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Net Still Not At Olympics 191

angkor writes "It's two years later and the net is still largely shut out of the Olympics It seems like we were talking about this in relation to the last Olympics yesterday."
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Net Still Not At Olympics

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  • The Olympic Board (Score:2, Interesting)

    by clambert ( 519009 )
    You'd think the Olympic board would be eager to establish an "Exclusive Internet Broadcasting" license to bring some more money their way...or at least up the price that the bidding networks paid.
    • I would agree, but I can only see two reasons why they don't want to do this..

      1. They seem to like exclusive area licenses. (why go exclusive?? You can get more money out of two groups non-exclusive, I'd think, but I know people will pay good money for exclusive licensing..) As the article said (or perhaps another article), they're testing this year with the Swiss to see if they can geographically limit the access.

      2. The costs. How much bandwidth would they eat up?? Gobs. And heaven knows that it already costs the IOC a fortune to run the Olympics, and they likely wouldn't be able to recoop all of the costs on something like this. While the host city pays for a lot of this stuff, I imagine eventually they'd draw the line.. Kinda like the $300 some million dollar opening ceremonies.

      Personally, I don't want to see live streaming. I want to see archived streaming. Two events at the same time that you're interested in really sucks, and typically that means the network's gonna cover a third event you don't give a damn about.

      Just my ideas, but I realize they may be inherently flawed.

      .
      • Expanding on reason one gives you reason three, they can't for the time being. From the article, it seemed like they can't get out of their current "exclusive" contracts until 2008. When the current contracts were signed, the net wasn't what it is today. It wasn't possible/practical for the majority of those on the internet.

        Of course even when they are renegotiated, it won't make a bit of difference.
  • CBC (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    In Canada it is legal to rebroadcast television that has already been broadcasted*. This is how the cable/satellite broadcasters are able to broadcast the Canadian networks. So why can't this apply to the net as well?

    * <simpsons>with implied oral consent, not express written consent.</simpsons>
    • Re:CBC (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Lictor ( 535015 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @12:04PM (#2979413)
      Its a good point, and you're correct that Canadian law *should* in theory have allowed this. If you want an example of what happens in practice though, check out the "icravetv.com" story and the resulting effect...

      http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/172941.html

      Once again, it doesn't matter who's right... it matters who has more money. As long as you can buy... I mean *lobby* the CRTC and/or a good number of MPs, you can just get the offending law changed.
      • ICravetv was legal in Canada. In Canada we have the concept of the public air waves. any signal passing through them is fair game, to anyone, as long as we dont devuge what we saw.

        a lot of people get free direct tv in canada because we buy the equipment, bur the access card, and pull signals at will. its all legal to do, we just cant talk about the show at the watercoller the next day.

        i crave was shut down do to lawsuits launched in the us by us networks and the nfl.
        • Actually.. your DirecTV thing is wrong.

          And the thing about 'divulging what you see' is common myth, but not true either.

          The deal with satellite TV has generally been this:
          Many satellite broadcasters do NOT have license to sell their service within Canada.
          Now.. in Canada, a company can get you for descrambling, or 'stealing' their service.. but the thing is..
          Many of these companies CANT sue you, because you ARENT stealing because it is ILLEGAL for them to sell it to you anyway.
          It's a grey area of law; don't kid yourself into thinking it's totally legit; it's not.

          You are correct. Icrave was incorporated in the US, and was sued in the US. What they were doing was legal by canadian law.
      • Try any of the "live" broadcasts [www.cbc.ca] and you'll find that CBC have suspended their web broadcasts entirely, until February 24th. The IOC enforcing srict rules over "their content" is one thing; forcing a public broadcaster to roll over and muzzle their entire output is quite another.


        Gratuitous comments about the power & corruption of the IOC too obvious to even bother with...


  • It's amazing that these are not streamed (onto the Internet), It wouldn't be reliant on the Olympic commitee and Astra 2E already carries encrypted digital streams (with interactive features).

    I wouldn't like the idea of the Olympics being overly connected to the outside world, at least not without compartmentalization. Heh. We 0wn Y0UR G01Ds WE 1z 33LE3T.
  • Geez... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sandidge ( 150265 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @12:03PM (#2979409)
    You know, I could care less about listening to Olympic reports online. What I do care about is not being able to listen to the BBC World Service just because the damn Olympic committe makes them block the stream just in case they mention the world Olympic on their boadcast. Nazi bastards.
  • Irony (Score:1, Redundant)

    IHNJ, IJLTS "The Chinese have been making great strides in copyright protection."

    (I Have No Joke, I Just Like To Say)
  • by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @12:05PM (#2979416)
    The Olympics are a disgusting affair in which a small group of ultra-rich IOC committee members further engorge themselves by exploiting the trademark laws to the extent that they, and they alone, control access to the games. Why is this hypocritical? Because these old-geezer fat cats profit from what is supposed to be an "amateur" competition. Yeah, you can argue that the idea of "amateurism" has gone out the door now that pros are allowed to play, but there are still some Olympic sports which strive to uphold the idea that the Olympics should be a showcase for up and coming talent, not a parading ground for well-paid athletes stealing the spotlight from those who really deserve it.

