Posted: Jul 13, 2012 3:13 PM by NBC News
Updated: Jul 13, 2012 3:37 PM
NEW YORK - The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics is two weeks from today. It's not only a big event for millions of television viewers, but this time around, it also promises to be a major event online and within social media. As Mark Barger reports, NBC's preparing for that.
When the Olympics begin the coverage onslaught will go beyond just tv. "You'll be hit with the Olympics in every single screen you look at. It's pretty much going to be inescapable," says CNET.com Senior Editor Bridget Carey.
NBC's teaming up with Youtube to live stream more than 3,500 hours of events on nbcolympics.com.
"No one's put tech to the test like this. No one has done streaming to this level," says Carey.
For the first time, those Olympic streams will also be available on both Apple and Android mobile devices. An app called NBC Olympics Live Extra (Google Play, iTunes)will let customers of television service providers access that streaming coverage.
"We're really trying to do new things, break new ground, give Olympic content to the fans of the Olympics
no matter where and when they want it," says Rick Cordella, Senior VP of Digital Media at NBC Sports.
Cordella says that flexibility extends to a second mobile app, simply called NBC Olympics (Google Play, iTunes). It will provide additional games content, including a primetime companion feature to serve as a "second screen experience" during the competitions.
"You have this culture, where we're holding tablets in our hand, and our smart phones in our hands while we're watching tv," says CNET's Carey.
That allows for lots of social sharing. NBC's teamed with Facebook for an Olympics page to host comments and exclusive content, and poll some of the social network's 900 million users about Olympic topics.
"We hope that people, cubicle dwellers across America, will tune in online, and on their apps to watch this content," says NBC's Cordella
That's along with the traditional way of watching the Olympics on local NBC affiliates, like KRIS-TV.
To try to avoid any "digital disruptions" during the games - either from technical issues or possible hacker attacks - NBC and Youtube's owner, Google, have been holding 'war games' of sorts to deal with various potential scenarios.
NBC has hopes the london games will become the most watched online event in history. In 2008, 52 million unique visitors watched more than 75 million video streams on nbcolympics.com.
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