Beijing Olympics [08.08.08]

Edit: As my friend Joe pointed out in the comments, NBC is showing a ton of coverage online which is unprecedented but there is some trouble on the horizon for those of us who subscribe to Cablevision.  Cablevision has decided not to air all 3,600 hours of Olympics-related programming, but it appears viewers who get their broadband Internet service will be limited to 1,400 of those hours.

That is because NBC is charging carriers a premium for its 2,200 hours of live video from the Olympics – as well as for two special channels dedicated exclusively to soccer and basketball – but Cablevision has declined to sign up.

NBC said most TV and Internet carriers have agreed to its terms. It said in a statement:

“A substantial majority of the industry, about 90 percent of multiplatform subscribers, will have access to broadband content. Nearly every distributor, including all majors [Comcast, DIRECTV, Time Warner, DISH, Cox, Mediacom, Verizon, AT&T] are making Olympic broadband content available to their customers. To date, Cablevision has not elected to offer its customers the enhanced Olympics package.”

Just fantastic news for us Cablevision customers. [Source: Neil Best, News Day]


Well the Summer Olympics are finally here amid all the protest over human rights, Tibet’s freedom and internet censorship. I know a couple of people who are in Beijing either watching the games or helping out volunteer so good luck to them and hope you have a great time.

So is anyone else actually going to watch the Olympics? There has been talk recently that it does not generate much interest anymore but I find that hard to believe but then again, maybe it is not that hard to believe. I barely hear anyone talk that they are looking forward to watching the games and it is mostly about how they are overrated and not very exciting. I call all of that nonsense and completely garbage as the Olympic Games can be a place to bring issues to light, to bring athletes and people from all over the world together to watch an event that has entire communities and countries biting their nails awaiting the result. It used to be a stage where people spoke out on issues that were being suppressed in everyday lives.

Two people who come to mind for that are Tommie Smith and John Carlos who gave everything for their country (United States) and were humiliated when they returned home. Smith and Carlos were largely ostracized by the predominantly white U.S. sporting establishment in the following years and in addition were subject to criticism of their actions. Time Magazine showed the five-ring Olympic logo with the words, “Angrier, Nastier, Uglier”, instead of “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. Back home they were subject to abuse and they and their families received death threats. At least they made a positive difference in the world we live in today and it was nice to see them being honored by ESPN for their 40th year anniversary of the event at the ESPY’s this year (that I blogged about here).

I don’t know about all those doubters but I have always been a fan of the Olympics (Winter and Summer both) because once every other year, atheletes from all over the world can sort of come together and compete against each other while proudly wearing their country’s colors. For all the other times (at least in the US anyways) you just see the title of “World Champion” or “World Series” get tossed around like it means something when the teams only consist of the United States and only a handful of teams from north of the border.

I have tried to stay away from much of the details regarding the opening cermony as I want to watch it live tonight (7:30 PM on NBC) will be shown in taped-delay fashion. There has been much anticipation regarding what the Chinese have in store for the opening ceremony as it certainly will be lavish and I am particularily curious to see be the last to light the Olympic Torch. Who can ever forget Muhammed Ali lighting the Torch in the Summer Olympics of 1996 in Atlanta, Ga.

For anyone interested in the history of the Olympic Medals for a summer Olympics by country, year, or ranking, New York Times once again put out a brilliant interactive Graphic on the matter that can be found right here. The graphic is pretty clear as it changes the size of a particular country based on the number of medals they have won in a given year and they also detail each medal won if you just click on a specific country. For example who knew that the only medal Dominican Republic won in the 2004 games was a Gold Medal by Felix Sanchez in 400m hurdles.