    The Olympics are nothing more than a greed fest, as this little tidbit from the featured article points out:

    But this year,Olympic officials are allowing limited live Web broadcasts in a test to see whether technology can restrict access to video geographically.


    'Nuff said.
    • by jazman_777 ( 44742 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @12:09PM (#2979433) Homepage
      Because these old-geezer fat cats profit from what is supposed to be an "amateur" competition.


      The old "amateurs only" thing was so only the idle wealthy (or those who had wealthy benefactors) could participate. Now, the NBA players can participate, too!

    • Hello !

      I saw a very deep and complete journalistic inquiry today on TV about Olympics.

      It seems that CIO/IOC are very near to ALL dicatorships in the World : In Africa and in Korea, but also with old est-Germany, dictator Ceaucescou (Roumania) and Samaranch president of CIO was *very* near to Franco dictator in Espagna. Ok, well, this could be one thing.

      But there is more. They only paid PR and "image correctors" when the subject was about Salt Lake city corruption, or about Kim-Yung(?) that pretends he created taekuando(?) (which is wrong in fact it was invented by another Corean, now in exil in Canada !) : His daughter got money from Salt Lake city, 'his sport' was admitted to the Olympics while a really more widespread sport (Karaté) is totally ignored.

      And even more, "Sion 2006" in Switzerland was from FAR the best candidature, but Turin was choosen : Even organisators from Turin were surprised to win for 2006 ! And then we saw that Samaranch, IOC president is a GREAT and OLD FRIEND with Fiat (the car fanufacturer) owner, who resides and come from... Turin ! What a coincidence !

      And there was also what said a very known US sportsman that was in the CIO but left it because of corruption, dictatorship and so on.

      Well, it was really interesting, but also disgusting about the CIO. And I say that even if I live in Switzerland, country of the CIO,
      80 kilometers away from the CIO siege. Really I hope it will change in the following years...

      :-)
    • I wonder if amateur athletes could have a
      GPL-like license for the depecition of
      their image in competition? Anyone can show
      images of the althlete in competition provided
      that they don't restrict the ability of others
      to distribute the image to others, something
      like that.

      jeff
    • by Deagol ( 323173 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @01:02PM (#2979581) Homepage
      Not only is the spirit of the games gone (if it was ever there), the residents of the hosting locale get the shaft, too.

      I live in Salt Lake. As a citizen, I don't mind the world "shitting in my backyard" -- I'm no xenophobe and I welcome diversity. However, as a taxpayer, I've been quite outraged by most of the crap that's gone on these past few of years.

      There's too much to bitch about, but my personal favorite was the $450,000 spent to give every bloody city employee an official 2002 Winter Games jacket.

      Then there's all the cloak-and-dagger security bullshit going on around here. I work at the Univerity of Utah, and I'm working from home for most of February because it's too damned tough to get to campus! There's 3 black military choppers constantly flying overhead. A guy I work with was accosted by the Secret Service. He's foreign -- looks and sounds foreign -- and made the mistake of biking up to the hill overlooking the stadium to take a few digital snapshots. He was questioned, his pictures were deleted, and he was released.

      Meanwhile, all of the on/off ramps into the city are totally un-guarded. Mostly industrial areas, the lots underneath these bridges are perfect places to park large trucks (which is normal anyway) full of explosives. I guess nobody cares about the mere visitors to Salt Lake -- only the corporate sponsors at the venues.

      And what's it all for? So Budwiser and Nike can pimp their wares without any trouble. You really think that if this many people gathered for a non-commercial event (a protest perhaps), that they'd enforce a 45-mile radius no-fly zone around the event? No fucking way. This is all about selling stuff, people. I just feel bad for the businesses downtown that are effectly shut down due to the strict security perimeter.

      If you want to read some independent local SLC journalism, I encourage you to read the City Weekly: http://www.avenews.com/index.html

      Yeah -- I'm bitter. The TV in my house will be off for the month of February. The networks won't be getting my eyeballs (they lost them at Sydney).

      • Yeah -- I'm bitter. The TV in my house will be off for the month of February. The networks won't be getting my eyeballs (they lost them at Sydney).

        Wow, to think that I thought that the american media was way out of line at Sydney. I had no idea! I definitely won't be watching this time.

      • I am glad to hear your story. When my home town (Toronto) was bidding for the 2008 games (and also when they were bidding for the 2000 games back in the late eighties/early ninties) I tried to express to most folks about my concerns with what the games seem to becoming, plus the associated costs (taxes, inconvienence, legacy of unneeded sports facilities located downtown, etc). Most people did not seem to belive me or care, they were simply caught up on Olympic fever. I was very glad (but also aware not to publically show it) when Toronto lost the bid to Beijing.
        Your story helps eliminate any regrets and/or moments of self doubt regarding my feelings. I understand the Toronto Bid Commitee is thinking about charging up the machine for 2012. Yipes!
    • The Olympics are the pinnacle of many sports that do not have national/international championships otherwise.

