Actually I watched the olympics from CTVs website and the quality was great - everything was in high def and there wasn't too much lag between the TV feed and the online feed. Add that to the fact that you can stream news networks online and there's no reason for me to have satellite/cable. I'm 21 and a lot people my age feel the same. Nobody really sits down to watch TV anymore - even big shows like Lost just tend to get watched in between classes on laptops. And cable/satellite costs more than a decent internet connection. You'll probably see my generation largely give up 'dumb' appliances like televisions with subscriptions to closed networks in the next decade.
I've never really understood why people are afraid to play online if they aren't good. When you play tennis for the first time, you'll get your ass handed to you also. When you played chess for the first time you probably lost badly. Is it the fact that you might get chewed out by some 15 year old you'll never meet?
Even more than that, it is a pure humanist celebration. Even though two countries hate each other, they compete together fairly under the same rules, and acknowledge when they lose. The entire world is also looking at one city for a while and if you follow the coverage you'll inevitably understand that place a little better.
And that's just the sports, there is all sorts of cultural stuff that goes on. Saying the Olympics are all curling and ribbon dancing is like saying the world cup is just a bunch of people kicking around a ball.
I put up my thumb... and it blotted out the planet Earth. -- Neil Armstrong