The Olympic Winter Games are about to start in Sochi, Russia, and once again, the internet is the place to turn to if you want to watch the competition unfold in real-time, as opposed to the hour-long tape-delay in place on broadcast and cable TV. And this time, NBC is promising to stream everything: All competitions across all 15 sports, totaling more than 1,000 hours of live coverage.
There’s only one catch: Just like two years ago for the London Summer Olympics, NBC is once again requiring users to authenticate, meaning that live streams will only be available to viewers who subscribe to cable or satellite TV. Read on to learn how that works and how you actually watch anything once you’re authenticated:
This year, NBC is offering multiple ways to authenticate yourself and get access to all the live streaming goodness:
Signing in. The most reliable way to get going is to sign in with the username and password you use to log into your TV provider’s account at NBCOlympics.com/liveextra or within NBC’s mobile app. Just enter that information, and you’re good to go. You’ll have to repeat this step for every device you want to use to watch the games.
Auto-authentication. Comcast, Cox, Cablevision and Midcontinent customers should be able to start watching even without the need to find their password as long as they access the live streams from within their own homes, thanks to an auto-authentication that is based on their cable modem’s IP addresses.
Temporary pass. Can’t find your online credentials right now? You’re in luck: NBC gives you 30 minutes of free viewing the first time you access the live streaming without requiring you to enter your password. On subsequent days, the broadcaster unfortunately cuts down the free viewing time to three minutes.
On the web. Once authenticated, you can head to NBCOlympics.com/liveextra to tune into the live stream of the competitions. The website will stream more than 1,000 hours of events coverage, plus some exclusive online-only shows, including a channel dubbed Gold Zone that will be live from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every day starting on February 8. It will have highlights from many competitions — think of it as a kind of live “best-of” show, if you will. There’s also an online-only ice skating show dubbed Olympic Ice that will stream “on most days” at 5:30 p.m ET, according to NBC.
On iPads and iPhones. iOS users can access live streams of all the competitions and the aforementioned online-exclusive shows through the NBC Sports Live Extra app, which is available for free, but requires the aforementioned authentication – so get your pay TV credentials ready.
On Android. Users of Android phones and tablets can access all the live streaming goodness after downloading the NBC Sports Live Extra app from Google Play — and authenticating.
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