      Swimming, track, skiing, speed skating, etc., are all sports where the Olympics is seen as the be all end all of the sport. As far as hockey and sports where professionals are allowed to play, I'd rather watch the Stanley Cup finals anyway. (Although it is nice to see people from other countries besides the US and Canada play.)

    • Actually, the Olympic games were revived as an event for the wealthy. First of all, you have to pay your way there generally, so that hinders Somalian track stars from competing to some extent.

      So where does all of the money generated by the Olympics go?? The IOC.

      The Olympics has never been about showcasing up and coming talent. I don't know where you got that Idea. The no pros rule was instituted because of one particularily talented athelete who defeated some wealthy *sshole.

      I forget the guy's name right now, but one of the contestants against Thorpe in 1912 became IOC director and was responsable for denying Thorpe his medals.

      His medals were taken for playing Minor league baseball two years earlier for $60 a month. Ironically, many atheletes, Thorpe included, stated that they had made more money playing College Football than Semi-Pro baseball.

      The real issue is this: Shouldn't the IOC be looking at the benefits of the Olympics reaching a larger audience as opposed to their profitability??

      ~Jason
  • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @12:05PM (#2979418)
    "It seems like we were talking about this in relation to the last Olympics yesterday."


    Well, of course. This is slashdot. We probably were talking about it yesterday.

  • Protect revenue? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Merconium ( 551470 )
    Lemme see....we have in the internet the biggest shopping mall in the world and yet these guys can't figure out how to use the internet to generate revenue?

    Granted, this is NBC we're talking about, (which has all but given up on nbci.com ) but many streams now feature ads before they start to run.

    They themselves admit that sports, next to pr0n, drives traffic--so why not use the relationship NBC has with MSN (barf) to sell me a Team Canada Patrick Roy jersey after streaming to me his five best saves?

    The Chinese will host in 2008.

    "The Chinese have been making great strides in copyright protection," Aikman said.
    Yes, I dig movie88.com too!
  • To have a whole bunch of people with digital video cameras all sending video to the net via a wireless feed? With the size of cameras these days, it would be possible to hid them in coats, bags, etc. The unoffical "press" would than stream the video to a free-net type location-- or even put it right onto a file-sharing network. It wouldn't take long before the IOC would give up their rules against the internet... because they would be useless. Please, somebody start something like this. Isn't this what the internet is about?

    toddg
  • Talk about your stranglehold on coverage... I was watching SportsCenter this morning on ESPN and all they could show from the Opening Ceremonies last night was stills. Very disappointing if you were not able to watch live.
    • Too bad you missed the opening ceremonies. Aside from the part where they brought out the WTC flag, the ceremonies were the height of unintentional comedy. Most of it revolved around some sort bizarre Ice Capades show starring "The Child of Light." I still haven't figured out who he is supposed to be.

      Anyway, I don't want to be too negative. I hope the rest of the games go well. Salt Lake City is under an enormous amount of pressure to put on a good show, especially given the utter debacle of the 2000 Olympics. I'm at least hoping for some good hockey (if NBC can be convinced to broadcast any during waking hours).

  • It is about money, advertising, and taking performance enhancing drugs. Payoffs, bribes, sexual favors, and professionalism.

    Now you are up to date with your World Wide Web Olypic News!
  • Why can't I get wireless results and news updates for olympic events? I can go to any of the bloated/javascript required sites to get results, but not really anything small and simple that can be loaded on my Palm! The closest I've come is Yahoo [yahoo.com], who has a pretty light page.

    And how about wireless updates? SMS? Even short e-mails that I could send to my phone? Doesn't exist. I'm pretty sure they had this kind of thing for the 2000 Summer Games, but I guess the US just isn't with it.

    • I believe I signed up for SMS notification of results this afternoon...

      It's not available in the USA, of course - it's only available in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Belguim and the Netherlands. You could always try signing up using one of the the European numbers. It's being done with Eurosport [eurosport.com], a pan-European free-to-air (over satellite) sport channel - the info is here [eurosport.com]. Of course, I'm assuming that the OP is American, which isn't necessarily true, but the point that this service is only provided in Europe stands.

  • No Suprise Here. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rebel Patriot ( 540101 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @12:12PM (#2979441) Journal
    Few people (read: International Olympic Committee) realize the power of the net. Those that do are often terriffied of it. The multi-million dollar corporations are as likely to be scared of internet broadcasts of the olympics as the IOC and justifiably so. The Olympics mean $$$$$$ and the threat of the net taking away money from the IOC and the television industry is real and growing everyday.

