27
Jan
unnamed

There is now an official Olympic TV app in Google Play, which is pretty big news. Does this mean the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is finally embracing modern technology? Eh, kind of. The app promises to give you access to all the live and replayed events from Sochi next month, but there are apparent limitations based on where you live.

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According to the app's description, these are the countries where users can get unfettered access to all the Olympic video:

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Anguilla, Antigua-Barbuda, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Surinam, Turks and Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago.

Notice anything? Yep, that's (most of) Africa and the Caribbean. To be clear, you can download the app in a lot of other places, and it does seem to be showing video from practice runs in Sochi right now (in the US). It will probably be showing a limited feed based on the licensing deals when the games actually start, though. The app description isn't particularly helpful in sorting that out. But in addition to the video, there is a simple event calendar.

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The app itself is okay as far as things designed for the Olympics go – it's a little sluggish and the UI is confusing. Also, there are force closes (ugh). The IOC is famously slow to get in line with modern technology, so it's probably a miracle this app exists at all.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.twitter.com/italofigueired Italo Figueiredo

    I think it's available only to countrys where there aren't TV Channels transmitting the games. (Sorry for the EN)

  • http://blog.tonysarju.com/ Infowerx Solutions

    By Bahamas, do you mean Caribbean?

    • Himmat Singh

      Yeah, exactly. And to think this guy is from the US....he'd know the countries not too far from there.

  • guyfromtrinidad

    Should it not be "(most of ) Africa and the Caribbean", sloppy guys.

  • http://AppsZoom.com/ Peter Warrior

    "Cooperative Republic of Guyana" Sounds great. I like co-op.

  • Roh_Mish

    I don't even know which channels will broadcast Olympics in India. There are 3-4 channels who broadcast it but I don't watch it so I am not sure which channels have it.

  • Roh_Mish

    I don't even know which channels will broadcast Olympics in India. There are 3-4 channels who broadcast it but I don't watch it so I am not sure which channels have it.

  • Timothy Vreeland

    Meh. Let me know when the summer Olympics are on.

    • squiddy20

      I'll let you know in 1.5 years. -__-

  • jab416171

    You can probably watch them anywhere else with Hola Better Internet, or your own VPN solution.

  • wolfkabal

    So, VPN/Proxy?!?

  • Wyatt Neal

    What? No Chromecast support? F*** that. I'm going to have my own Olympics with a Chromecast, and blackjack, and hookers. In fact, for get the Olympics.

    • Justin Swanson

      I'll bring the blow...

  • Himmat Singh

    Wasn't London 2012 streamed for free on YouTube in HD? There were 10 channels and it was pretty good (though there was around 1 min lag).

    • Primalxconvoy

      That too was just as geo-locked as this app. No one bothered with it.

      • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

        geo-locking is pure evil.

        • Primalxconvoy

          I agree. From where I'm standing, I'd just replace "evil" with "redundancy".

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Do they even have an ability to use such apps in Africa?

    • TheWholeWorldLiesSun

      In South Africa, yes (sort of), Data is still fairly slow and pricey though. The rest depends on neighboring towers and is mostly useless to the masses that can't afford the data rates..even the ones fast enough to stream a low quality video.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Sigh, that's sad. I still can't understand why the rest of the world just doesn't invest into South Africa and make the living there much better than it is now

        • TheWholeWorldLiesSun

          South Africa is actually much better off than many other areas lol. Having faster data speeds isn't exactly a priority in many places.

      • Primalxconvoy

        The creators of "neon shadow" are based in south Africa and they've admitted that internet access us awful

    • Matthew Fry

      That's a legitimate question. My guess would be there's just enough infrastructure for the elite to have some pretty good Internet access (outside of the rich nations which probably have fabulous Internet access).

  • Brendan Dillon

    This is the sort of crap you get with what the sponsors have done for partitioning out coverage. This shouldn't be this kind of mess.

    • MeCampbell30

      Eh, the IOC and team USA need the money so I don't complain. It's not like you have to pay to watch it on the NBC app.

      • Brendan Dillon

        Actually, you do. If you aren't a paying cable customer, the NBC app is completely useless.

  • nxtiak

    NBC has all the Olympics broadcasting rights in the USA. You have to use the nbcolympics app and their websites. And you get more access if you have TV service and login.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Didn't NBC edit out certain coverage from their broadcasts of the last summer Olympics? If so, then why would anyone savvy enough to come to this site be interested in their coverage, of all broadcasters?

      • nxtiak

        Because it's still the best coverage you can get in the USA. And the only thing they edit out was during the opening ceremony, they went to the anchors/wide view.
        http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/07/28/disappointed-nbc-censored-tribute-to-terrorism-victims-out-of-olympic-opening-ceremony/

        • Primalxconvoy

          Yes that's right. Not the best thing for the Americans to do. It offended quite a few people around the world, especially the British. Them everyone realised it was America that was being discussed and everyone laughed.

          Anyway, surely the best coverage in America at the time was the bbc America (on tv) and the bbc sport app and a proxy, right?

          • nxtiak

            No. NBC is the one and only broadcaster that has rights to air the Olympics in the USA.
            And like I said, tuning in to NBC and their NBC sports channels and using their website and apps is the most easiest. I have no issues.

  • Matthew Fry

    Use a VPN and voila you're from the Bahamas.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Meh. It's not worth jumping through hoops -- the five cockrings of death -- to watch the olympics. The BestOf clips will make it to YouTube (over and over again).

  • Sxeptomaniac

    The ridiculous licensing nonsense is why I watch little, if any, of the Olympics anymore. It's just not worth the hassle of trying to figure out when the interesting events are on.

    • Primalxconvoy

      I agree. I used the bbc sport app with the unblockus service and I s able to enjoy some coverage (but it was a beta at the time and kept freezing).

      • Justin Swanson

        We use the BBC website and Unblockus... we started the service for the Summer Olympics and we've just kept it.

  • Primalxconvoy

    What's great is when you watch the coverage in Japan, the Japanese reporters in another country will refer to the host country's people and other competitors not as "athletes" but as "foreigners", bless their little ethnocentric, xenophobic hearts.

  • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

    This surprises you why? NBC has been fucking up the Olympics for years with their stupid tape delays etc.

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