July 31, 2008 — The 2008 Summer Olympics marks the first time equestrian enthusiasts will be able to watch the equestrian competition from start to finish, thanks to NBC’s decision to stream 2,200 hours of live coverage of 25 sports at NBCOlympics.com.
Fans will have the option of accessing a live Internet stream of the global feed coming out of Hong Kong or viewing at their convenience by visiting NBCOlympics.com, where the material will be made available on an on-demand basis, along with hundreds of additional hours of background on the athletes.
The ambitious webcast initiative is in addition to NBC’s equestrian broadcast schedule, with horse sport programming with commentary on NBC as well as sister cable networks USA, Oxygen, CNBC and MSNBC.
The Internet feeds will not have audio commentary but will instead feature ambient sound from the event and be enhanced by live blogging from experts in the various disciplines.
The NBCOlympics.com programming is offered free to viewers, who need an up-to-date computer and a willingness to download Microsoft’s new Silverlight media player. Silverlight will be available for free download at NBCOlympics.com, which expects to be offering the next-generation Silverlight 2 in time for the Olympics.
For those who can’t be tied to a PC or TV, NBC is also rolling out a full-on mobile initiative with a 24/7 mobile TV channel dubbed “NBC Olympics 2Go” that will feature the best of the programming from NBC, USA, MSNBC and CNBC of the 2008 Olympic Games from Beijing and Hong Kong. Users can access the mobile website by going to mobile.NBCOlympics.com on their mobile device’s Internet browser or by texting “OLYMPICS” to 51515.
While NBC’s commentators will be based in New York, EquiSearch.com’s Nancy Jaffer will be filing articles and photos live from Hong Kong starting August 8.
NBC will also be televising the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. For that event there will be six hours of network coverage over three weekends as well as comprehensive Internet streaming and mobile offerings.