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Olympics to be broadcast on YouTube

People look at a screen during the launch of the brand for the 2012 Olympics and Para-olympics at the Roundhouse in London. The International Olympic Committee will provide live web coverage of the London games this summer to nations in Asia and Africa.

Jeremy Hobson: Here in the U.S., NBC will be the place to watch the Olympics this summer. The network forked over $2 billion for the rights. But in places around the world where broadcast rights haven't been sold, people will be able to turn to Youtube. The International Olympic Committee is going to live-stream the games to 64 Asian and African countries.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.


Nancy Marshall-Genzer:  The free YouTube stream won’t be dominated by coverage of swimming and gymnastics, like U.S. coverage is. Because people in say Angola, Pakistan and Nepal are more interested in...

Ben Sturner: Ping pong, or weight lifting or tae kwon do. Those are sports that the U.S. and some of the Western countries are not winning all the golds.

That’s sports marketer Ben Sturner of the Leverage Agency. He likes the live stream idea, but wonders if it’s feasible.

Tech analyst Larry Weber heads the w2 Group. He says there are a number of problems.

Larry Weber: First one is bandwidth. Hello -- you know most of these countries don’t have bandwidth enough for voice conservations.

And only about 20 percent of the population in developing countries is online, according to the U.N. Still, if the feed attracts enough interest, the Olympic Committee may be able to persuade a broadcaster to buy the TV rights for future Olympics.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall-Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.
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