Monday, May 28, 2012

NBC lays out 2012 London Olympics broadcast plan on TV, internet, apps and in 3D

Love it or hate it, we're stuck with NBC as our Olympics broadcaster in the US, and the company recently laid out its full plans for the 2012 Olympics in London this summer. The good news first: will live stream every single event (they'll even be on YouTube.

And in the UK the BBC has its own plans) for the first time ever including streams of each of its channels, encompassing 3,500 total hours and the awarding of all 302 medals. 

The bad news is that if you're not a cable subscriber, many of those hours will not be available to you, and even if you are, you're looking at a (likely convoluted) authentication sign-in process. That's a little bit of pain, sure, but it should mean what we've been asking for -- the ability to watch all Olympics events as they happen, not tape delayed for prime time after viewing grainy bootleg streams over the internet. Also new for the internet are multiple streams for the same event, so for example, viewers can select a particular gymnastics apparatus or track and field event at will.

On mobile devices, NBC also has plans for two different apps on phones and tablets, with one that brings live video streams and another with highlight clips. It didn't specify what platforms they would be available for, but we'd assume the usual suspects (iOS, Android) will be first up. On pay-TV cable, satellite and telco providers it's also providing dedicated channels for basketball and soccer, although it's up to your provider to pick them up. The same goes for the 242 planned hours of 3D coverage it's producing in partnership with Panasonic, which will unfortunately air on 24 hour tape delay, just like the HD broadcast was back in 2004 (we've got chips.... and salsa!). 

For the full breakdown of all 5,535 hours of coverage across NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo and everything else check out the press release after the break, plus an Olympics preview trailer. While there are some limits for cord cutters, sports fans with pay-TV should be ready to experience the best Olympics coverage ever with the ability to watch what we want, instead just what's on the TV schedule.

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