The Olympic Games 2008 are underway in Beijing and you can actually watch the Olympics online in case you live in the right country.
Like with the movie services which are more and more becoming real alternatives to discs, the Olympic coverage is restricted to the boundaries of countries. If you believe that the web is supposed to link us globally and make us global citizens this country specific rights selling of media is really worrying and annoying me. I want to watch online what I want and not be limited by where my computer is located.
You have to jump through hoops like local proxy setups to gain global access to information, which is for most users just too complicated.
I hope that this country specific rights management will some day be dissolved. I understand it is complicated, but I think media companies and broadcasters need to change their business models eventually. Update: This NY Times article about the 12 hour delay of NBC's coverage of the Olympics opening ceremony just underlines the mess country speficic selling of rights creates for consumers and also for the rights owners.
If you live in the United States you have the NBCOlympics site that offers a great comprehensive coverage of the Olympics with live video feeds. This is possibly the best online Olympics coverage you can get.
If you are in Europe a great way to watch a huge list of TV Channels for free is Swiss based Zattoo ( (not available in all European countries). This online TV watching solution requires downloading a player and shows ads during channel switching. This is how I follow the Olympics online, by watching one of the two major German TV stations (ARD, ZDF) through Zattoo.
Wired has listed a couple more places where you can watch Olympics online.
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