It would take you almost five solid months — without sleeping or bathroom breaks — to watch every sporting event at this year’s Summer Olympics. More than 3,500 hours of competition from London will be crammed into just 17 days.
According to a new study by Harris Interactive, in the past, people had to settle for watching the delayed, edited bits broadcast on TV or websites, but technology and viewing habits have changed. This year, 40% of people plan to follow the games on more than one device, with 35% checking in on their tablets and 27% using their smartphone.
In view of this, Micron Associates wraps off the best ways for today’s mobile, multiple-screen owning, Twitter-loving generation to follow the Olympics à la carte.
Live streaming, with a catch. The developing world adds up points to people who want to follow the Olympics particularly the handheld devices-mobile phones. People can now watch the game without going to the event center through their mobile phones in real time. Handheld devices offer the live options to its regular television programming provided that they have a current cable, satellite or telco TV subscription that includes MSNBC and CNBC (for some areas this may mean be more than just basic cable) especially those in the U.S. who wants to enjoy the live streaming of the games.
Online.The Internet portal for all video in the U.S. is NBCOlympics.com. On the main video page, anyone can view the select clips that NBC posts after watching a short ad. These clips are a combination of highlights from events, interviews, profiles, and peeks behind the scenes. It can be sorted by your choice of sport or type of video. The site also offers live streams of any sport to cable, satellite or telco TV subscribers. Called LiveExtra, the service will live stream some Olympic trials and every single Olympic sport. You can watch online or through the complimentary app. It’s the only option for live streaming in the U.S.
Mobile apps. NBC created two official apps for Android and Apple mobile devices, NBC Olympics and NBC Olympics Live Extra, and both are free to download. NBC Olympics has no live video, but tons of content that can be enjoyed by anyone for free, including news, results, video highlights, and the intriguing-sounding Twitter heat map.
NBC Olympics Live Extra app is a mobile version of its LiveExtra online service and requires a cable, satellite or telco subscription. View any event live, watch replays of the ones you missed, and check out medal ceremonies and alternative camera views. Look over the in-app schedule and set up notifications for the events you don’t want to miss. (Avid streamers should be careful not to go over their monthly data limits.)
There are two official apps for the London 2012 Olympics, and they’re available for a mix of platforms including iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7. Official London 2012: Results App has live updates of results, as well as schedules, news, background on sports and athlete profiles. You can follow specific countries and set up custom alerts. The second app, Official London 2012: Join in App, is more for people attending the games, and has schedules and locations for the various Olympic-related festivities going on in London.
The free BBC Olympic iOS and Android app will have a steady stream of quality Olympics news, including a running tally of medals won and live reporting from the BBC journalists attending events.
Social media and news. Perhaps you have no interest in seeing your favorite diver’s perfectly executed reverse 3 1/2 somersault tuck. You just want to know who got the gold as soon as it happens. Individual sports have official, automated Twitter feeds that will tweet out the results as they happen. You can narrow it down to just the events you’re interested in and follow those feeds.
And of course, there are old-fashioned news sites and blogs filled with words and pictures. There are 21,000 journalists in London covering the Olympics (outnumbering the 10,500 athletes competing).
With all the content online, on TV and on social media, keeping up with the Olympics won’t be nearly as much of a challenge as avoiding spoilers.
Television. Oh right, there’s TV, too. If you have cable, you can catch NBC’s coverage scattered across a number of its channels: NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo and Telemundo. Check the schedule for your location, sorted by time or sport, at the NBC Olympics site.
If you don’t have cable, you can still tune into NBC over the air for nearly round-the-clock coverage, including the four-hour prime-time broadcast that will show the most popular events mixed in with the usual profiles and athlete interviews. The channel will broadcast a total of 217 hours of Olympic coverage.