Watching Olympic hockey (or not)

I love hockey. Only sport I’ve played with any regularity. Love Olympic hockey especially.

We don’t have TV service. We’ve never felt there’s enough good stuff on to justify the cost of cable in a tight budget, and our geographical location blocks even local TV stations. We almost never notice the loss, except in special circumstances.

We’ve been enjoying using NBC’s online Olympic videos, which run nicely on our computer and let us watch highlights of figure skating, skiing, curling, and so on, with less ads and no annoying commentators. For most things, that works well. But hockey should be watched live.

NBC does offer live online broadcasts. Except your internet service provider has to have a pre-arranged deal with NBC, which of course CenturyLink does not, despite all sorts of obscure regional providers around the country which DO have that deal. NBC doesn’t even have an option to PAY for an online broadcast if your provider doesn’t cooperate; how ludicrous is that?

I’ve muttered through so far, watching highlights a day late, but really wanted to watch at least one of the final games, like US/Finland Friday and the gold medal game Sunday. We planned to go into Columbia one of those days, have a beer at Broadway or Flat Branch, and enjoy the game in a decent setting.

Then my dreams were crushed by the realization that this weekend is the huge True/False Film Festival in Columbia, and that every venue in downtown will be packed with people. T/F is not our thing, and we normally stay far away from Columbia during those days. AARGH.

Someday the internet will live up to its potential and allow people to watch what they want, when they want, however they want, without stupid exlusive licensing deals making arbitrary decisions about where content is available. I’d happily pay NBC $5 to stream this game to my home, but no such luck. Anyone know of alternative content providers streaming such things that can be accessed in the US?

5 thoughts on “Watching Olympic hockey (or not)

  1. Doesn't work down here. I just tried it, in the middle of the Cananad-Slovakia game. Seems like most online providers can read ISPs or otherwise tell whether you're in their service area, so it doesn't help to go border-shopping. So annoying. I think I'll have the same problem with the World Cup.Hope the 3-0 Canada score holds up, though I'm going to have a very hard time deciding which way to root on Sunday.

  2. That's exactly how we feel. There are a few good things out there, but not for the price and 300 additional channels of crap. Not to mention I have a philosophical aversion to paying for TV and still having to watch ads.

  3. A couple of years ago, we got rid of the higher DISH package and went with the basic in order to save money. I can't say we miss any of the other channels (okay, I miss TCM), and even with just the basic there are tons of channels we never watch. We are able to get our local channels through it, though, since reception where we are is lousy. I'd love to just pick the 5 channels I actually watch and get rid of the rest. Maybe someday…probably about the time they get DSL to all the rural areas!