Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

NBC Drops Pay Wall for Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte Livestream

This could be an interesting concession/experiment from NBC: A tipster says the network is about to drop its pay wall when it streams the 200-meter men’s individual medley race, featuring a head-to-head matchup between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, on its NBC Olympics Web site.

The race is scheduled to go off around 3:14 pm ET, so if you want to watch, fire up your browsers now. Don’t know if this will also work on NBC’s Apple and Android apps. Can’t guarantee this will work at all, actually, but worth a shot. (Stream seems to work, but we’ll see.)

Update: NBC sports PR confirms that the pay wall will be down for this one, and says it does so for “some” events daily. Given that this is one of the biggest competitions of the day, that still seems like a meaningful decision.

Background: Earlier today, NBC officials held a press call to argue that their Olympics coverage has been a big success. Part of that strategy involves streaming all events live on the Web, but only to customers with pay-TV subscriptions.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”