Is NBC’s Olympics Broadcast a Little Too Live?

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I mentioned the other day that I was tired of all the whining about NBC not broadcasting the Olympics live. After writing that, I discovered that, in fact, NBC is broadcasting the Olympics live, which made my puzzlement over the whining even greater. Every single event, it turns out, is being livestreamed at nbcolympics.com/liveextra/.

As it happens, my continuing YouTube problems have prevented this from working on my computer. But apparently I am a lonely exception. Over in the great city of Los Angeles, their IT department is worried about City Hall’s servers melting down due to the high volume of Olympics-related malingering:

“We are experiencing a high volume of traffic due to people watching the Olympics online. I respectfully request that you discontinue this as it is impacting city operations,” city tech guru Randi Levin wrote in an email sent to thousands of workers Tuesday morning.

….Some council members expressed alarm at the prospect that city employees were watching the Olympics instead of doing their jobs. “City employees aren’t paid to watch the Olympics on their computers or TV. That is not what the taxpayers are paying them to do,” said Councilman Dennis Zine, who saw the email. “The question is where are the supervisors when this is going on?”

Councilwoman Jan Perry said she’s outraged and wants the city to block Olympic streaming from City Hall computers.

So I’m prompted to ask once again: apparently there is absolutely no problem watching the Olympics in real time if you want to. It’s true that you have to be a cable subscriber. You don’t just get it for free. But you don’t get Game of Thrones for free either. So what’s the problem?

In related news, check out Adam Weinstein’s epic whine about the Olympics here. I’m sorely tempted to write an epic counter-whine, but it would just take too long. But I do have to ask what Adam has against table tennis. Seems like an OK sport to me.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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