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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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  • by pellik ( 193063 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:09PM (#46190277)
    Did you notice that there is a new javascript link saying they changed their plans on rolling out the beta? Or what are you fighting against now?
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:31PM (#46190611)

    What you get out of paying taxes that go toward protecting our "amateur" athletes as they travel the world is that when you get real good at speed skating they'll protect you too, free of charge. In return, those athletes pay their taxes, and it goes to things that sometimes benefit you more directly than it benefits them.

    Neither of you get free TV content out of the deal.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hackysack ( 21649 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:50PM (#46190823)

    No one is owed "free" content. When you've laced your content in ads however, it's no longer technically free. I have to pay a toll of time.

    Sure NBC can buy the rights and then restrict the delivery any way they deem fit.

    However, the bigger point is, why is it easier to acquire the content surreptitiously than it is to gain lawful access to it? I'm a cord cutter, I don't pay for cable because I don't ever watch it, and I don't want to subsidize the constant creation of crap programming it carries. I shouldn't have to subscribe to basic cable to be an additional set of eyeballs for the one piece of easily streamable content I want in a month.

    That said, I don't have to. I'm in Canada, and all the olympic coverage is available online. I'd suggest the submitter find a proxy and go from there.

  • i reattached my cord (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:56PM (#46190875)
    Last year when i got FIOS i cut the cord. I was all smug about not having a paid tv service. This year, they offered me a package that includes tv and faster internet for less than my internet only package. I don't know why it works this way, but it's $10 a month cheaper to have a tv subscription. I still can't watch tv because i don't have a tv that supports this card thingy. I didn't get the set top box option. However, i was pleasantly surprised when i found i could use my login to get access to olympic streams.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MtHuurne ( 602934 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @07:21PM (#46191075) Homepage

    If NBC buys television rights for billions of dollars, of course they're going to use those to make money in any way they can. In my opinion the IOC is the main party to blame here, for selling exclusive television rights in the first place. They're the ones who are supposed to uphold the Olympic tradition.

  • Re:Cut the BETA! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @08:03PM (#46191345)

    The reaction to these changes demostrates the issues "nerds" have with change.

    Change is neither inherently bad, nor is it inherently good. The problems people have been raising with the Beta are many and are legitimate concerns: tone-deaf forcing upon the users, reduced information density and poor use of space, loss of features, more development emphasis on articles (a top-down feature) rather than the comment system (a community-driven feature), etc. Dismissing these concerns as just a "fear of change" is intellectually dishonest and insulting.

    I suddenly feel sory for GNOME Designers.

    Don't. They are terrible for very similar reasons. A high-handed notion that their "cleaner" design trumps the need for any features that they removed that others might have actually used to work more efficiently. Plus, both cases had an existing community that did not like the changes and were ignored in favor of hopefully appealing to newer users.

    Kind of like Spike TV (designed from the beginning to target 18-35 single males) trying their damnedest to get women to stop watching the network, so they could sell ads to the right people. As my sig says, it's because it's the advertisers who are viewed as the "real" customers. We're just the product, and product doesn't get much of a say in how it's used.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @01:42AM (#46193357) Journal

    But they're being greedy, pure & simple.

    Oh, I get being greedy. Greedy is when you do something unpleasant in exchange for making more money, right? But what about when you do something unpleasant in order to make *less* money? Is that greedy?

    NBC sells eyeballs to advertisers. Cord cutters have eyeballs, and are willing to consume the advertising supported content. Ironically, cord cutters generally can't skip commercials, unlike the cable customers with DVRs. NBC is therefore cutting the number of viewers by about 10% for no particularly understandable reason.

    That's not greed, that's stupid.

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