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US Viewers Using Proxies To Watch BBC Olympic Coverage

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the filthy-pirates-every-last-one dept.

The Media 373

DavidGilbert99 writes "NBC is the sole broadcaster of the London 2012 Olympics in the U.S., having paid $1.1bn for the privilege. While NBC is providing live streaming through its website, you need to have a valid cable subscription in order to view the events. This has seen many tech savvy U.S. viewers turning to proxy servers to view the BBC's Olympic coverage, which doesn't need any sign-in to view — once your IP address looks like it is coming from the UK. One provider of VPN services has seen a ten-fold increase in new customers signing up for their services since last Friday."

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Why don't they use Facebook/Microsoft? (-1, Troll)

h111 (2698497) | about 2 years ago | (#40842909)

Both Facebook and Microsoft cut a huge deal with the olympics committee to broadcast it free over their website. Let me say that again - FOR FREE. ON THE INTERNET.

I think this would had been great opportunity for Google to do their usual push marketing. Just put olympics streaming on their homepage and require Chrome to view it (like they do on several other HTML5 sites). But they most likely lost the bidding war. There's no doubt they tried tho.

Re:Why don't they use Facebook/Microsoft? (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40842957)

Why?
What will they gain?
They are getting all the data from people already about Olympics. Why bother with the infrastructure and cost.

Re:Why don't they use Facebook/Microsoft? (0, Offtopic)

h111 (2698497) | about 2 years ago | (#40842985)

Microsoft/Facebook? Good PR and increased usage of their website.

Google? Increased use of Chrome.

Re:Why don't they use Facebook/Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843015)

Even an MS shill should provide links. I go to http://microsoft.com/ [microsoft.com] and there is not word one about any Olympics coverage. Trying microsoft.com/olympics results in a page not found. Are you even telling the truth about this? If so, they sure don't publicize it. Of course you probably just made the whole thing up so you could snipe at Google again like you always do. Show us the links or it isn't real.

Re:Why don't they use Facebook/Microsoft? (-1)

h111 (2698497) | about 2 years ago | (#40843091)

Facebook is doing it, Microsoft is just search partner (Bing).

Re:Why don't they use Facebook/Microsoft? (1)

JTsyo (1338447) | about 2 years ago | (#40843155)

MSN.com? Don't see anything about the olympics.

Re:Why don't they use Facebook/Microsoft? (1)

pulski (126566) | about 2 years ago | (#40843175)

Both Facebook and Microsoft cut a huge deal with the olympics committee to broadcast it free over their website. Let me say that again - FOR FREE. ON THE INTERNET.

I think this would had been great opportunity for Google to do their usual push marketing. Just put olympics streaming on their homepage and require Chrome to view it (like they do on several other HTML5 sites). But they most likely lost the bidding war. There's no doubt they tried tho.

Funny, another very pro-Microsoft post from h111 the day after another one by a user named h105 that claimed not to be a shill. Odd indeed.

Re:Why don't they use Facebook/Microsoft? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843273)

Funny, another very pro-Microsoft post from h111 the day after another one by a user named h105 that claimed not to be a shill. Odd indeed.

That's not odd in the least bit. I'm certain there's a perfectly logical explanation for it.

And that explanation is clearly that it's one or two guys making new accounts to shill for Microsoft in a desperate attempt to get around anyone marking them as enemies to view them downmodded to hell. See? That wasn't so odd, now, was it?

Re:Why don't they use Facebook/Microsoft? (1)

brandon2 (131054) | about 2 years ago | (#40843455)

I think this would had been great opportunity for Google to do their usual push marketing. Just put olympics streaming on their homepage and require Chrome to view it (like they do on several other HTML5 sites). But they most likely lost the bidding war. There's no doubt they tried tho.

If you've used the NBC olympics streaming, you'll notice that all of the video players are provided by youtube. Google's there, they just seems to have gone the corporate partnership route.

Expect networks to run to Congress (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40842917)

Great. Here comes another amendment to the DMCA. The "Protect Our Networks, Mom, and Apple Pie--And I Support The Colorado Shooting Victims Act of 2013" which will make it illegal to circumvent the licensing agreements of your local network affiliates and outlaw all VPN's that refuse to turn over all server and user data to the FBI and NSA. And it will sail through Congress, and be signed immediately by President Obama--who will say to liberal supporters that he really doesn't WANT to sign it, but is doing so anyway.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (5, Funny)

macromorgan (2020426) | about 2 years ago | (#40843005)

Normally I'd agree with you, but after the SOPA/PIPA debacle the Internet community is mobilized and on alert for crap like this. Although it would be interesting to see the Cat Signal be turned on...