    Eventually I believe all broadcasts of any kind (be it data, voice, radio, TV, etc.) will be linked to the net and this will disappear. As televisions and computers merge (a not-too-distant possibility in many wealthier households) television and internet companies will merge. We've already seen that with AOL/Time Warner haven't we?

    When ABC, CBS, BBc, etc. begin to merge with broadband vendors, we'll see internet TV replace mainstream TV, but untill then, people with money will fight to keep the little man (in this case the net), out of his business.
  • Complete the following statement:

    The modern Olympic games are about:

    a) competition between amateur atheletes
    b) the spirit of global friendship
    c) Incredible advertising and product placement opportunities
    d) making as much money as you can fit down your bloated gullet
    e) all of the above

    I guess I put option e) in there because I'm not a complete cynic yet; but lets face it... the games *are* commerical...

  • I just can't get myself interested in it this year. Last Winter Olympics, it seemed like all you were allowed to see were figure skating and downhill skiing. Want to watch any of the other winter sports? Too bad.

    I'd love to watch the biathalon [nbcolympics.com]. Cross country skiing alternated with crack rifle shooting. Ever try to shoot a tiny target while your heart is racing a mile a minute? It's not as easy as it sounds. Unfortunately, I have yet to see more than a thirty-second clip of the sport in the last few Olympics.

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @01:44PM (#2979705)
      Actually that's because every year, NBC simply decides that you only REALLY want to see any sport where Americans will probably (99.9% chance) get a medal, preferrably a gold.

      Happily for you, this year an American seems to have a good chance at a biathalon medal, possibly a gold. So that means that most likley they will be broadcasting the biathalon to a much greater extent - or at least his portion of it. They had a longish ad about it last night after the opening ceremony which seems to indicate a good chance at least of some coverege.

      Probably the coverage will be fairly short, but hopefully you'll see SOMETHING.
      • Actually that's because every year, NBC simply decides that you only REALLY want to see any sport where Americans will probably (99.9% chance) get a medal, preferrably a gold.

        Interesting theory, but the US was a lead-pipe cinch to get the Gold in basketball, and NBC did not air a single game in its entirety. IIRC, they did not show ANY game of ANY team sport without interruption.

        Warning: ranting tirade coming. Skip to the next post if that bothers you...

        This year, I started to watch during the pair's figure skating (or whatever the hell you call it.) A Canadian duo was skating to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd... sounded cool enough to watch for a few minutes. I gotta say that I just don't get TV skating coverage. I mean, here you have (usually) really good music, while beatiful women dance around on a pair of metal slivers in sexy little costumes, and they have a trio of commentators jabbering away through the whole fucking thing like we're watching a football game or something! STFU! We can see that she hit the landing right, we don't need you to tell us. I would turn the sound off, but the music is part of the show, dammit. It's supposed to be art, not fucking golf. Stop talking!

        A premium pay-per-view olympic coverage which provided access to all games, commentary free, would be worth plenty to those who actually like watching this stuff.... but because NBC failed once (with their half-assed and ill-conceived "Triple Cast"), we won't see anything like that any time soon.

    • Damn, it seems I had that confused with the "Nordic Combined" which has the American. For some reason Iwhile I was watching I thought it was the biathalon...

      Sorry about thet, I guess you really won't see much covereage, if any. :-(

  • The IOC is evil (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Skim123 ( 3322 )
    They take bribes, they refuse to let the host nation dictate what their opening ceremony should contain.
    • hold up. the rules of the olympics have been very strict regarding political statements at the games. The IOC was rather generous in allowing first Rudy carry the torch in NY, the first politician allowed to carry the torch. They also decided that they would allow the Ground Zero Ensign into the ceremonies. Don't tell me that wasn't a political statement either. I was all in favor of it and it got me a bit misty but it was still a break with the rules of the games. I doubt we'll see anything like it again which makes it that much more powerful. The nations of the world decided to honor us and our dead in a way that no other nation has been honored before. As for the bribe scandal don't forget that it was americans doing the bribing in the first place. as for not hearing the results thats fine. pisses me off when i hear results before i see the event.

      also did anyone catch the french with their half french half US flags? that was nice. mayeb they don't hate us after all. the comments I've seen so far seem to be the usual slashdot conspiracy crap. enjoy the games, root for the home team when they're in an event, root for the underdog when they're aren't.
      • As for the bribe scandal don't forget that it was americans doing the bribing in the first place

        But the IOC folks took it. It's funny - the Olympics are clearly about money (corporate sponsors) and its OK to have McDonalds emblems posted all over the place, but it's not ok to have political emblems? What if the US gov wanted to pay to support an event, then could a flag be positioned as such? My point is, if you're going to sell out in one way, is it right/fair to not sell out in other ways?

    • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @01:30PM (#2979657) Journal
      Ever seen footage of how Hitler turned the 1936 Summer Games in Munich into a Nazi three-ring circus? How many of the athletes from foreign nations were forced to acknowledge the Fuhrer with Nazi salutes? Not exactly the Olympic movement's finest hour.

