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Olympics Only Online If You Are Paying For Cable

By AaronSamp - Thursday, August 09, 2012

This year’s Summer Olympics are being held in London England and just as much as any previous people are almost frothing at the mouth to get a piece of history on their TV or computer screen as it happens. However, NBC has new way to let only people already paying for cable/satellite TV into their online live coverage site. This has a lot of people very angry and understandably so. Many of the “cable cutters” use only services like this to view the content that is not otherwise available on popular streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Vudu.

No More Olympic Free Streaming

If you are looking for a free ride on NBC’s dime, you are going to be out of luck unless you do indeed have a paid service already that offers the same content. This seems counter intuitive, as those who can already watch this content on their TV can use devices like slingbox or others to stream their content on mobile devices, but it would seem that this is the first hard push by the cable companies to try to drive the dollars back to the big screen and away from the mobile world.

Here Is How It Works

If you want to watch live Olympic events on the web, you better have cable service! When you go to the official London Olympics web site, if you try to watch live content you will be taken to a page to choose which cable provider you have. That is not all, you will then be taken to the providers website to login and authenticate your account. At this point, the page will redirect you back to the content that you originally wanted to view. It not only sounds like a bunch of hoops to jump through, but it is.

There is however, a free app that can be downloaded for iOS or Android devices to allow you to view much of the content for free. The big difference is that the official London Olympics app does not allow for any live coverage. This may be just what some Olympics fans are looking for, but still has a lot to be desired.

Who Else Will Follow?

There are many live events that have been historically simulcast online while being played live on television as well. Now that this has been enforced by NBC, it will be interesting to see if others follow suit. The fact that many services are now being blocked by various pay gates, it will not be surprising if much of the content that is now free to view online will soon be paid content. However, this may not be a bad thing if existing paid services such as Hulu and Netflix may be able to offer this type of content to their existing client base to add even more value to the subscription service.

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