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (1, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40843231)

The only reason SOPA was stopped was because corporations were opposed. But now the corporations (all of them) (except mozilla) are in favor of CISPA so it will pass eventually. Might be another name but it was pass. When the corporations and the Congress are in collusion, what we the People desire has no relevance. Witness the debacle of the TARP2 which passed even with 80% of people calling representatives and saying no. And Obamacare which had almost 70% of people calling and demanding "no". TARP2 was shoved through because it had pressure from the banking corporations, and Obamacare because it had pressure from the insurance corporations (who gained ~50 million new customers via the mandate). We the People have no voice when It the Corporations decide to pass a law.

P.S.

And just in case someone says, "The Heritage Foundation originated the mandate idea"..... I don't give a shit. I am not allied with the Pat Robertson-created Heritage kooks. They also would round-up gays and force them to attend church reeducation camps, if they thought they could get away with it. Their bigoted opinion has zero weight in my book.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843011)

Hey its a free market. If NBC can't provide the coverage i like and i have a choice to use someone else.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40843069)

Once again, yet another idiot that requires education: Oligopolies are NOT "free markets". When you have the power to sign an exclusive contract and shut out absolutely everyone else, there's nothing "free" about it at all.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843187)

Of course the best part of this is that US viewers are apparently abandoning the oligopoly of US television for...a state run (nominally) broadcaster in another country.

The ironing is delicious.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843195)

Then please send this to your favorite congress-critter BEFORE the networks run to them. They know it's all BS, but you can bet they don't give a shit.

I did actually make a choice. I choose to not watch NBC's coverage in the Olympics. Instead I took a far more convoluted route and used a VPN to watch it from the BBC.

What the networks will undoubtedly attempt to do is bribe congress for more control over abroad-data services. So we should get congresses attention of why we choose to use a VPN and avoid NBC before NBC can send a hugh paycheck.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40843419)

Just a random thought: NBC video should be free. They were given a license to broadcast over the airwaves (which belong to the People) and should be sharing the NBC-Broadcast video for free over the air and the net. Else they should have their license revoked.

In my case it's actually a monopoly over the internet (Verizon FiOS or Comcast). No real choice there and why I think these companies should be government-regulated the same way the electric, natural gas, and water companies are regulated. They can't raise their prices without permission of the State PUC, and it should be the same with Verizon and Comcast.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (5, Informative)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#40843157)

In Britain we all have to pay a T.V. licence fee. This money funds the BBC. Watching without paying is illegal. So you are "stealing".
I'm happy for overseas people to pay to be able to get access. I see no reason why overseas subscription isn't an option. The BBC is wonderful and the content should be seen.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843267)

What about folks in Britain without a television watching the online coverage? Are they "stealing"?

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843337)

Notice how GP said "we all have to pay a T.V. licence fee" and not "those of us with televisions have to pay a T.V. license fee'. It's levied as a tax to everyone, television-owner or not.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (5, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40843387)

This is not true.
You can get out of paying it if you do not own a TV, not sure about computers.

I wish the USA had something like this, or if the BBC would let us sign up.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (4, Informative)

Jetboy01 (550638) | about 2 years ago | (#40843449)

The licence is compulsary for any device capable of receiving broadcast media. That includes Internet, TV and radio.
If you can honestly declare that you don't use anything with those capabilities, then you do not have to pay.

You need a TV. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843421)

However, so few don't have a TV that it would cost too much to police and enforce, so they don't bother.

There are rather more USians than British.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843307)

According to the BBC site it is 145 pounds (around 250 dollars) per year. I would happily pay it if I could get the BBC and stream their site.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (0, Flamebait)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40843309)

I watch BBC for free over my antenna but don't find it particularly "wonderful". It seems to have a pro-EU slant with reporters wanting the UK to adopt the Euro and demote itself to just a low-level state. (Like a U.S. state.)

As for why the content is not available for direct purchase, it's because the BBC can make more money selling the content to PBS, Syfy Channel, and so on. It all comes down to $$$.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40843475)

> it's because the BBC can make more money selling the content to PBS, Syfy Channel, and so on. It all comes down to $$$.

Don't forget about the overpriced DVD releases. Some of them even put Star Trek to shame if you look at it from a dollars per hour point of view.

High prices. Short seasons.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40843365)

I wish we could pay.

You give me Sherlock, Dr Who and sporting events live and available for a month after showing and I would gladly pay right fucking now.

