NBC offers wide online access for Beijing Olympics

NBC is making more than 2,200 hours of live competition from Beijing available online.

After barely tipping its toe in the digital world during past Olympics, the network will dive into the deep end: live blogging, 3,000 hours of highlights on demand, daily recaps and analysis and even fantasy league gaming, an Associated Press report also said.

That's in addition to the 1,400 hours of coverage planned on six television networks, more than the combined total of every previous Summer Olympics.

NBC's digital plans, however, have angered media outlets that worry the company is being heavy-handed in enforcing its rights to exclusive Olympic access, the report said

The network launched NBCOlympics.com in 2000, but then it offered only still pictures and schedule information to drive viewers to its television coverage.

A limited package of highlights from Athens was available in 2004, but those visiting the NBC site were required to enter a credit card number, even though they weren't charged, and that drove away traffic.

NBC quietly experimented by beaming live over the internet the hockey gold-medal game from the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. The change in scope to what it is offering this year is staggering.

The computer coverage will also play a clear secondary role to TV. No events that are scheduled to be televised will be available online until after they are seen on TV, said Perkins Miller, senior vice president for digital media at NBC Sports.

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