10:25 AM NBC upsets Olympics fans by keeping online coverage behind a subscription wall

February 16, 2010

1 Min Read
NBC Walls Off Olympics

10:25 AM -- In an apparent attempt to minimize its losses from the Winter 2010 Olympics, NBC Universal has locked up some of its coverage behind a subscription wall, much to the disgruntlement of some Olympics fans.

According to the Associated Press, cable and satellite providers required the subscription wall "in return for helping to defray some of the cost of Olympics rights." NBCU has said it expects to lose $200 million on the Olympics this year.

Users who try to watch the locked-up content, which includes live streaming and replays of events and competitions, will be required to provide proof, such as an account number or user name and password, that they are in fact cable or satellite subscribers (the exact information required varies by provider).

Since many people may not exactly keep this information handy, this has the potential to discourage many online viewers. However, president of NBC Olympics Gary Zenkel says he's not worried, though he will "monitor" the situation.

"We have spent nearly two years working with the cable operators to streamline this," he said.

NBC has also attracted ire for its tape-delay of many Olympics events, which caused Silicon Alley Insider's Henry Blodget to have a near meltdown on his day off yesterday.

— Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Cable Digital News

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