NBCU Turns to VOD For Olympic Coverage

NBC Universal said it has reached agreements with a run of cable operators to offer video-on-demand coverage of the Olympics, including replays of events.

After the Games launch Friday, VOD offerings--which are updated daily--will include some five to 10 of the top events in a particular day, as well as highlights from some 15 sports.

Until Friday, NBCU will use VOD as a promotional platform, offering 60 clips that are intended to encapsulate "the emotion and excitement of the Games," it said. Programming will include athlete profiles and previews of the American contingent.

MSOs looking to offer programming to compete with satellite operators and telco TV providers may benefit from what NBCU says will be 800 hours of the Games in high-definition (seven linear networks will carry events). There will also be two channels in HD dedicated solely to soccer and basketball, respectively.

As potential subscriber numbers have ebbed, MSOs are also considering plans to offer more foreign-language channels, in order to entice audiences to subscribe to higher-cost packages. And NBCU said several operators will offer coverage in some sports in Mandarin and Korean.

Among the cable MSOs with NBCU deals are the two largest--Comcast and Time Warner Cable.



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