      Perhaps you would be happy for the Stars and Stripes to be plastered all over this year's Winter Games, but would you be so happy if China was to push its political agenda just as vigorously when they host the Summer Games in 2008?

      No, I didn't think so.
      • Perhaps you would be happy for the Stars and Stripes to be plastered all over this year's Winter Games, but would you be so happy if China was to push its political agenda just as vigorously when they host the Summer Games in 2008?

        It takes so many bribes to get the Olympics hosted in a particular city/nation, that, yes, the nation should be able to make a political statement if they like - the host country has already paid for it. Now, if the IOC wasn't corrupt, and based their location decisions on something other than where they received "gifts" from, then your claim would cary more weight.

      • Not exactly the Olympic movement's finest hour.

        Actually, the 1936 Olympics included one of the Olympic movement's finest hours, if not the finest. Jesse Ownes [jesseowens.com] won 4 gold medals. He broke three world records and tied a fourth in 70 minutes.

        At the same, time his performance disproved Hitler's Aryan philosophy and much other racist nonsense as well.

        The examples of excellence in the Olympics tend to overcome every attempt to demean the events with politics and commercialism. If anything, the examples of excellence show up politics and commercialism for they shams they frequently are.

      • I totally agree that the olympic games should not be a political statement.

        Yet, take for instance the opening ceremony. I managed to watch the first 5 minutes that it took to finish my pizza which I almost threw up listening to the crap that the nbc commentators were spitting out of their mouths. After this I just briefly turned the tv on to see the countries entering(only part I was really interested in since there's a couple dozen friends of mine marching under different flags).

        Every other comment was an indirect reference to 9/11. Add this to the fact that the athletes entrance was interrupted over half a dozen times by commercials and I pretty much gave up on any faith that there was any decency left in the games.

        As much as I managed to watch it, it was pretty much clear that the original olympic ideals were gone.

        Whatever happended the olympic games promoting peace and harmony instead of drawing parallels to terrorism, doing live broadcasts from a warzone(american gi's in kandahar) in the middle of the opening ceremony, pointing out the axis of evil when iran marched in, turning the olympic village into a concentration camp or doing a live memorial service for what in Bush Jr's head amounts to war casualities. Then again 75% of the above was probably due to nbc and not visible to those in foreign countries.

        As a matter of fact. As soon as the bribery scandal came into public knowledge they should've disqualified slc and given the games to sweden that got second place. I would trust the swedish to live up to the expectations of olympic spirit more than americans.
  • http://www.saltlakecity.com/ [saltlakecity.com] has no information at all about the olympics... It's a shame :(
  • Oh well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by telbij ( 465356 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @12:25PM (#2979481)
    I have a television, I don't really need streaming Olympics on my computer.

    Sure it's all driven by greed, and it's easy to take a cynical view, but what's new? Money and power have always been nearly synonymous. Corporate fat cats milking the Olympics for profit is only to be expected. We may not like it, but at least we can still watch for free.

    What surprises me is that any geeks care about this. I don't view the Internet as the medium of choice for hugely popular events and promotions. It just doesn't scale as well as television. A couple more generational upgrades of bandwidth and more sophisticated multi-casting technology and I might be convinced to lament the lack of Olympics coverage.
    • The problem is that there are a number of Olympic events that get little or no coverage on broadcast TV. There isn't enough of a market for it to make economic sense to show them.

      However, there is enough of a market to make money narrowcasting over the net.
    • I have a television, I don't really need streaming Olympics on my computer.

      I don't watch the Olympics, but my sports nut wife does. (Don't worry, she does have some redeeming qualities!) Last Olympics she watched almost everything via webcast. The time delays between the events and the broadcast in the US stunk, and the network only ever showed the big-ticket sports which had US athletes in contention for the gold. I'm not sure how she's getting her fix this time.

  • Value of Content (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @12:36PM (#2979505) Journal
    The value of content probably lies in it being unique. Artist peformances, sporting events, that sort of think.

    .News is getting more generic. For example there is News Blaster [columbia.edu], a bot that uses AI to generate news summaries based analysis of stories over several days. It is actually semi decent, and better then at least half the writers out there.

    The end result is to devalue local writers and generic content. having something like this for Slash would probably inprove content no end.

    This trend has been going on for years, and of cours the IOC is being conservative with broadcasts, since these make up the majority of their income. Why should they give away their bread and butter free?

    Personally I would not mind if they made things like this available online a week after the fact. Same thing for other venues, like court trials, etc. Then folks will be able to see it if they want, but there is no conflict with the interests of the broadcasters. Deals could be made.