INSERT TAKE MY MONEY PLEASE SIGN HERE.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843411)

I'm also a license payer. I don't mind our overseas friends getting it for free: I was happy to pay for it anyway. I consider it a small gift to the world.

I do wish they'd all stop trying to remake the shows and sucking so hard at it, though. I'm looking at you, Top Gear USA.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40843485)

100 times this.

Top Gear USA sucks and should die.
Take the funding and make one or two more episodes of Top Gear per year. Shoot them in the USA and show US versions of cars in that episode. Show all the episodes in both regions.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40843443)

If we could pay a reasonable fee (not as much as you pay, since we're not benefiting from your broadcast system) then many of us would. If we could pay a la carte to see some things, I bet many of us would do that, too. But even if the BBC were game, the IOC wouldn't be.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (4, Informative)

japhering (564929) | about 2 years ago | (#40843481)

I'm happy for overseas people to pay to be able to get access. I see no reason why overseas subscription isn't an option. The BBC is wonderful and the content should be seen.

Basically, the oversite board ruled that if the BBC sold "internet license" to non-UK residents, it would be canabilizing the overseas alternatives like BBC-America, BBC-Canada etc. and thus reducing there profits

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843165)

lol

Someone mod parent as funny.

Re:Expect networks to run to Congress (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843035)

Come on, not even an elected official would support the PONMaAP-AISTCSV Act of 2013.

Now the Protecting Real Online Numberings From Alien Proxies Act of 2013 is something we can all agree on.

it's a scandal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40842953)

it's a scandal that open-net tv isn't available worldwide...
i'm thinking about setting up a streaming service of all the worlds tv stations and broadcasting them online for free, they can royally fuck themselves up the BUTT! (FREEDOM!)

Re:it's a scandal (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 years ago | (#40843215)

What part of restricting "rebroadcast or retransmit" by the copyright holder do you not understand? They broadcast warnings about this all the time. Legally, making over the air TV signals available to the public on your website is something the copyright holder can ask you to not do, even if you don't make money on it. If you now start making money on advertising you can bet the folks that own the content will want you to license their content (i.e. get paid).

Video feeds give errors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40842969)

I actually have cable access and was watching events online successfully on the NBC Olympics website. Starting yesterday, however, the live feeds and all archived video are unplayable. Anything recorded before yesterday still works fine. The "Contact Us" page gives consistent errors with a cryptic "your email was not sent" error. So... yes... I will probably be relying on proxies from here on out.

Cable Subscription? (5, Interesting)

macromorgan (2020426) | about 2 years ago | (#40842971)

If NBC is a broadcast network, why do you need a cable subscription to watch online anyway? I mean other than the obvious that NBC is now owned by a cable company...

Re:Cable Subscription? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843093)

You do not need a cable subscription to view things that were aired on NBC, however if the event was televised one of NBC's cable channels then that content is not available online.

I would pay for coverage offered by a disinterested third party, somewhat like Monday Night Football, where you aren't getting commentary from someone who has a real vested interest in the team and instead is just covering the event.

Re:Cable Subscription? (2)

garcia (6573) | about 2 years ago | (#40843233)

The best is that when you have, say Charter Business Class, you cannot stream the Olympics even if you have TV. Why? Because you are required to have a charter.net e-mail address, something you cannot get on business class.

This is the most ridiculous and obnoxious thing that has ever happened for the Olympics. I'd rather have NOTHING available than this.

Re:Cable Subscription? (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about 2 years ago | (#40843291)

Because they are not required to stream their content online for free. So they don't.

When they provide their service over the airwaves, it is required to be free, so it is. When they provide it over the internet it isn't required to be free because the internet isn't regulated in that way. Hands off the internet, right?

Also note that if you watch NBC over cable/satellite there's a good chance the local affiliate you are watching is also receiving carriage fees from your cable/satellite bill.

WTBS was a broadcast station for decades before it became a basic cable channel. Yet Turner (Time Warner) is not required to stream their content over the internet for free either.

Re:Cable Subscription? (1)

crispylinetta (1639533) | about 2 years ago | (#40843395)

I mean other than the obvious that NBC is now owned by a cable company...

Because NBC is now owned by a cable company.

SNNAAAARRRKKKK!!!!! :)

Good (2)

Jamu (852752) | about 2 years ago | (#40842991)

This is for everyone [twitter.com]

Jeez (4, Funny)

Flipao (903929) | about 2 years ago | (#40843009)

couldn't keep quiet about it could you

Not just Cable... (4, Informative)

bytor4232 (304582) | about 2 years ago | (#40843031)

I tried to log into the NBC app, and they bounced me. I have the basic cable package, that gives me the first 15 channels, plus TBS and GSN. Because I am not "subscribed" to MSNBC and CNBC they wouldn't let me in.

