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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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