NBC has received a lot of criticism for the way it’s broadcasting the 2012 Olympic Summer games. The tape delays, lackluster commentary and an uncanny obsession with Michael Phelps are bad enough, but its technological approach to presenting the games to us also leaves much to be desired.
I wholeheartedly disapprove of NBC’s requirement that home viewers subscribe to some kind of cable or satellite package to watch the Olympics on the internet. The summer Olympics is an event the entire world partakes in every four years. To restrict everything behind a paywall borderlines on villainy to me. To make things worse, NBC couldn’t even put together a consistent mobile application for watching the Olympics.
The NBC Olympics Live Extra application excels in testing one’s patience. I’ve been using the Android app, and it’s very unreliable. At first, I was able to watch some events just fine. Each video loaded an advertisement upon launch, but this didn’t bother me. I did begin to get frustrated when the ads became the most consistent feature of the app. The live feed from events frequently fail due to various in-app errors. The ads work just fine though. There were even times when I would get four ads back-to-back with barely a minute of event coverage. I just don’t know what to expect when I boot up this application. The last couple updates don’t seem to have helped things at all.
If you’re going to watch the Olympics on the internet, you’re better off using NBC’s Olympic site. I don’t have nearly as many issues there.