extensive Spanish-language Olympic coverage in the company's history, offering more than 173 hours of the upcoming London 2012 Olympics on Telemundo, "The U.S. Home of the Olympic Games in Spanish." The 173 hours of Spanish-language coverage by Telemundo nearly equals the total coverage broadcast by NBC for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (176.5).
  • Specialty channels for basketball and soccer are available to cable, satellite and telco providers, totaling 770 hours of coverage.
The full Olympics schedule is available at the official 2012 London Olympics website.

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