A quick hat tip to NBC: We’ve been using their Web site to watch live streaming Olympics coverage, and it looks great. It’s also much easier to run than we’d anticipated: Installing Microsoft’s Silverlight (MSFT) on our MacBook (AAPL) was a cinch, and we watched most of the U.S.- Japan soccer match yesterday, in real time, without a hitch.
But our original complaint about NBC’s Web strategy still holds: The network is mostly concerned about serving themselves and their legacy TV business, not you. That’s why, for instance, you won’t be able to see any of today’s beach volleyball matches on any of NBC’s networks or on its Web site today — rather than show you the events live (they start at 9pm eastern), NBC wants you to wait to see snippets of taped coverage over the weekend.
Not good enough? Fortunately, you have plenty of options. We’ve been collecting a list of ways to watch the games on the Web, with the help of our readers, at this post; we’ll continue to add to that list as the games go on. As we are typing this, for instance (8 am Friday eastern) we’re simultaneously watching the opening ceremonies via http://itsgametime.tv/OlympicsLive.html rather than waiting 12 hours to watch it on network TV. Actually, you can see it yourself right here: UPDATE: The embedded video we originally included in this post stopped streaming Olympic video Friday afternoon. On Saturday afternoon, we received this take-down notice from the IOC:
I am writing to you on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
During the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the IOC is conducting an internet monitoring programme, focused on protecting broadcast rights-holders? exclusive rights in moving images of such Games.
Through its monitoring system, the IOC has become aware that on your website, there is video from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, found through following URL(s)/Channel(s):
Date seen: 09/08/08
Please note that the IOC owns and controls all rights in relation to moving images of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Olympic material may not be transmitted or communicated via the Internet or any other interactive media or electronic medium without the express prior written approval of the IOC, which has not been granted to you in the present case. Moreover, your unauthorised display of video over the Internet causes prejudice to the exclusive rights holders who have received the authorisation from the IOC to do so. The IOC has good faith belief that your use of moving images of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is not authorised by the law. The availability of moving images related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on your website is therefore a clear violation of the IOC?s rights.
Therefore, in view of the above, the IOC requests that you immediately and permanently remove all moving images of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games from your website.
The IOC hereby states, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this notice is accurate.
The IOC reserves all rights and remedies it deems necessary in relation to this matter, including seeking injunctive relief, costs and damages, including punitive damages, where appropriate.
Please confirm immediately, to the following e-mail address [email protected] or to the following fax number +86.10 6512 8830 that you have complied with the above.
Director of Legal Affairs
Here’s another stream, with much better video quality, which is where we got this screen-grab:
And there seem to be plenty of other options, none of which involve complicated proxy server hacks (more on that here). Most of these we’ve tested ourselves, but we can’t vouch for all of them – do be on the lookout for spam sites that offer nothing but AdSense links:
Other ideas? Let us know in comments below.
See Also: How To Watch The Beijing Olympics Live On The Web: Even If NBC Doesn’t Want You To
NBC’s Online Olympics Policy: Big Win For Pirate P2P Sites
NBC U Olympic Schedule: Table Tennis Live Online, Gymnastics On Tape Delay
Three Days and Counting Until NBC Blows Olympics Coverage
YouTube At The Olympics: Exclusive Video You Can’t Watch
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