I'm very, VERY dissapointed in NBC and their olympic service delivery.

Re:Not just Cable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843237)

I called my cable provider after the olympic site told me I could watch online for free as long as I was a subscriber to one of the listed providers. My cable provider told me that I HAVE to subscribe to their internet service in order to get that deal. But on the olympic site it said you ONLY had to have a cable package consisting of the NBC channel.

Fucking idiot fucks. TV is such a buttfucking waste of money and time.

Re:Not just Cable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843357)

And yet, here you are, upset that you can't watch it.

Re:Not just Cable... (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#40843363)

Plus it would be nice to have coverage that wasn't oriented toward idiots.

It started before the opening ceremonies, with the NBC presenters delivering what sounded like drug-addled, free association platitudes over a montage of US athletes. It went on through the parade of nations when one of NBC's presenters gave us a fat dose of his personal political opinions. It was not so much that the leadership of those countries he targeted wasn't contemptible, as that I don't need a sports announcer to tell me what to think. It goes on through interview after interview where the idiot interviewers ask "how does it feel to win" and try to pump as much emotion out of the athletes as possible. Discuss how the event went, or cut to a sport you're not covering, for Pete's sake.

Finally (5, Funny)

j-cloth (862412) | about 2 years ago | (#40843041)

As a Canadian, it's fun to watch the Americans finally have to struggle to find content. We've been forced to use proxies for years.

Re:Finally (4, Funny)

morcego (260031) | about 2 years ago | (#40843097)

As a Canadian, it's fun to watch the Americans finally have to struggle to find content.

We've been forced to use proxies for years.

Let me add a "HA! HA!" from Brazil also :)

Re:Finally (1, Interesting)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 2 years ago | (#40843119)

The undeniable shame in this story is that we have to struggle to watch a world event, not content intended for a certain country.

This is the first time I have gone without watching the oloympics every day they are on, and it sickens me that corporations are forcing people into unnecissary services to watch it. I pay for my internet service, that means I should be able to watch what I want online. PERIOD.

Re:Finally (4, Insightful)

DarenN (411219) | about 2 years ago | (#40843197)

No, stop being so wrong.

You are paying your ISP to provide internet, regardless of the content. It does not imply any rights to have content available, so tough cookie if it isn't. Net neutrality, wot.

Re:Finally (2)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40843403)

This proves the people are ready and fast enough to adapt to new technologies...corp, companies and organisations are not. This is what capitalism and bureaucracy is right now. It's not adapting fast enough. My little finger tells me bbc or some other cable company will say at the end of the olympic game "fukk, we could made billions by making people pay to see it online without making them pay others (ie: proxies and other 3rd party provider) to view the event... fffffuuuu"

Re:Finally (3, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#40843191)

I was going to say, It's funny to see things going the other way for once. Living in Canada, I know a lot of people who have signed up for proxy services to access to US Netflix Catalog, as well as things like Hulu, and even things like the shows that ABC, NBC, and CBS put on their websites. The nice thing about Netflix is that even if you sign up on the Canadian site, as soon as you use a proxy, it shows a nice message along the lines of "Looks like you're travelling, Content may be different from what you're used to". You can get a US VPN for $6 a month. Which is well worth it considering how much extra content you can get.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843223)

As do we here in Europe.
The latest lame excuse by the movie / TV distributors are, that although not illegal, people who uses VPN, unblockus, whatever to get access to Netflix, iTunes, Hulu etc, are hindering development of local alternatives. :D
A recent survey showed that 10% had been using US services via VPN or other. It doesn't surprise me since most newspapers have had articles explaining in great detail how to get access.
Personally I have an old linksys router that connects to a US VPN and my streaming boxes are using it as default gateway. I had to purchase them in the US and bring them home with me since they are not all available in the EU and those that are, have the US streaming services removed.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843463)

As a Canadian, it's fun to watch the Americans finally have to struggle to find content.

We've been forced to use proxies for years.

I used to use a proxy to watch Canadian shows online that were unwatchable inside the US. Had to get my Degrassi on.

Re:Finally (1)

thpr (786837) | about 2 years ago | (#40843497)

As an American, I can say living close to the Canadian border is really useful during the Olympics, so I don't have to struggle to get good coverage. CTV is so much better than NBC.

