Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why I Won't Be Watching the Olympics

The greatest sporting event coverage online I have ever been able to witness was the 2008 Olympics. NBC made available almost every event for live streaming or delayed streaming. I was able to watch every second of every cycling event in 2008. This year they will expand that coverage and will stream every single event at the 2012 Olympics, but this time I will not be able to watch. 

In 2008 the streaming was available for anyone. Now it is restricted to those who pay cable subscriptions or satellite subscriptions which include MSNBC and CNBC. I have no such subscription so I am left out as a potential viewer/customer from their online product. I would happily pay a fee to have access or would have happily sat through commercials for the same access. 

I am not a 20 something who has grown up with the internet and expects all content for free. I've been paying for subscription music services for years, I've never gravitated to any of the music or video sharing sites because I understand that there are costs to developing content and want artists and companies to be successful, especially if it means getting better and richer content. But I feel as though companies like NBC are missing potential revenue by turning their backs on non-traditional customers to their products. This move by NBC, which they did in the 2010 games as well, does not make me want to go out and buy a cable subscription, it makes me want to not watch the Olympics at all, and so I will not.


  1. Yes, it is. It makes me want to cry.

    1. Still among the saddest posts ever at the HP.

    2. Is this still the policy, or did it ever get changed?

  2. When I was 7, one of the other kids in my Paducah neighborhood came over and announced that he was in such a degree of trouble that his mother was going to dispose of his football cards. At the time, he was my main cohort in playing with football cards, so this was devastating news for us both.

    John (Heath High School Class of '83!) was so distraught, in fact, that he said he just couldn't bear to allow his mom to merely throw the cards away--that he was either giving them to me or he was going to destroy them with darts and a cigarette lighter. He brought me his two favorites--his 1975 Jim Hart and his 1975 Mel Gray--but I told him that I just couldn't accept them. And so John left, and I figured his great collection of cards was doomed. Oh, I cried and cried and cried.

    Ultimately, however, John's mom relented, and we played with football cards for several years more. In that spirit, I'm hoping that the suits at NBC read this post today and roll out an alternative service before things get rolling in London on Friday.

  3. Something called "Television Fanatic" is advertising at this site that you can watch live, online coverage of the Olympics free, presumably through their site.

  4. I am authorized to watch the Olympics on NBC's web page, but NBC is not live-streaming the Opening Ceremonies. They are forcing everyone in America to wait until tonight to see the ceremonies.