For the first time ever, all 98 events of next month's Winter Olympics will be legally available to stream online. Last week, NBC announced a new partnership with Boston-area tech company Akamai Technologies that will allow them to stream every event from this year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on NBCOlympics.com and NBC's mobile apps. But cord cutters shouldn't get too excited.
Unfortunately, NBC will only make the service available to those people already paying for a television subscription. Using verified pay-TV subscription information, viewers will be able to log in and watch each event live on their computers and mobile devices. NBC believes Akamai's Intelligent Platform, the "leading cloud platform for delivering secure, high-performing user experiences to any device anywhere," will enable them to optimize viewing by delivering large content at scale and globally.
In spite of vocal backlash at its digital efforts last time around, NBC reported nearly 10 million devices were authenticated during the 2012 London Summer Games. Since then, NBC and its partners have made a great many improvements to the process (as evidenced by this how-to video tutorial hosted by none other than Ryan Seacrest.)
In addition to live-streaming content, Yahoo has plans to produce its own plethora of digital content in support of Sochi broadcasts, including digital news and analysis segments as well as promotional support efforts through Flickr, Tumblr, and the like. Still, the meat of digital content available from Sochi will grace only the screens of those already paying for a cable subscription, a fact sure to irk the wireless generation.