  • I distinctly remember watching a WIDE array of sports broadcast from the CBC's website, onto my family's ancient powermac 6100. Unsure of the year, but this must've been back in '98.
    It was all barely bigger than a postage stamp, and the sound was bad, but yes, you COULD watch basically whatever you wanted.
    That's really why this whole thing bothers me. The IOC isn't just preventing technology from going forward as fast as it should, but rather they have actively retarded the spread of webcasting.
  • So we pay the IOC $342 million in order to have the olympics happen here at all and then we get screwed on how we watch it - it seems for $342 million I should get a little more than that.
  • I get very tired of watching events that happened on the west coast where I am three hours later than they actually happened just so they can keep the same schedule in all time zones.

    *This message recorded live earlier*
  • It seems like we were talking about this in relation to the last Olympics yesterday.

    Yeah, and until they slap the olympics all over the 'net, that's how much attention I'm going to pay to the olympics too; Such that once every four years I hear they're starting vaguely soon or something.

    I don't have cable, or satellite TV; I don't even have an antenna. In fact, the only device in my AV system with a tuner is my VCR.

    Until the olympics is on the web, I won't be watching. And it has to be free, too, since I'm not going to pay to view what is essentially a big happy advertisement for the countries which are flush enough with cash and spare resources which they are not spending on the starving, illiterate, and so on in their home country, and instead can blow it on training specialized athletes and shipping them (in some cases) around the world to compete with other specialized athletes.

    Of course, I'll watch it if it's free; Some of those athletes are quite amazingly impressive. I just don't feel like giving money to it.

  • Rebroadcast Charges (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    One of the main reasons for not allowing the Olympics on the net this time around is due to the fees and costs that the IOC or whoever owns the telecast of the Olympics charges. Think about it... why would someone in the Eastern Hemisphere (aside from families, friends, etc. of the athletes) want to watch a rebroadcast of an Olympic event many hours later of someone from their country loosing (and if the athlete won, I'm sure they'd want to see the broadcast) if they can get the results minutes after it actually happens? Very few people would turn to the actual rebroadcast then.

    Being that I live on the extreme South Texas border with Mexico, we actually have Mexican television stations along on our cable system. And during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, there was at least 2 of the 5 Mexican stations available broadcasting the cerimonies (one in its actual entirety).

    For those U.S. viewers who watched the ceremonies on N.B.C., you actually missed quite a bit during commercial interruptions. Did you even know that other groups actually performed? The Dixie Chics being one of the more recognizable names.

    --OptipleX02
  • During the olympics there should be a total ceasefire declared by all participating countries, including the hosting country.

    This year, that did not happen.

    Thus, this is not the olympics.

    I refuse to consider these games _olympic_ games.

    Of course, that aside, yes, the games should of course have a net-feed. It will, given some time. I guess they've got a demand for everything going smooth, and that nobody really can deliver the necessary bandwidth for net-wide feeds yet. :)
  • we may not be able to watch webcasts of games, but thanks to thoose crazy canucks we can find Olympic pr0n [yimg.com] on the net. Seems their transparent bodysuits they choose for speedskating are gonna be fun to watch!
  • 1. Broadcast live on the internet
    2. Allow every type of banned drug to now be used, including illegal stimulants and hallucinogens
    3. Unban Tonya Harding from figure skating

  • I just want to know who gave control of the olympics to these bozos?

    It is my understanding that the olympics were started in Greece over a thousand years ago.

    I think some sort of democratic system should be put in place to control the olympics so that this type of crap doesent happen.

    I personally am boycotting them.
  • by Jayde Stargunner ( 207280 ) on Saturday February 09, 2002 @01:51PM (#2979738)
    Sure, the IOC is evil. Nike and Bud constantly advertising is evil. There are a lot of things about the way the Olympics are run that is evil.

    But, seriously folks... Have some respect here. The Olympics are a wonderful event--and probably the crowning moment of many of the copetitors lives, no matter if the win anything or not.

    That fact that thousands of athletes are coming together from a plethora of countries to compete in a fair, civil way is definitely no small feat. Not to mention that the people competeing in the Olymipics, by and large, have trained for most of their life to get there.

    Just because they won't allow webcams and the IOC takes bribes, somehow "the Olympics suck"?! Give me a break. Forget about sticking it to "the man" for a moment, and enjoy what is a wonderful event that millions of people worldwide cherish for *the event itself*. Nobody cares about the IOC, or the Nike commercials. I watch the Olympics because of the competition and spirt of the games--that's all.

    Of course...since I'm not bitching about something or another, I'm sure I'll get modded down for being "Offtopic" or something. Feh.

    -Jayde
    • "Just because they won't allow webcams and the IOC takes bribes, somehow "the Olympics suck"?! Give me a break. Forget about sticking it to "the man" for a moment, and enjoy what is a wonderful event that millions of people worldwide cherish for *the event itself*. Nobody cares about the IOC, or the Nike commercials. I watch the Olympics because of the competition and spirt of the games--that's all."

      I am in agreement with the majority of the Slashdot readership (for once, heh ;) on this one, but it's not because I hate commercialism. It's because this event is being ruined by the death grip of commercial sponsors.

