SBJ/Feb. 3-9, 2014/Olympics

Comcast will televise NBC Sports’ live streaming from Sochi for its X1 subscribers

Comcast is expanding its X1 interactive video platform to allow its subscribers to see NBC Sports’ online streaming coverage of the Sochi Olympics on televisions.

NBC Sports is streaming every event in Sochi live, a first for the Winter Olympics and expanding on what it did two years ago in London for the Summer Games. That streaming video for tablets, smartphones and computers will be televised for Comcast video subscribers through a repurposing of the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

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Olympics writer Tripp Mickle and SBJ Olympics editor Tom Stinson discuss some of the concerns and issues facing the Sochi Olympics.

It will come with interactive menus, searchable listings and on-demand features.

Operating under a tag line of “Every Minute, Every Medal, Every Screen,” Comcast’s Olympic efforts represent a push by the operator to create additional synergy through its corporate holding NBC.

Comcast also is testing a new on-demand feature in which viewers joining the prime-time Olympics coverage in progress can restart it from the beginning. The feature will be available in several Northeastern U.S. markets.

The company also is planning for the Olympics an aggressive deployment of its SeeiT feature, a Twitter-based function in which viewers can choose to watch or record video directly from conversations on the microblogging platform.

“The London Games were really a watershed moment for the concept of TV Everywhere, and for many people, that was the first time they live-streamed something,” said Matt Strauss, Comcast Cable senior vice president and general manager of video services. “We think Sochi will be a similar watershed for the X1 platform.”

NBC Sports did offer to other cable and satellite providers the same option to televise its live Olympic streaming, but Comcast was the only one that accepted. The cost of the service to providers was not revealed.

The company has put considerable resources behind X1, a cloud-based video platform, and Comcast has been in talks with other cable providers about licensing its technology on a white-label basis.

The televising of the Sochi streaming to Comcast homes will contain the same ads seen online and on mobile devices.

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