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Have A Lot Of Free Time? Watch All Of NBC's Olympic Coverage


NBC says its coverage of the Winter Olympics drew more than 100 million viewers over the last weekend of the Games. That indicates lots of interest, which will fill more than 1,500 hours of coverage across all of NBC's platforms - broadcast network, cable channels and online. With all this coverage and so many ways to watch, we turn to NPR television critic now, Eric Deggans for some tips. Good morning.


MONTAGNE: How are fans getting their Olympics coverage these days - for the most part?

DEGGANS: Well, as I've said before, it kind of depends on what kind of fan you are. So if you're old fashioned you're plopping yourself down in front of the TV in primetime and watching NBC's coverage. And it's pre-recorded thanks to this nine-hour time difference between Sochi and the East Coast. During the day, you can see some action on NBC's cable channels like the NBC Sports Network and MSNBC and CNBC.

They have live coverage during the day. And if you're a little more media savvy then maybe you can watch every event streamed live on NBCOlympics.com website or they have an app for Smartphones and Tablets called NBC Sports Live Extra.

MONTAGNE: OK. I'm dizzy just thinking about it.


MONTAGNE: But what are some of the problems fans may run into when they're trying to watch the games? I mean, the usual thing is spoilers.

DEGGANS: Oh, totally. I mean, if you're just waiting for the primetime broadcast, by the time you sit down everybody's talked about what's happened on Twitter feeds and websites and broadcasters have talked about it. I was watching the "Today Show" and Lindsay Vonn, who's a champion skier - she's not competing but she's an analyst for NBC - and she had to remind Matt Lauer that he was talking about the results to a competition that they wouldn't show until later that night.

So it's a problem even for the people who are on the networks. So you might just have to accept that you're going to hear about how some of these contests turned out before you actually get to see them. Now, if you're trying to watch online, the catch is that you have to be a cable subscriber or satellite TV customer and you kind of have to tell NBC's website, hey, I have bought these services.

They don't allow you to watch on demand replays or highlights until after the primetime stuff airs, too, which can kind of be frustrating to people. And you've got to make sure that your broadband and your wifi connections are set up really well. Because I can watch, for example, the stuff at home really well but in the office where my broadband isn't quite as good, the video's kind of jerky and it hitches up a little bit.

MONTAGNE: Well, do you have a good strategy for making sure that you don't miss anything?

DEGGANS: Well, what I would suggest is getting a hold of the schedule. You can see them online. NBC has a website and some other news sites have great schedules. Sports sites such as Grantland and Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, they give you recommendations every day about stuff that you can check out, try to watch online.

And then you can plan your viewing. So if you want to see something live online then you can make sure you see it when it runs. And NBC also replays almost all the live streams at 3 o'clock so you have a second chance to catch them. Now, if you really want to be savvy and you really want to try something, the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, they're streaming coverage without restrictions to viewers that are in their countries.

So there are some ways that you can get apps and you can make your computer look like it's inside Canada or it's inside Britain and you can watch their streams without reproach. But we don't know - that's a gray area legally, so I'd say be very careful about that.

MONTAGNE: OK. Well, happy watching to you and I guess everyone who's trying to catch this on all these platforms. That's NPR's Eric Deggans. Thanks very much.

DEGGANS: Thanks for having me.



(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Eric Deggans is NPR's first full-time TV critic.