Fans can watch every Olympic event live online

Associated Press Published: May 1, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Usain Bolt could be defending his Olympic 200-meter title on a Thursday afternoon in the United States.

Fans will be able to watch the race live online for the first time during this summer's London Games, but what they'll see is very different from the tape-delayed, prime-time package that will still air a few hours later.

NBC executives decided to shift from their longtime philosophy and make every event available as it happens, convinced that the plan will build interest in the Olympics and not siphon off viewership from the traditional nightly broadcasts. That means the Internet streams will be fairly minimalistic, a move aimed at tempting fans to re-watch the competition in a more stylized presentation on the network that evening.

"You'll be able to live the moment," said Rick Cordella, the vice president and general manager for NBC Sports Digital.

The online coverage will use the world feed instead of NBC camera angles. That's what viewers in many smaller countries see on their local networks, so the production is high quality, if less specialized than Americans are used to for the Olympics. There will be basic graphics and, for some popular sports, announcers from the Olympic Broadcasting Services.

Cordella said he didn't know yet which commentators would call high-profile events like track, swimming and gymnastics for the OBS.

And if Bolt wins in another world record, fans will have to wait until prime time to see a post-race interview.

"It's not infringing upon prime time," Cordella said.

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