There’s a buzz in the air in my little town of Loveland, Colorado, about the Olympics. At my local business referral group, we worked in some mention of the Olympics into our 30 second commercials when talking about our businesses just for fun. I’ve heard some news on the radio about some shocking developments, but I personally haven’t been able to watch much of the Olympics.
You’ve Got Cable, Don’t You?
I was talking with my client, Roger who lives in Omaha. I asked him, “Hey, have you been watching the Olympics?” I was sort of hoping that he would say no so I would have someone to commiserate with.
“Absolutely! Every night,” he answered enthusiastically. Roger is rarely overtly enthusiastic over things that are unrelated to dentistry (his trade), so this made me even more jealous.
“Must be nice,” I thought.
“I’m liking the swimming. You know Michael Phelps set a new record for the number of medals,” Roger said.
Yeah, thanks, Roger. No, I actually didn’t know that. Last I had heard, Phelps was sucking it up. Now he’s a rockstar again and I had no idea. Why didn’t I know? Because I don’t get cable television. I get cable internet and phone service from Comcast, but I opted not to get cable TV since my wife and I watch everything on disc or via streaming video from Netflix or Hulu. And there’s the rub.
But Wait, The Olympics Are Streaming For The First Time Ever!
…Well, they’re streaming for some people. My wife and I wanted to show our little boys some of the Olympics, so we went online to the NBC Olympic website. We see “Watch The Olympics Live,” and a big red button that says, “Click Here And Get Ready.”
We click the big red button and see a sign-in pop-up with a big Comcast button there along with a drop down menu for other providers. We think, “Okay, we’re Comcast customers.” Not so fast…
“Access to NBC Olympics Live Extra requires an XFINITY® TV subscription*” the site says. The asterisk says that it requires a subscription to Digital Starter and that “alternative requirements” may apply to other areas.
Wah wah wah. We lose.
In$pire A Generation
Today, I decided to take another stab at it. I look in the list of other providers. There are so many here. Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association…nope. Verizon! I have a Verizon cell phone, so I tried to log in with that info, but it turns out it’s just for Verizon’s broadband customers. So I’m still out of luck.
Women’s beach volleyball is going on as I write this. I don’t know that beach volleyball is inspiring, but I certainly find it entertaining. Unfortunately, because I haven’t dished out the premium required for that entertainment or inspiration, I can’t watch it.
I did come across a certain website with a stream of the BBC’s coverage of the Olympics, but it regularly spits out pop-ups for online singles listings and tries to install all sorts of adware (or worse) disguised as “Plug-ins”. When I launch the site, I envision my computer wrapping its arms around itself, rocking back and forth, trying to go to its happy place.
I know I’m not alone in my predicament, and I hope that sponsors of the Olympics realize that their advertising isn’t being seen by this segment of the population. I could pay for cable or satellite tv, but I choose not to. The only reason I know that Samsung, British Airways, and Coca-Cola are commercial partners of the Olympics is because I finally went to the official London 2012 website and saw their scrolling logos.