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Money Minute: Olympics set to go live online [Video]

May 02, 2012|By David Lazarus

TV networks tend to be wary of online streaming, out of fear of giving away the store (see: newspapers, free websites). But that's changing, and fans of the Olympics are the winners.

In the past, only a portion of Olympics coverage was offered live online, and that didn't include the way-popular events such as the 100-meter dash.

But execs at NBC, which has the broadcast rights for this summer's London Games, say viewers will be able to watch everything live online, including the good stuff, rather than waiting for tape-delayed TV coverage during prime time.

Online viewers will see the "world feed" instead of NBC camera angles. That means they'll still get high-quality production and graphics, but different announcers and, probably, a less America-centric perspective.

But it won't quite be free. Most of the Internet streams will be available only to people who already subscribe to cable or satellite services. They'll have to log in to prove they're customers.

That catch notwithstanding, this is a big deal for a big TV network -- and an acknowledgment that more and more viewers are abandoning TV sets for newfangled viewing options such as on their computer or tablet.

Give NBC a gold medal for waking up and smelling new technology.

Now we'll just have to see if the move pays off financially (see: newspapers, digital distribution).

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