32 Sports, 302 Events At Your Fingertips
During the 1996 Summer Olympics, I wrote an editorial for the New York Daily News bemoaning the fact that NBC's prime-time coverage of the game was filled with footage of celebrity athletes, while average athletes — the heart and soul of the Olympic games — often didn't even have their event results announced to the masses.
Wow, how things have changed. I applaud NBC and its effort to provide coverage of every single Olympic event. I suppose there are those out there who think the "32 Sports, 302 Events" coverage is overkill or hype. But from my perspective, NBC's commitment means families that could not afford the costs associated with attending the games in person can still watch their loved one compete on the Olympic stage, and small-town residents can cheer on their hometown heroes as the Olympic events unfold.
"The vast, vast majority of competitors here are not millionaires, they are not international superstars," Bob Costas, who serves as the prinicpal host of this year's games, told NBC viewers back in 1996. "They prepare for the moments of the next 2 1/2 weeks in relative obscurity. … That's just one reason why the emotions surrounding the Olympics are so heightened, why the drama is so compelling, why [the Olympics] are unlike anything in sports."
The Olympics are about human triumph, and now, in 2012, technology is allowing Americans to pick and choose the sports they want to watch, and zero in on the athletes whose stories they wish to follow.
If you haven't already signed up to access NBC's live coverage, now's the time to do it, because there are a few steps involved. Be forewarned: You must subscribe to a cable or satellite service in order to access the live content. (And if you've never set up an online identity with your TV provider, you will need some basic info about your account, so be sure to have a billing statement handy.)
To access NBC's live event streaming, go to NBCOlympics.com. In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, under the "Watch the Olympics Live banner, you'll see a bright red "Click Here & Get Ready" button.
On the next screen you'll see instructions that will walk you through the two-step process to sign up for live streaming. This is where you'll enter the aforementioned information about your TV provider and personal username and password. if you encounter any problems, the website offers a comprehensive FAQ section with solution suggestions.
The NBC Olympics site is pretty clean and easy to maneuver, so once you've successfully logged on, just look for the links that provide information on the live streaming schedule.
Also keep an eye out for other handy online tools. For instance, you can sign up for email or text reminders that will go out 30 minutes before the start of the event you want to see. You can also type in your zip code, so news about Olympians with ties to your area is showcased. (Once you're signed in, you should see a directional at the far right side of the navigational bar that takes you to coverage of local athletes provided by your local NBC affiliate.)
NBC is also offering two Olympic mobile/tablet apps available for Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad). The NBC Olympics app offers searchable results, statistics, schedules, highlight videos, photos, slideshows and more, while the NBC Olympics Live Extra app provides live streaming of all medal events and video replay. The network is also promising companion content that will run in conjunction with the nightly television broadcasts, so have the iPad handy if you want to check it out. As with the website, users will have to provide their TV provider information to access the content.
The apps are — of course — available through Google Play and iTunes. You can also go to NBCOlympics.com to be re-directed to the download options.
And let's not forget, the 2012 games are being billed as the first social media Olympics. NBC also is utilizing Twittter, Facebook and YouTube to spread the Olympic love.
Let the games begin.