(A big apology to my international readers – I still can’t believe I even have international readers – but this is going to be America-centric. I hope you all enjoy the Olympics, and may the best athletes win.)
A common complaint about watching the Olympics in the United States isn’t just the tape delays for events (and I live on the West Coast, so even when the Olympics were held in my time zone two years ago, I still couldn’t watch stuff live thanks to NBC wanting to maximize prime time ratings), but also the America-centric broadcasting choices. A common theme I keep hearing is, “if the USA didn’t do well, it doesn’t exist.” (Then again, choosing to cut into the Vancouver 2010 Closing Ceremonies with an episode of The Marriage Ref was not their finest moment either.) I understand the desire to focus on our own athletes, but there are some Olympic fans in the USA that want to see the best examples of Olympism there are, regardless of where they are from.
Thankfully, NBC is aiming to improve this time around with live streaming coverage of all 302 events, including dedicated streams for individual track events and gymnastic apparatuses. (That is, if you want to watch track or gymnastics like you would on television, choose the main feed. If you only care about one discipline – perhaps discus or parallel bars, you can choose a feed that shows just that.) In addition, it seems like events will be available to watch on-demand for something like 48 hours after the event takes place (which is good when watching something live on London time ends up taking place at oh-crap-thirty California time, and some of us have to be at work the next morning).
All you need to do is visit the NBCOlympics.com LiveExtra site and get started. (I am linking you to the help page, which has all sorts of helpful FAQs.) You must have a television subscription package of some kind (cable, satellite, etc.) that contains CNBC and MSNBC, and you will need an account name and password from that provider, but this is a free service. There are also free smartphone and tablet apps so you can take the Olympics with you wherever you go.
The Opening Ceremonies start Friday July 27 at 7:30 Eastern and Pacific, and run until the Closing Ceremonies on Sunday August 12. Let the Games begin!
[Edit: I wanted to add a small note. I have not been compensated in any way for this post. Well, financially, anyway. I’m just an Olympic fangirl who is overjoyed to be able to watch any event whenever I can. My family is already resigned to not seeing me for two weeks. Also, full replays are available within 48 hours of the event’s end.]