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Television Media The Media

US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online 578

Monoman writes "The Washington Post reports, 'The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics start tonight. But if you're among the 9 percent of U.S. households who have broadband but don't subscribe to paid television, it will be nearly impossible to (legally) watch the games online this year. ... That's because while NBC is streaming all of the events live online, full access to the livestream will only be available to paying cable subscribers. And thanks to a $4.38 billion exclusive deal NBC struck with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) in 2011 for the privilege of broadcasting the Olympic games in the U.S. through 2020, cord-cutters don't have a lot of options.' Is this a money play by Comcast/NBC to get some subscribers back? Should the FCC step in and require NBC to at least provide a stream of their OTA content?"
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US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jtara ( 133429 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:07PM (#46190241)

    And why is it that you are owed free content?

  • by emmagsachs ( 1024119 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:08PM (#46190257)
    Not with a bang, but with a beta.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by silviuc ( 676999 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:09PM (#46190279) Homepage
    Do they still display/run ads? If they do, then content is paid for and they get even more eyeballs to watch the ads.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:10PM (#46190285)
    ...and all online. There's just the minor issue of geolocation to circumvent.
  • Dont watch it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by muphin ( 842524 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:11PM (#46190297) Homepage
    i dont watch it, dont care.
    the Athletes are awesome... buts its too political and commercial now.
    and now the Olympics are being limited to certain media outlets....
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:11PM (#46190313) Homepage

    Because I'm required to pay taxes to cover the millions of dollars of public funding being spent on security for the games.

  • Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wuhao ( 471511 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:13PM (#46190343)

    That 9% is pretty used to having reduced access to licensed, live television content as a direct consequence of not paying a subscription for licensed, live television content.

  • Money Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:13PM (#46190347)

    For a while not, the Olympics has been nothing but a money making and redistribution system. When I was a kid, we had amateur athletes that worked hard for their few minutes of fame. The money for them came after their competitions, so it was a bit less corrupt. Sure, we had steroids back then and people were getting busted. At least they tried to give a sense of fair play back then.

    Today's Olympics is like watching any other televised sport (NBA/NFL/Baseball). It's a sham to make money. Most participants do have some natural talent, but anything that makes TV is well.. treated differently. Athletes are "trained", "fed", given exceptional medical care, and pampered for the spotlight. Their sponsors abuse them to make money, media outlets do the same, and Governments use them for clout (see how much money we spent on _our_ athletes!).

    I'm sure part of my bias is becoming older and more cynical. Not that much though, because we have an internet that lets us compare today to the 70s and see the difference. Pro Hockey players are what make the Olympic teams today, and Pro basket ball players, and Professional skaters are what's on the ice. The US claims to have done this because others do, which may or may not be true. Two wrongs won't bring back the original spirit of the games however.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reebmmm ( 939463 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:15PM (#46190375)

    As far as I'm aware, you can still get it by antenna. So, there you have your ad supported NBC version for free.

    I don't know what that has to do with making the same content available online.

  • by PingXao ( 153057 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:18PM (#46190429)

    Just like slash BETA the world wouldn't really be affected one way or the other if the Olympics just up and went away. The worst effects would be felt by the corporate sponsors who would be deprived of a way to market their garbage to teh sheeple consumers.

    Let the Olympics die. The International Olympic Committee and a large percentage of the national committees are some of the most corrupt organizations in the world. Fuck 'em.

    And if someone who doesn't subscribe to cable television can't see online video of the games then I consider that a GOOD thing. It leaves more bandwidth for the rest of us.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bob_super ( 3391281 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:18PM (#46190441)

    Do you genuinely believe that the US ships that happen to be nearby, and all the Delegation's land security, as well as the assistance provided by the US agencies warning of toothpaste terrorists, are free?

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:21PM (#46190477)

    You object to paying to protect our citizens as they travel the world, or you object to not getting free television content as a result of it?

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:21PM (#46190487)

    And why is it that you are owed free content?

