NBC’s Controversial London Olympic Streaming Service Turns out to be a Hit

NBC launched a special app late last month that was specifically dedicated to giving viewers the chance to watch all 300+ Olympic events as they happen, right from a computer, iPhone, or iPad. Unfortunately, even though NBC is a broadcast television network, the only way Olympics fans could access the 3,500 hours of live sporting events was to have a cable subscription.

Even though the NBC Olympics Live Extra app has been rated overall as a two-star app with more than 900 one-star ratings and page after page of negative reviews, A National Inflation Association (NIA) survey showed that NBC “delivered over 100 million video streams, including 45 million live video streams in just the first 10 days of the Olympics to nearly 10 million U.S. pay-TV subscribers who authenticated their laptops, desktops, iPads and iPhones,” and they loved it.

Sunday, August 12 was the last day of the Olympics sporting events. The survey, conducted by NIA, asked 1,513 people about their Olympic-viewing habits. More than 61 percent said they were pay-TV subscribers with packages that included CNBC and MSNBC.

Of those who authenticated themselves for “TV Everywhere” coverage, 58.1 percent rated the process as high as possible with 10 out of 10 points. When asked, 49 percent of respondents told NIA the reason they used NBC Olympics Live Extra was to watch the events live before they aired on regular TV.

Although TV Everywhere has been available to cable subscribers for quite a while, most people didn’t know about the service until a year ago. Some subscribers only learned about TV Everywhere for the first time during the Olympics.

The app was so popular that, of the applicants surveyed, 42 percent said they would be willing to pay at least $15 for the same service if it weren’t offered for free and 13.5 percent said they would pay more than $60 for the extras.

Of the iPad owners surveyed, 42.5 percent said they have watched live video streaming from their tablet in the past and more than half said the quality of the video stream was a perfect 10 out of 10.

Incidentally, of the different browsers that were used to watch the Olympics through NBC’s website, Apple’s Safari performed the best with only 3.8 percent of users stating that they experienced choppy video streams while watching the events.

NBC received criticism from authenticated users because the opening ceremonies were not included in the live streaming events. To make up for it, the broadcast channel has just announced that it will offer complete access of the closing ceremonies to pay-TV subscribers.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik