The 2014 Winter Olympics, held in Sochi, Russia, will start in less than a week. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for this Friday. Even if you are stuck at your desk or traveling by train, you can watch still watch the Winter Olympics this year thanks to NBC Sports in collaboration with Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computer technology.
In 2010, the iPad was brand new and not popular enough (or technological enough) to live stream the Vancover, Canada Winter Olympics. By 2012, when London hosted the most recent Summer Olympics, the iPad was one of the most popular ways to watch the events, other than traditional television.
In 2012, NBC launched a couple of new apps that would allow viewers to follow the worldwide sporting event. Both NBC Olympics and Olympics Live Extra made it possible for you to access information, interviews, pictures, and more through the two companion apps. Additionally, there were a number of subscription-based cable apps that offered coverage of the Summer Olympics two years ago.
This year, sports fans with a cable subscription will be able to watch every moment of the Ski Jump, Ice Skating, and Bobsled competitions over the 18-day event. The NBC Sports Live Extra app will play host to more than 1,000 hours of live streaming video of the Winter Olympics.
The iPad is fast becoming a common way to watch long-lasting events like the iPad. According to USA Today, by 2012, tablets were used twice as much as smartphones to watch live streamed events on mobile devices.
As was the case two years ago, you will need a cable, satellite, or telecom subscription to access the Winter Olympics from NBC Sports Live Extra. The app is connected through the TV Everywhere initiative, which connects live and on-demand content to those who pay a monthly service for it through their cable subscription.
As technology progresses, mobile viewing has become a new way to interact with shows you watch. NBC Sports executive Rick Cordella explains that viewers used both their traditional television sets alongside their tablets to access content of the 2012 Summer Olympics and the numbers will only increase as more information gets pumped through the pipeline. “What we’re seeing here is a rising tide of digital viewership, and we’re pretty bullish on what we’ll do in Sochi,” said Cordella.