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The Media Technology

US Viewers Using Proxies To Watch BBC Olympic Coverage 373 373

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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US Viewers Using Proxies To Watch BBC Olympic Coverage

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  • Cable Subscription? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by macromorgan (2020426) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:34AM (#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...
  • by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:39AM (#40843059) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:42AM (#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:Finally (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Moheeheeko (1682914) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @11:44AM (#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:NBC deserves it. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by flitty (981864) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:01PM (#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.
  • Total crap... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:02PM (#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.

  • by blunttrauma (601130) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:11PM (#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.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:46PM (#40844095) Homepage Journal

    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.

    First, I agree largely with your sentiment, but I would point out...that NBC *is* broadcasting video free over the air, all you need is a tv and an aerial to receive and watch it.

    But, that license isn't applicable to anything they do over the internet....? I mean, that is money above and beyond air transmission....and wasn't included in the broadcast license for the spectrum they are licensed to use.

    The FCC really only has say over transmission over the air...not what companies do over the internet, if they did, then I'd have to get some kind of approval or license from the FCC for anything you or I put up or stream over the internet ....and I kinda would like to keep it that way...

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