NBC is going social and digital like never before for the 2012 Olympics.
The network announced this week that customers can begin pre-verifying their credentials to access 3,500 hours of live-streamed coverage from London this July and August. The streaming video will be delivered via NBCOlympics.com and mobile apps that will launch in mid-July.
During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, NBC sports group chairman Mark Lazarus said that live coverage anywhere at anytime was an easy choice given the current pace of innovation.
“The decision was made because we think that as times have changed that there is a sense to satisfy all people and with using technology,” Lazarus said. “The ability to provide live streams of every event is one that we now have, and we believe will work.”
To get verified ahead of time, visit NBCOlympics.com/LiveExtra http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/
and find the “Click Here & Get Ready Button.” Then choose your cable, satellite or telco provider and enter your account credentials. You’ll need to repeat the procedure for each device you plan to use to watch.
NBC is also adding a social component to promote its coverage and engage viewers. Thursday morning, for example, it hosted a Google+ Hangout with American soccer player Megan Rapinoe. Earlier this week, it announced an Olympics partnership with Shazam.
The more social media integration NBC can add to its desktop and mobile streaming experiences, the better off it will be — both this summer and moving forward in future sports productions.
“This will be the first Twitter Olympics, and we’re going to spend a lot of time trying to understand how people are connecting with each other, and what it means,” Alan Wurtzel, NBC Universal’s research head, said in Wednesday’s conference call.
NBC isn’t the only entity focused on streaming video for this summer’s Olympics. The International Olympic Committee’s YouTube channel will broadcast 2,200 hours of HD coverage for people in 64 territories in Asia and Africa.
Digital and social media are expected to play a massive role at the London Olympics. In April, the International Olympic Committee unveiled an Olympic Athletes’ Hub to connect fans with verified athlete Facebook and Twitter feeds as well as additional content.
But stringent restrictions on what fans are allowed to post, and where they’re allowed to do so from, during the Games has some worried the Olympics won’t end up being as social as advertised.