First or last place for online Olympics?

So, I was browsing 24.com when I stumbled across a link to a to a link to a link to a blog to do with coverage of the Olympics. Online.

The sanctioned Amercian choice is obviously NBC, which is promising over 2 200 hours of Olympic online television. That’s all the events between all countries all the time. I think this is fantastic for people who have enough bandwidth to throw around with. A country like South Africa will never be able to get the full Olympic experience. Of course we talk about 8 channels of live Olympics on DSTV in hushed voices resonating with excitement. But will that ever beat being able to watch and re-watch an event where South Africa wins a medal? I realise we’re still waiting for this glorious moment, but so is Canada and they have a website dedicated to online Olympic television, CBC.

There are other providers of streaming television, such as WatchOlympicsNow.tv (snazzy title) and a special channel on YouTube.

But is this online experience all it’s cracked out to be?

Just to be petulant and demanding: all of these sites have placed some restrictions on viewing. WatchOlympicsNow is expensive: It costs $99 (R771) for the duration of the Games, and there is a brief pre-games window during which the price was down to $49.95 (R389). CBC has free coverage, but only for Canadians. NBC also streams free content, but only to America and has also placed other restrictions on its coverage; no events scheduled to be televised on normal NBC channels will be available online until after they are seen on TV. Bummer. YouTube lets you watch for free, but will sell advertising around the channel.

On the illegal down low, China is top nation in terms of peer-to-peer video streaming, with PPLive officially licensed to show the games — but only to an audience within China. If you can get a good proxy server to this site, you might get lucky.

It seems that it’s still best to watch the Olympics on television.  Just pray you’ll be there when we finally win a medal.

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~ by Ines Schumacher on 13 August 2008.

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