Atdhe (1)

Uthic (931553) | about 2 years ago | (#40843047)

Been using Atdhenet for this, have to deal with a British focus, but eh, that's Olympic coverage.

Re:Atdhe (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#40843193)

:) The British Broadcasting Corporation does tend to focus on British stuff.

Why do the Beeb bother with IP geolocation? (2)

oobayly (1056050) | about 2 years ago | (#40843049)

It's very easy to get around and also means that license payers abroad can't use iPlayer, including servicemen. I'm quite happy paying my license fee, and don't really see why I should help fund free viewing for the rest of the world. However, I don't think they're using the best option.

I'd prefer to have a login that is provided when I pay for my license fee. The BBC could then stream concurrently to [for example] 4 clients using the same login details.

I've set myself up a proxy in work so that I can use iPlayer when abroad - works very nicely too.

Re:Why do the Beeb bother with IP geolocation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843153)

Easy answer: it is simple and good enough. Handling login credentials for every british household is expensive.

Have british citizens living abroad to pay the license fee? It's not the case for the german equivalent.

Re:Why do the Beeb bother with IP geolocation? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 2 years ago | (#40843225)

I'm not an expert, but I do know they offer BBC America "subscription" services to stations like PBS and NPR, and I think it might be bundled with some cable packages. I would imagine it's difficult to compete with your own free services. Or some variation thereof.

Re:Why do the Beeb bother with IP geolocation? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40843459)

So charge for it?
I would gladly pay to use iPlayer, I will not pay for cable though.

Re:Why do the Beeb bother with IP geolocation? (1)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#40843227)

Why do the Beeb bother with IP geolocation?

Because the BBC isn't licensed to distribute content beyond the borders of the UK.

I'd prefer to have a login that is provided when I pay for my license fee.

That would require an Act of Parliament to redefine the BBC's broadcasts to include internet distribution (a TV license is not a legal requirement to watch iPlayer, a fact that you can verify at the TV licensing web site - the TV license only covers video that is watched at the same time as it is being broadcast).

Re:Why do the Beeb bother with IP geolocation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843413)

For one thing geoip is the cheapest way to limit it -- login is state, stateful is always more complex and expensive than stateless.

Additionally, the main reason for restricting it in the first place is so BBC can sell exclusive rights to its programming in non-UK regions, and the details of "exclusive" may be defined such that streaming to license-paying UK residents abroad would be a problem requiring renegotiation of extant deals.

Re:Why do the Beeb bother with IP geolocation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843445)

Mostly speculating: the BBC makes extensive use of peering [bbc.co.uk] to keep their network traffic costs down. This may mean that it’s too expensive to stream content to foreign countries.

In addition, a lot of the rights agreements the BBC has probably specify that the content can only be broadcast in and streamed to the UK. This may even be the case for programmes produced or commissioned by the BBC directly, as it may jeopardise lucrative foreign sales.

Finally, you only need a TV Licence to watch live television. Catch-up TV (iPlayer) doesn’t require one, so the BBC would be unnecessarily blocking some people if they demanded a TV Licence. Similarly, all radio (even live) does not require a TV Licence.

NBCs coverage has been appallingly bad (5, Interesting)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | about 2 years ago | (#40843059)

To be blunt, the Olympic organisation needs to step up in its bid process to make sure that not only is it about getting money in to work within the machinery of an Olympics, but that any partner, and in particular its broadcast partners behave with minimum standards. These would be max advert time per hour, and min coverage required.

Any broadcasters who paster the coverage with advert time and clearly ruin the spectable could be eliminated. Any that don't plan to cover enough get the chop and so on. It should not merely be about the money.

I'm not a fan of the BBC. But its coverage of this Olympics has been stellar, and I can watch any - and all events. No coverage has ever been this vast or all encompassing.

Re:NBCs coverage has been appallingly bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843263)

Sadly the CBC is not covering the Olympics this year. CTV's coverage has been bad but not NBC bad. I am still praying for google to go in halfsies with a media partner in the future and put the whole damn thing on the web. This is the internet, use it!

Re:NBCs coverage has been appallingly bad (1)

SeanDS (1039000) | about 2 years ago | (#40843299)

I'm not a fan of the BBC. But its coverage of this Olympics has been stellar, and I can watch any - and all events. No coverage has ever been this vast or all encompassing.

Are you an expat? I just struggle to see why anyone that lives in America (I am guessing that you do seeing as you've criticised NBC's coverage), and who criticises networks that advertise heavily over the coverage, would have a negative opinion of the BBC.