    I suppose a 4000 year old tradition of having an open and international series of games to bring about peace and cultural tolerance/friendship might confuse some people into thinking that as a global event, the ability to view and participate in them would be something not controlled by a single group of greedy profit-oriented people who don't care to hear the clamours of said participants. Sorta like Slashdot beta....

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:25PM (#46190535)

    because entitlement!

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:26PM (#46190543) Homepage


    U.S. Navy warships enter Black Sea ahead of Sochi Games []

    Two U.S. Navy ships entered the Black Sea Wednesday as part of a Pentagon security plan ahead of the Sochi Olympics. The ships will be on standby to assist in the evacuation of American athletes and spectators in the event that threats are made to the 2014 Games.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bob_super ( 3391281 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:26PM (#46190555)

    I'm not objecting to anything. I'm pointing out that my tax dollars are used to support a dictator putting on a big corporate show.
    Since they are not supposed to be doing this for the glory of Coca-Cola, it must be about the sports.
    Under that false assumption, I'm sponsoring a big sports event by paying for its security. As a sponsor, I should probably have the right to see a stream of dreadful US-centric self-congratulatory selective coverage riddled with ads... for free.

  • by foobar bazbot ( 3352433 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:29PM (#46190589)

    Did you read what that new link says?

    It says they'll keep classic around "until we're confident that the new site is ready", thus implying they do plan to remove classic. It states that they "have work to do in four big areas", and accurately lists what people have been complaining about (the accuracy and non-contradictoriness of the list makes Soulskill's assertions that much of the feedback is contradictory look questionable, to say the least), but carefully refrains from actually saying that any particular improvements will happen before they roll out the beta and execute classic.

    In short, once you run it through a corporatespeak filter, it says they didn't expect this much backlash, they're going to postpone the rollout (but not necessarily change it in any other way), and they're trying to pacify us by repeating back what we've said. And if you read between the lines, you might get the impression they're not going to give us this much warning next time...

  • Re:Money Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:43PM (#46190735) Journal

    It is extremely commercial nowadays, but keeping out pros was always an idiotic farce. It harkened back to the days of pros vs. athlettes who had patrons, the latter being amateurs.

    Over the last century, many nations became the patron, including communist ones that, idiotically, legally had no pros at all. Yet their job was to develop and make the motherland look good on the international stage.

    If they could do well, they got rewarded in a perverse aping of capitalism -- they got upgraded apartments and things for their family. Judges likewise had similar additional pressure to slant things -- pressures well above the West, because lack of freedom disallowed all alternatives.

    So I'm fine with pros being allowed -- in many countries except the West, they've been there all along, and the anti-pro rule got started as a snooty wishback to days of kings and lords being patrons, with modern governments taking over that snooty role, touting it as a virue to their populace, as opposed to those crass pros doing it for money.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:43PM (#46190751) Homepage

    I like how the games are a private enterprise when it comes to NBC's monopoly rents on access to coverage of the games, but part of the world community when it comes to the costs of putting them on. Privatizing the benefits while collectivizing the costs is not capitalism.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:46PM (#46190783) Homepage

    NBC is free to limit access to their broadcasts. What they shouldn't be allowed to do is ban other media companies from providing coverage of the games. The games are either a public event or they aren't. If they're public enough to deserve government funded security, then they're public enough that anyone should be allowed to cover them.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:47PM (#46190791)

    Those warships and the soldiers on them don't cease to exist when not in Sochi,


    The universe ceases to exist every time I close my eyes and reappears when I open them.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geoskd ( 321194 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @07:10PM (#46190997)

    We're all getting government funded security theatre right now.

    Fixed that for you

  • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @07:37PM (#46191169) Homepage

    Talk - action = nothing.

    Slashdot is a conversation site. The talk IS the action.

    Here's some more of it: FUCK BETA.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @08:09PM (#46191385)
    For profit corporations are greedy?!
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ralph Wiggam ( 22354 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @08:59PM (#46191733) Homepage

    NBC paid the IOC over a billion dollars for the rights to show these games. They're spending millions and millions of dollars to produce and broadcast events on the other side of the world.

    You're demanding to watch them on the device of your choosing for free.

    And NBC is "being greedy, pure and simple"?

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming