YouTube to Live-Stream the London 2012 Olympics for NBC

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For the casual Olympics fan, TV coverage of popular sports like diving and track and field is broadcast often enough. But what about the handball fans? The judo followers? The people who are crazy about canoe sprints?

That’s why YouTube is teaming up with NBC to live-stream the Games. According to NBC, you’ll be able to see every single event live on NBCOlympics.com, which will roughly add up to 3,000 hours of coverage. All of the live-streams will also be available on mobile devices.

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NBC says it will also feature “replays of Web-exclusive events, all television broadcasts, interviews with the athletes and exclusive daily segments about London 2012.”

The Next Web makes a good point about the nature of NBC and YouTube’s relationship, noting that unlike the U.K. carrier of the games, the BBC, NBC is a private company:

This suggests that YouTube will not deliver a livestream on YouTube.com itself, ensuring that NBC will be able to direct users to its own website to maximise pageviews. Whether this will mean YouTube pushes advertising on Olympic coverage remains to be seen.

Whether or not you’ll have to sit through ads, this should be a plus for Olympics junkies and a good sign for sports fans in general. It looks like the trend towards streaming all major sporting events is gaining steam.

Back in 2010 during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, NBC was hesitant to stream everything. Unless you were a big curling fan, your options were pretty limited. Lately, though, things have been looking up.

NBC got less shy about streaming the good stuff when Super Bowl XLVI came around. The entire game was streamed online for free. Sure, you didn’t get the full ad experience or the halftime show, but it was better than nothing.

With the announcement that all of the London 2012 Olympics will be live-streamed, hopefully other networks will follow NBC’s example and start putting their premier sporting events online.

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