Olympics to Stream Live on Yahoo via NBC Deal? Not Quite

NBC sochi 2014 logo

Peacock extends pact with Internet site to drive traffic to NBCOlympics.com

NBCUniversal extended its pact with Yahoo to promote live-streaming access to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games — but you’ll still need a cable or satellite TV subscription to watch the bulk of the action from Sochi, Russia.

The Peacock’s deal with Yahoo is aimed at driving pay-TV users to log in to NBCOlympics.com, where they will be able to access live streams of all 98 Winter Olympic events for the first time. All told, NBCU’s digital platforms will offer more than 1,000 hours of live content over the 18 days of the Olympic Winter Games Feb. 7-23 from Sochi, more than double that of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Cord-cutters need not apply: Almost none of the Winter Olympics live-streamed events will be available without a pay-TV subscription.

NBCU, which is owned by Comcast, hasn’t said which events it will stream entirely for free — only that the “vast majority” of programming will require cable, satellite or telco credentials to access. It has deals with operators representing more than 100 million U.S. households, covering virtually all pay-TV subs.

Under the NBC Olympics alliance with Yahoo, the Internet site will present U.S. visitors with deep links to specific video highlights and live-streamed events on NBCOlympics.com. Yahoo’s users will “now have easy, one-click access to NBC Olympics’ exclusive and robust digital Olympic video assets,” Rick Cordella, senior VP and GM of NBC Sports Digital, said in announcing the expanded pact.

SEE ALSO: NBC Sports Taps Katy Perry As Sochi Olympics Promotion Intensifies

In addition, Yahoo Sports will work with NBC Sports to contribute Olympic news and analysis for digital segments that will be promoted to both NBCOlympics.com and Yahoo users. Yahoo also will integrate Olympics content into products such as Yahoo Search, Flickr and Tumblr and will launch a daily digital Olympics show. The pact extends the previous deal between NBC Sports and Yahoo Sports, reached in December 2012, which includes co-produced original programming.

NBCU and Comcast are again using the Olympics to push awareness and usage of “TV Everywhere,” to drive home the point that current TV content is available only to paying subscribers — though the walled-garden approach is sure to again prompt grumbling from the cord-cutting vanguard.

Pay-TV users authenticated about 9.9 million devices during the 2012 London Olympic Games, either on NBCOlympics.com or on the NBC Olympics Live Extra app. Since then, NBCU has made several improvements to the authentication process with the 2014 Winter Games. Those include auto-verification for some cable and telco customers based on a customer’s Internet Protocol address; and a cross-domain verification for customers who have already verified their subscriptions with Adobe Pass on their desktop or mobile device.

As with the London games, NBCU is offering a how-to video with Ryan Seacrest explaining how cable, satellite and telco TV subs can log in to watch the Winter Games online. The Seacrest segment also will air as part of the Peacock’s Olympic cross-channel marketing efforts and on NBCOlympics.com, and pay-TV providers will begin running customized versions later this month.

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  1. Kat Ross says:

    I refuse to jump through those phsyco registration loops that Brian is talking about. I got sucked into that with the London Olympics.
    I am a cord cutter with a Roku player now. I love the Olympics as most Americans do. However, Enough is enough!!! Sad
    signed: Kat. A big Nordic skiing fan

  2. Reggie Lemond says:

    Sigh. Another classic bait and switch designed to drag cable-cutters like me back into the fold. But because Kabletown, I mean Comcast, has a monopoly by dint of owning NBC, it works. For the past 3 Olympics I’ve held my nose, plugged back into cable for a month, then immediately cut off service. It’s somewhat annoying to do that, but I like watching the games. NBC take note– I would be willing to pay to watch purely streaming if I meant I never had to bother with the cable bureaucracy and associated idiotic fees ($30 to install something myself? $9/month to rent a receiver? $50+ a month for 250 channels of dreck?).

  3. A perfect storm of technical idiots at Comcast/NBC. Using the very instructions found at their site, I attempt to “verify my access” to their Olympics streaming site.

    I’m prompted for my Comcast account and password, the same one I use every day to log in to my Comcast/Xfinity online movie and television show streaming services.

    My login credentials are accepted, but when I’m returned to the NBC Olympics site, I’m prompted to log in again.

    This sequence repeats itself over and over and over.

    I’ve tried three different browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer) across three different computers (Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows XP) and the result is the same.

    NBC and Comcast are two perfectly idiotic organizations, led by idiots, staffed by idiots, and confidently practicing their idiocy for all the world to see.

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