Re:NBCs coverage has been appallingly bad (5, Insightful)

KermodeBear (738243) | about 2 years ago | (#40843339)

NBC's coverage has ALWAYS been bad. The worst part is that they smother everything with "human interest" stories to the point where you're not sure if you're watching the Olympics or some daytime talk show. Also, they commentary has been ridiculous - and sometimes outright offensive (particularly during the opening ceremonies).

I am incredibly annoyed that the Olympic Committee has started this broadcast monopoly business. It's terrible. NBC paid cash, so they can be as terrible as they want with impunity.

Which is why I have a new VPN account so that I can watch the BBC's coverage.

I would be happy to pay $20 or so for an Official Olympics Streaming Account or somesuch.

Re:NBCs coverage has been appallingly bad (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about 2 years ago | (#40843499)

You can watch any event you want with NBC too. And you were able to do so at the 2010 Olympics (Canadian CBC did it too). And you were even able to do it at the Olympics on NBC!

http://www.nbcolympics.com/online-listings/day=august-1/index.html [nbcolympics.com]

So yeah, coverage has been this vast and all encompassing before. Glad to hear you finally came to the party. I guess you just didn't notice NBC in the room when you got here.

This idea began in the US 20 years ago with the (failed) Olympics Triplecast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympics_Triplecast [wikipedia.org]

They switched to the internet as soon as it made sense and it's been better and better every 2 years since.

Re:NBCs coverage has been appallingly bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843525)

To be blunt, the Olympic organisation needs to step up in its bid process to make sure that not only is it about getting money in to work within the machinery of an Olympics, but that any partner, and in particular its broadcast partners behave with minimum standards. These would be max advert time per hour, and min coverage required.

Any broadcasters who paster the coverage with advert time and clearly ruin the spectable could be eliminated. Any that don't plan to cover enough get the chop and so on. It should not merely be about the money.

I'm not a fan of the BBC. But its coverage of this Olympics has been stellar, and I can watch any - and all events. No coverage has ever been this vast or all encompassing.

Which in the end means that no American Networks would bid on the Olympics, thus removing $1.1B from the pockets of the IOC. Never going to
happen.

Superb coverage (2)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 2 years ago | (#40843095)

I'm really impressed with the amount of events that you can watch on the BBC's website. I initially thought it would just be a couple of events here and there, such as, you can either watch the badminton or the hockey.

Nope, you can choose from a massive range, so much so that I keep chopping and changing just to make sure I catch a bit of everything.

Except for the women's weightlifting. That's just scary.

Re:Superb coverage (1)

BenJury (977929) | about 2 years ago | (#40843173)

I think its more than a massive range, its actually everything. Not only that you can watch everything that's already happened. Its just awesome! Only downside -- for me anyway -- is they use Flash player.

It does suck (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 2 years ago | (#40843099)

It does kind of suck that there's not a legal option to watch online. From what I understand, the only feeds available in the states are only available to people who subscribe to cable.

I wouldn't mind if there was a service that was charging or making you watch ads, but do I really need to pay for cable?

Re:It does suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843203)

You don't need to pay for cable just like you don't need to watch the olympics. Go outside and have a beer olympics. It'll be more entertaining.

fuck NBC (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843101)

...fuck em right in the arse

BEST place to watch is in the middle east (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843103)

On Orbit/ Showtime satellite I get 5 dedicated channels, plus a further 6 from Dubai ( all commercial free with british commentators) plus 10 more streaming channels for laptop or iPad. Altogether very impressive. I feel sorry to those stuck with recorded stuff on NBC.

UK coverage can't be worse that the US one. (5, Insightful)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#40843121)

I watched the Olympics a bit last night when I visited my father, I was pretty heavily annoyed with the coverage.
With constant focus on pouty teens and their families, i was half convinced I was watching some new drama show.
If I want to know more about the athletes themselves, I'd watch the news. Please just stay focused on the performances. |:

Take this... (4, Funny)

mseeger (40923) | about 2 years ago | (#40843149)

Take this you d*mn Yankees and get a tast on how it feels to watch "Game of Thrones" months later or through a TBP-proxy ;-).

NBC deserves it. (5, Insightful)

gblues (90260) | about 2 years ago | (#40843169)

In my opinion, NBC hasn't gotten nearly enough shit over their treatment of the opening ceremony. Constant chattering, inane commentary, and the absolutely insulting audacity to cut to commercial during the 7/7 London Bombing memorial.

