With just 50 days until the London Olympics gets underway, sports fans around the world will already be beside themselves with heart-pumping excitement at the prospect of 17 action-packed days of wall-to-wall coverage showing the world’s top athletes pushing themselves to the limit in order to secure a place on the podium. For non-sports fans, it may be the time to put down the remote and take up a new hobby.
With more television stations and websites than ever covering events, London 2012 is set to be the most viewed Olympics in the competition’s history.
The worldwide audience for the Games, which begins on July 27, has just been given an extra boost with the International Olympic Committee announcing on Wednesday that the competition will be live streamed via YouTube to 64 territories.
The free sports feed will be available across Asia and Africa, in nations where where digital broadcast rights have not yet been sold.
People living in countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Nigeria and Cameroon will be able to watch Olympic coverage on Internet-connected devices on the IOC’s YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/olympic.
The channel will consist of 11 different simultaneous high-definition broadcasts with 10 live feeds, running from 9am to 11pm UK time. The eleventh channel will cover Olympic news 24/7 and feature general reports, interviews with athletes and special events.
“We first provided clips on our channel on YouTube during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games across the region, and since then have continued to provide footage of past Olympic Games across the world on our YouTube channel,” Timo Lumme of IOC Television and Marketing said on the IOC’s website. “Now we will also be able to offer live coverage during London 2012, complementing the excellent coverage provided by our broadcast partners across the world across all media platforms.”
Indeed, TV networks such as NBC are going all out with their Olympic coverage this year — the broadcaster will be live streaming all 32 sports taking place at the Games. “If cameras are on it, we’ll stream it,” NBC’s Rick Cordella said recently. Meanwhile, the BBC will also be providing wall-to-wall coverage of the sporting extravaganza, with some TV broadcasts going out in 3D.
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