While many users around the world, including those at home in the UK will have no problem watching the Olympics and its opening ceremony, US viewers will need to be cable subscribers to watch the bought and paid for footage on NBC. Understandably the network is keen for people to be pay to watch, considering it spent over a billion dollars securing exclusive rights. That doesn’t mean people won’t pirate it though.
Of course NBC saw that coming. It happened during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, so why wouldn’t it happen in the increasingly connected world of 2012? The real question however, is what does it plan to do to combat it.
Teaming up with the International Olympic Committee was the first step. Together it’s being suggested by sites like TorrentFreak, that they’ll possibly be lobbying US officials to issue take down and block orders against foreign streaming sources. Torrent sites will also be an issue, but with the use of magnet links and simple domain name changes – like The Pirate Bay moving over to .se – it’ll be difficult to do anything of real impact to these sites.
Why are these people likely to pirate in the first place? Most likely because they haven’t got a free stream of their own. The BBC will be providing one, as will many other countries, and Youtube will be covering most of the events for African and Middle Eastern nations. The US however won’t be doing so, since NBC has the monopoly. That’s right, the Olympics is more freely available in the Middle East than in America.
If you do pay for it however, NBC will be offering a stream online of every event, which is at least better than what it did a few years ago, only showing highlights of the Beijing Olympics.
KitGuru Says: Considering how easy it is to fake your location and watch a foreign free stream, it seems unlikely that NBC will be able to even make a dent in people watching unlawfully from the US.