NBC has officially ushered the Summer Olympics into the 21st century.
In relaunching its Olympics website, NBC announced that it will show every significant sporting event live online – even those events the network is showing later in the day on tape delay.
More than 3,500 hours of programming will be made available on the website, including all 302 medal ceremonies. That's up from 2,200 hours of programming aired online for the 2008 Beijing Games. Users will also, in some cases, be able to access multiple concurrent streams of one event, allowing a viewer to continue watching, for example, all the athletes compete in the pommel horse instead of jumping from event to event during a gymnastics match.
"We are very excited to offer this vast Olympic viewing experience to compliment and fuel our unprecedented daily network and cable coverage, especially the nightly primetime show," said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics.
Granted, the online telecasts will sometimes be nothing more than an announcer-less raw feed of an event. But NBC is wise to finally offer this option, as the network has been much-maligned for withholding events for prime viewing times.
NBC is requiring viewer authentication to allow for online access, meaning that only people who have a cable or satellite account number to provide can use the site (thus preventing people who don't have TVs from viewing online events).
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