NBC U has finally unveiled its full schedule of the Beijing Olympics–all 3,600 hours worth on TV and online. As we predicted: Web viewers are going to be able to watch a whole lot of the games live on their laptops — unless they want to see the stuff everyone else is interested in, too.
This means there will be plenty of Olympic handball, badminton and women’s judo on your browser. But don’t bother to try watching Michael Phelps win a gold medal in the pool. NBC U has spent a lot on these games: $894 million in rights fees and more than $125 million in production costs. But trying to keep their best stuff off the Web isn’t going to make them any more money — it’s just going to send Web viewers to illegal sites.
UPDATE: NBC points that with 2,200 hours of live online coverage (compared to 2.5 hours in Torino in 2006), fans of niche sports are getting live video for the first time–ever. Noted.
Here’s a sampling of sports you can see on NBC sites this summer – and which sports you’ll have to watch on pirate sites:
Live online coverage:
archery, badminton, fencing, field hockey, judo, shooting, soccer, weightlifting, sailing, equestrian, rowing, handball, tennis, cycling, basketball, water polo, softball, wrestling, table tennis, canoeing, triathalon, baseball, hockey, taekwondo
No live online coverage:
track & field
NBC U’s full broadcast schedule for the Beijing Olympics embedded below.
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