      There was one Touched By An Angel episode that sticks out in my mind (yes, I watch that show.) It was about a grumpy old man who worked as a broadcaster. As they went through the show, they showed different parts of his past. Back in the 50's, this guy had worked at a TV network and realized that it was going to change people's lives. He started making a list of all the things he wanted to direct for TV. He finally got his chance to direct a few years later, and found a beautiful black lady singer to sing a patriotic song on his show. The sponsor, however, nixed the black lady for a white girl -- even though the white girl couldn't sing. The sponsor insisted that since "his mother was from Georgia", she wouldn't appreciate a black woman singing, and he threatened to drop his sponsorship. The director caved, and he then became just a "hack" instead of being a cutting-edge, popular TV director.

      We are those same pioneers on the Internet. We are the ones who see the true power of what is being born through a network of computers. We also see how greedy profiteers ruined what could have been some great ideas. It's not saying that commercialism is completely bad; it's saying that when you let commercialism take over what you love, it's a bad thing.

      The Olympics don't suck; they've just been taken over by a bunch of leeches who don't care about the love of sports. This is perhaps why I watch Touched By An Angel -- sometimes I need to be reminded that there are good people in this world trying to make the world a better place. That's something the IOC forgot about a long time ago.
      • The sponsor, however, nixed the black lady for a white girl -- even though the white girl couldn't sing.

        BTW, the white girl that couldn't sing was my little sister. And she actually sings very well, she has won several awards for her singing. In the words of Jon Lovitz - "Acting!". FYI, Touched By An Angel is filmed in Salt Lake City, I wonder if the Olympics are interfering with their shooting schedule (they sure are interfering with everything else around here).

    • People of all nations gather all the time, whether to compete in sports, watch for UFOs in Nevada, or present scientific papers at USENIX. Though our nations as a whole may not get along, most of us in those countries are reasonable people and get along just fine. So there is no inherent goodness to this aspect of the Olympics.

      While I can't possibly identify with the obsessive-compulsive desire to devote one's entire life to compete in a sport (WTF is it with this whole "sponsorship" thing, anyway?), I can respect such a person's talent and decision.

      However, when these people bow to the forces that be and (for example) don't publish their own diaries on their own competitions, I lose respect for them. They should, in front of the cameras -- the world -- cast off the leash. But none do. Why? It's for the fame. They could go elsewhere to compete, but they simply don't.

      So, you see, it's not that the IOC and Nike and Ford are the only evil Olympic forces. The athletes themselves knowingly sell their own souls.

      For that reason, the Olymics do indeed suck.

      • Atheletes who accept endorsements (which make it possible for them to realize their dreams of testing the limits of humanity's physical potential), are not selling their souls.

        They are selling shoes.

        There seems to be an attitude among some on /. that commerce is somehow evil by its very nature. When you grow up, you may learn that all this commerce is what makes civilization possible.

        "Not to mention Kermit The Damn Frog!!!" --Jimmy James

        • Atheletes who accept endorsements (which make it possible for them to realize their dreams of testing the limits of humanity's physical potential), are not selling their souls.

          You're telling me the "official" laws of physics somehow follow the Olympic venues around the world? I couldn't break a world record at some other place?

          Oh, you meant to say, "...possible to realize their dreams of participatiing in the world's most televised -- and most heavily endorsed -- sporing event."

          Look, if these athletes were up-front and simply say, "I'm in it for the money and glory", I wouldn't be so caustic about this whole issue. The entire pretense of noble grandure associated with these athletes just kills me!

          When you grow up, you may learn that all this commerce is what makes civilization possible.

          Yeah, and if you belive the commercials, commerce fights terrorism, too. Be patriotic and buy a Ford Explorer! :)

          • Look, if these athletes were up-front and simply say, "I'm in it for the money and glory", I wouldn't be so caustic about this whole issue.

            First of all, most of them are very up-front about being in it for money and glory.

            Secondly: Yes you would. Admit it.

            Any athelete will tell you that they would be thrilled about having their picture on the front of a Wheaties box. I wish more /.ers would admit that they work with technology for the money and the bragging rights among their geek friends.

  • "The change is that the IOC is willing to stick its toe into the water and take a look at streaming video online," said Steve Klein, co-founder of SportsEditor.com. "It's a breakthrough but it's a breakthrough that won't see any changes until 2008, when the IOC negotiates new contracts."

    Wow. That's six years from now. Six years ago, we were in early 1996 (yes, the year of "push" technology and Ellison's NC's.) It's incredible to realize how much the Internet has changed in six years, and in another six years, who knows what will happen? I don't think TV will be dead, but the way we watch TV will dramatically change.

    These long Olympic contracts are out of touch with reality. The reality is that the computing world is rapidly changing. In six years I imagine that wireless Net access everywhere will be common and that a lot of people will be using Tablet PCs and PDA's. If these people can't stream the Olympics from their local PPV server, they won't watch it, and the Olympics will not be a huge deal.