The coverage of the games themselves hasn't been too great, either. I'm not going to bitch about a tape delay because that's just a fact of life when the games are 7 hours ahead of local time. But when results are spoiled by fucking promotional commercials just minutes ahead of the event in question, that's just incompetence.

So, screw NBC. I hope someday the BBC allows foreigners to pay for access to its content without having to do VPN hacks. I know I'd subscribe in a heartbeat (hello, Doctor Who Series 7).

Re:NBC deserves it. (3, Interesting)

flitty (981864) | about 2 years ago | (#40843385)

I cannot even watch the tape delay coverage, mostly because it goes like this "And then the Chinese had this particular event, which turned out better than they ever could have expected with a near perfect execution.." and then they preceed to show the event which they just ruined the outcome of, to the point where they were pointing out "this upcoming trick had near perfect execution". I understand having a tape delay for prime time, but most olympic events are fun to watch because the outcome is unknown and so dramatic. If you're telling me the outcome before the event, it's ruined.

Re:NBC deserves it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843433)

Oh yeah! Doctor Who is current most of the time (although there is a week delay for some episodes) but for things where there is a delay I want to see it before someone spoils it for me.

For the BBC to broadcast in America would be ideal (maybe over BBC America?) as subtitles for streaming tends to be hit or miss. Not something most people care about, but when you need it you find that often people left it out.

Re:NBC deserves it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843467)

The terrible commentary is one of the reasons I have been watching the BBCs coverage even though I have a cable subscription which I pay over $100 a month for (a note to BBC licensees if the BBC would let me pay for their coverage I would)

balkanization turning web into TV 2.0 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843181)

With the balkanization of #London2012 and other worldwide events, the web is being turned into TV 2.0 by the content cartels. Originally one of the beautiful things about the web was that content was open to all. Someone from Mozambique had access to all the same data and resources as someone from USA or France. But increasingly, everything is becoming locked down and controlled for the benefit of the big media companies. Only through illegal means most don't even know about can this be circumvented, so a few tech savy people manage, but the vast majority do not.

Who is to blame for this? Well, sure, those media companies, but all of the web users are to blame. As long as we support this balkanization, it will continue to happen. As long as we are tuning into their content en mass, they will never stop this. The end game is TV 2.0, rather than the open and free internet we COULD have had. If we let this happen, it's our own fault.

oh noes!! shocking!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843209)

when you see the results and the news announcements live on twitter and facebook from your friends that spoil it for you....
guess what, media coverage failed! It needs to be live and it needs to be now!
They blocked the athletes to use the social media, they should should have blocked the whole world!
media coverage failed!
This is the digital era, this is 2012, media coverage failed!
keep it coming intertubes, there can't be a block anymore, the intertubes opened up all the borders, just like a company owner can create jobs abroad using VOIP and other technologies, why can't the end user use the same technologies to bypass those borders!?!?!
media coverage failed! media coverage failed!
media coverage failed!
media coverage failed! media coverage failed!
media coverage failed!

Stealing From The British Public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843241)

In the UK the BBC licence fee is £145.50 per year. If you don't pay the licence fee you aren't permitted to own any equipment that is able to receive a television signal, and you aren't permitted to watch live television over the internet. You also get harassed constantly with letters threatening you with large fines, no matter how many times you tell them you don't own a television.

It's nice that Americans can watch the Olympics without a television licence, but this means you're stealing from the licence fee payers. The price is already exhortation for a few crappy channels and some radio stations, and with people watching form abroad costs are only going to increase.

I think this is another good argument for the BBC becoming a subscription service.

Re:Stealing From The British Public (2)

BenJury (977929) | about 2 years ago | (#40843417)

I think this is another good argument for the BBC becoming a subscription service.

To turn it into another SKY or ITV? Full of middle-of-the-road-must-please-everybody trash. I shudder at the thought. And you'd certainly have no more iPlayer...

Re:Stealing From The British Public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843503)

Information wants to be free.

NBC has made me not care (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#40843251)

I don't know about everyone else, but I find myself completely disinterested in the Olympics this round due to all the commercial bullshit attached to it. NBC et al can go fuck themselves; they have thusfar not received a single view of Olympic advertising from me. I haven't even bothered to watch a single event.

And that's pretty sad, because the ideal of the Olympics is something worth protecting.

Re:NBC has made me not care (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40843479)

I've felt that way for several Olympics now, which pretty much coincided with me getting old enough to have a valid opinion about anything like that.

And that's pretty sad, because the ideal of the Olympics is something worth protecting.

And that's why I'm boycotting it until the IOC is unfucked or unfucks itself.

