Flooded Edgbaston. Showing what may happen during the Olympics 2012. (via Sam Bagnall/AMA/Matthew Ashton/Corbis at the England - West Indies match 2012)
Amid severe weather forecasts and security blunders, BBC and NBC are set to deliver the first digital Olympics we can enjoy from the comfort of our homes.
For starters, these Olympics may be extremely wet. Increased solar activity has riddled the sun with “coronal holes” that send solar high-energy particles hurling at the earth. These solar phenomenons affect the earth’s jet stream, which in turn impacts our weather. Meteorologists predict that on going solar turbulence will result in torrential downpours throughout this year’s Olympics.
Adding to the pros of staying at home is what the Olympics’ security company did, or rather what they did not do. Seven years after receiving the contract for the games, and being paid 500 million pounds, G4S, the UK’s biggest security company by revenue, announced they did not hire enough employees to fulfill necessary duties. Adding insult to injury, anonymous whistle blowers announced that those employees G4S did hire are letting through an alarming amount of contraband during practice drills. All this is giving the UK’s government a convenient reason to justify militarizing the streets using 17,000 soldiers to work the games including 3,500 active duty soldiers.
But feat not, TV networks BBC and NBC are providing the alternative to being in Britain for this potentially chaotic Olympics. Both have just launched apps that will offer full coverage of all of the Olympics events to your portable Internet devices or connected TV’s.
BBC Sports is going all out releasing apps for Android (OS 2.2 + flash), iOS (5.0 or higher), Facebook, connected TV’s that will offer live streaming of up to 24 simultaneous events. If none of those are available, the BBC Sports website will also stream all of the action. All of the apps are available for download today, but there is one catch, to enjoy the BBC sports Olympics, you must be in the UK.
No worries, NBC is here to deliver an exclusive package almost as good as the BBC. They too have launched apps to cater to the modern sports fan, the NBC Olympic Live Extra app and the simpler NBC Olympics app.
Satellite and telco customers subscribed to MSNBC and CNBC will be able to take advantage Live Extra app that will offer a live stream of all 32 sports, every competition and all 302 medal events. The Adobe powered Live Extra app will feature multiple simultaneous streams for certain sports like gymnastics or track and field that have a lot of simultaneous action. The apps will be available through Apple’s App Store and Google Play for iOS and Android respectively.
To those of us without MSNBC and CNBC, all of the highlights, the NBC Olympics app will have short-form highlights, schedules, TV listings, results, athlete profiles, news columns and Primetime Companion feature that will automatically connect uses through Facebook and Twitter during primetime broadcasts. If you don’t want to download the app, highlights will be available through their website.
The Olympics is where the world gets to see the most astonishing athleticism. This year will be the first to showcase them over the web. Digital viewing will grant more access to those folks avoiding sever weather and security nightmares, but staying home to enjoy the digital stream still carries a notable inherent risk as physical inactivity kills as many people as smoking per year.
Keep that in mind while watching the bank of 32 screens during the Olympics this year.