The International Olympic Committee is permitting more than a dozen broadcasters to show video of the Aug. 13-29 Olympics online. But the footage will be highly restricted to protect lucrative broadcast contracts, which are sold by territory — $793 million paid by NBC alone. Web sites must employ technology to block viewers from outside their home countries, so U.S. Web surfers won’t benefit from the BBC’s live coverage. They’ll have to settle for highlights posted after NBC broadcasts, which are already largely tape-delayed.
Gotta love what commercial sponsorship deals have done to the games of “peace” and “universal moral principles.” Sites offering video of the games will apparently be required “to keep footage within geographic boundaries.” We all know geolocation is flawed, though. When I browse with the tor anonymizing proxy for example, I frequently get German Google pages because many of the onion routners’ exit nodes are in German-speaking countries.
Meanwhile, NBC, on whose behalf these restrictions are being instituted, won’t win any gold medals yet. Its promised HDTV University guide to HDTV coverage of the games is “coming soon” with only a week for would-be students to learn. (Thanks PVRblog.)