Spoiler alert! Thanks to NBC’s use of time delay in broadcasting the Olympics to the Western U.S., those who live their lives online during the day are bound to find out what happened long before it airs in prime-time. Anyone who doesn’t want to know the results prior to airtime is going to have to avoid just about every website they frequent, from Twitter to Facebook to newspaper sites, and even their email in-box (those CNN email alerts aren’t so helpful when filled with spoilers).
The broadcast delay — as well as the authentication requirement to view live video online — has people seething in towns as close as Seattle is to Vancouver. In fact, sports blog Deadspin has been collecting various reader complaints about NBC’s tape delay, dubbing it the “Tape-Delaympics.” And one reader, Kat, wrote in to note how much better Canadian TV coverage was:
I was just talking about it last night with a friend of mine. Both of us are Canadian and have been totally impressed with the coverage here. They’ve got it live on at least 3 channels at all times to catch everything, plus 2 channels in french with their own coverage, and the main CTV channel doing live coverage as well as interviews and regular news breaks.
Beyond the broadcast brouhaha, Olympic coverage is not just for credentialed journalists anymore. Alternative and citizen journalists armed with digital cameras, or even just cell phone cameras, are capturing what’s happening in front of them — even if the IOC would prefer they didn’t.
So if you don’t mind the spoilers, here’s a cheat sheet to help you find relevant Olympics coverage online, whether it’s on special websites, photo sites, video-sharing or Twitter lists. Thanks to mash-ups and curated aggregation, there are not only more forms of multimedia coverage of the Olympics, but also more innovative ways to see what’s happening and who’s talking about what — including the Olympic athletes themselves.
Special sites and pages
Olympic.org IOC site
NY Times Olympic Tracker with personalized schedule
Twitter lists and searches
Huffington Post’s Winter Olympics LIVE lists (via Craig Kanalley)
NBC Olympics Tweet Tracker
Winter Olympics Athletes on Twitter on Twitter-Athletes.com
Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post (via Christopher Connell)
Kris Krug’s Winter Olympics photo sets on Flickr
Robert Scales’ Vancouver 2010 Olympics set on Flickr
Map of Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Pool on Flickr
Here’s a Flickr photo gallery from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics pool
CTVOlympics.ca World feed schedule
NBCOlympics Video page includes highlights and some live streams (if authenticated with your pay-TV provider)
Watch Live Olympic Coverage Online — go down to pull-down menu at bottom of page and choose your country
Yahoo Sports video mostly from wire services such as AP
Mobile apps and sites
Cowbell2010, so your phone can ring like a cowbell
Blog posts and articles
American Networks Serve Advertisers First and Viewers Last at Huffington Post
The gold medals for best mobile Olympics sites go to… at Poynter.org
5 Android Apps for the 2010 Winter Olympics experience at Androinica
Foursquare Partners with Zagat, New York Times at ReadWriteWeb
NBCOlympics delivers 8.1 million video streams in first four days at NBC Universal press release
Olympic madness at Seattle Times
Sharing the Olympic Magic with Fans at the Facebook blog
What Olympic tape-delay controversy? NBC still doesn’t get it at Seattle Times
Where to Watch the 2010 Winter Olympics Online at NewTeeVee
What online resources do you use to keep up with the Winter Games? Share your favorites in the comments below and we’ll update this list with any ommissions.
For more Olympic coverage at MediaShift, check out these posts:
Inside the Social Media Strategy of the Winter Olympic Games by Craig Silverman
Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.