A Bettors Paradise as NBC Plans on Streaming Every Olympic Event
For the first time in history, every Olympic event will be streamed live on the Internet. NBC will be streaming the games from NBCOlympics.com. The bad news is that the games will only be available to “verified cable, satellite, and telephone company customers”.
For now, the broadcasts will be for US viewers only. Like the ESPN mobile applications, users will have to enter subscription information. Canada is thus far not included. Live events will be seen on NBC’s other media properties – NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC, and NBC (the “flagship”).
NBCOlympics.com will have as many as 40 simultaneous streams. Expect a total of 3,500 hours of streaming sports. The NBC TV channel will broadcast the “best of the day’s events” every evening. This is what most casual Olympics fans will be watching.
Why now? Dick Ebersol ran NBC Sports from 1989 until last year. Ebersol was not a fan of live Internet streams. In fact, he cut the streams from 25 in the 2008 Beijing Olympics to 2 during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Technology has changed things for NBC.
The network has booked over $60 million in digital advertising – thanks partly to the live streams. So far, NBC has sold $950 million in advertising for the Olympics – $100 million more than the 2008 Beijing total. They paid $1.18 billion for the broadcasting rights. That means a loss (we didn’t even go into production costs), but a huge gain for the brand.
If you live in the US and are a big sports fan, “let the streams begin!”