    Perhaps we're seeing that the peak of excitement for the Olympics has already passed (a few decades before this, even.) The long, unbreakable contracts are going to make the Olympics even less of an event than it already is. Either the IOC is going to have to re-negotiate before 2008, or else they will alienate their remaining viewers.
  • Money and Power (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zrafnid ( 155155 )
    I think it's all about money and power.

    I'd be very surprised if the IOC didn't get a freaking ton of money from the "official" distribution of olympic broadcasting.

    From the money side, the IOC can use the dough. We already know that they are funded in part by the media. The media want nothing more than to protect their interests and ability to sell advertising. I would guess that this is one of the reasons why there isn't a great deal, if any, Intenet coverage of the games (in a live format, anyhow).

    As another poster has commented, there *were* live feeds several years ago of the summer olympics. What happened? I would suggest .com failures have cast considerable doubt on the validity of using the Internet as a media outlet (particularly in the context of generating advertising revenue).

    Also, I imagine that there is considerable reluctance on the part of the reporting organizations to put out media that can easily be reproduced around the world without their consent.

    I suppose I can't really blame them for the lack of interest in doing anything on the net. There's no significant monetary benefit to the networks distributing the information (at significant cost, mind you) on the net when they have guarantees on advertising and IOC revenues doing things traditionally. Besides, it helps to maintain the value of their current media outlets.

    Anyhow, that's my 2 cents.
  • Oh, are the Olympics on again? I hadn't seen anything on the Net about it. Don't have a TV.
  • In a few years not only will the olympics be into the net. But programming could be a sport. Cm'on I'm serious! Heck they made Bridge [netlondon.com]a demonstration sport(I think Canada won the gold:)!!! Why can't we have the C++ finals (or C# if Microsoft got it's way, which it probably would) or even the typing preliminaries(although this would just be secretaries). Just code hard and soon every uncoordinated emancipated geek will see that he too has a chance at olympic glory! (or at least at hacking the web page and giving him self a bunch of medals)
    • by Hydro-X ( 549998 )

      Acutally, we (I'm assuming you're also Canadian due to the reaction on Canada winning the gold in Bridge) have what's called Skills Canada [skillscanada.com]. It's not quite so open as the Olympics, as the competitors must be under 22 years of age, and some events are restricted to high school students. It's not a total geek event, but it has it's share of tech events, such as website design, PC Software Specialists, PC Hardware and Networking, CADD and graphic design. Some of the non-techie events include plumbing, carpentry and even aircraft mechanics. These competitions take place annually, with provincials in every province. The winner of each provincial contest moves up to the Canadian Skills Competition. Every even-numbered year is a World Skills qualification year. The gold medallists from every event move up to Team Canada and go to the worlds the following year.

      I've had the honor of representing New Brunswick for each of the 2 years we've sent a team to the Canadian Skills Competition in Web Design. The first year, my teammate and I placed 2nd, and last year we placed 4th. This is probably as close to a coding event as they'll have for now, but it's still an incredible event. The 2002 competition will be in Vancouver in late-May and/or early-June, and it's open to the public.

  • Just before the 2000 Olympics I put up the official Olympics Suck website. It's not much really, but mention it anyways for those who feel the Olympics suck! :-)

    Olympics Suck [olympicssuck.com]
  • There was a slight missquote here:

    "When technology allows us to add the same model (of licensing on the Internet as television), we will push that as quickly as possible," Aikman said.

    What Aikman actually said was:

    "When technology allows us to add the same model (of licensing on the Internet as monk written manuscripts), we will push that as quickly as possible".

    -
  • Because of these exclusive deals, most San Franciscans without cable cannot watch the Olympics. NBC no longer has broadcasting towers in SF, so there are very few areas with good reception. Furthermore, with the hilly terrain, AT&T has little competition from satellite TV, because it's tough to get that 30 degree SSW line of sight, or whatever it is.


    Obviously in the long run NBC is worried about losing these viewers, but because of bad timing (the big switch just happened 12/31), they have not had time to do anything about it yet, so San Francisco gets screwed.

  • I'm packing right now for tomorrow's flight to Salt Lake -- you'll be seeing me on TV at Snowbasin Monday morning for the women's DH. So Net coverage isn't a top priority here.

    Anyway, here's a more positive observation about Olympics coverage: after watching tonight's broadcast on NBC, it's looking like this year's TV coverage is going to be an order of magnitude better than any US Olympic coverage in the last 20 years. They're showing competitor, competitor, competitor with almost no features, soap operas and sob stories and drastically scaled-back jingoism.

    (I was just interrupted by my wife coming in to say, "I can't believe how much better the TV coverage is!" ;-)

    Apparently, the Sydney broadcast was such a disaster with male viewers that they came up with the bright idea of treating it as a sports event.

  • http://www.univrel.auburn.edu/tiger/video.html [auburn.edu] Ok so it is only a clip of their bird flying, but it is clearly from the NBC feed. It appears there are ways to get clips on the web after all.

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