IPVanish FTW (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843275)

http://www.ipvanish.com/ [ipvanish.com] $10/month for servers around the world, many of them anonymous. Right now, all of the UK servers they operate are at less 5% capacity. I am in no way affiliated with IPVanish, but I do take advantage of their great service.

Ehhhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843349)

I'm sorry, are the Olympics important to watch? Didn't think so!

Total crap... (5, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 2 years ago | (#40843391)

It's outrageous enough that you need to be a subscriber of their services and partner companies to watch anything online. But then they mislead you all the way in. They advertise it on tv and online make it seem like all you need to do is click on a feed and start watching. So despite having logins for three of their services I couldn't watch with any because I didn't have one of their crappy cable networks as part of those packages.

And to add insult to injury, coverage on NBC has been abysmal. Take last night's broadcast of women's gymnastics. There was no rhyme or reason to it. They showed a bunch of random events, several times not even waiting to show scores. They barely showed any of the competition, so who the hell knows why China ended up being so far behind, for example. They wasted too much time with goofy drama. And despite being so overly America centric, for whatever reason they spent the first hour in primetime broadcasting diving which featured no American even close to being in medal contention. And, last but not least, let's not forget the endless commercial interruptions.

It's pathetic and my interest in following the Olympics for anything to other than medal counts is quickly evaporating. NBC seems incapable of handling a broadcast of this scale. You'd think that for prerecorded broadcasts, with the massive staff devoted to the games that they'd do a better job of editing.

Good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843429)

that the BBC broadcast 24 (HD and SD) live channels unencrypted via satellite for all to see. Much better than Eurosport or ARD and ZDF here in Germany.

Glad I'm in China (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#40843439)

While I'm first in line to shit all over CCTV (China Central Television) for being the one-sided pillar of propaganda that it is (sort of like if the Obama administration purchased the New York Times) their Olympic coverage is quite nice. They don't do ANY lifestyle/puff pieces on the athletes' lives. It's all sports, all the time. Of course, the time zones are a problem, but whatchagonnado? The events are biased towards those likely to be won by China, but hey gotta give it to them, eh. What kind of unpatriotic freaks don't support their own people in the Olympics? Thus, we get extensive coverage of the two most important events: badminton and ping pong. Yeah, I'm not kidding - those events are Serious Business[tm] in China. Nobody realizes that they are joke events, sort of like how the private school trust fund horsey set never realize that dressage isn't mainstream. Still, better to watch ANY real Olympic sport than commercials and a 20-minute report on an American athlete's relationship with her Yorkshire Terrier. Bonus: if I don't listen carefully, I can't hear the inane announcers ruining the event with their idiotic observations. All that being said, it's not all wine and roses: last night, they had men's synchronized diving on CCTV-5 and women's weightlifting on CCTV-1. Ugh. Switching channels had no effect. Female weightlifters are among the least telegenic athletes of the games, and if I wanted to watch pork and beans I'd open up a can of Hormel.

Re:Glad I'm in China (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#40843477)

BTW, sorry for using three colons in the same post.. Kinda got carried away in the stream of consciousness there.

No pay option (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843469)

I think most people I know using proxies would happily pay for access to all of its online content. Seems like the cable providers would be the ones standing in the way of that (NBC is owned by a cable company).

How do I use a VPN/Proxy service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40843511)

I'm very much interested in watching the olympic games - running a stream on my laptop while I work on my desktop and chat with friends in the UK who are all doing the same thing (except with their TV's), but I live in Canada. I can't get BBC access and the Canadian coverage is... well it's horribly biased and full of advertisements. It's basically 50% commercials and 50% content which is 25 minutes spent talking about Canadian athletes and a 5 minute footnote at the end about anyone else.

I just want to watch the damned games. I've tried setting things up through TOR, but getting Chrome to work with it seems to be a trial in frustration.

Anyways, Canada oot.

Hey BBC, I WANT to pay your damn license fee! (4, Interesting)

blunttrauma (601130) | about 2 years ago | (#40843515)

Hey BBC, I WANT to pay your damn license fee! Figure out a way to let me! Hell, even without the Olympics, I bet there are a lot of US folks who would be willing to fork over the license fee for Top Gear and Formula One coverage alone. There are also British Ex-Pats all over the world who would probably be willing to pay. Not that difficult, set up a separate web site, restofthedamworld.bbc.co.uk as a subscription site, that either proxies to the existing streaming infrastructure or mirrors it. Hell, contract with Netflix to administer it for you, they seemed to have figured it out. If not, piracy will continue to be the only option.
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