Olympic rings

Sports are best when watched live, so it’s fortunate that NBC’s coverage at the London 2012 Olympics will include live streaming video of all 32 sports online.

The broadcaster, which launched its official Olympics website today, will offer access to the sports in real-time — before the time-delayed coverage that airs on the traditional TV stations in America. The site will also provide users with lots of archived content, stats, and other supplementary material. (Dedicated fans of the Olympics may also want to check out the Olympic Athletes Hub.)

And for those of you who’d prefer to sleep, NBC said the big events will be archived online relatively quickly. The only exception would be for coverage of events that NBC wants to prominently feature on TV first.

One thing that NBC isn’t worried about is having the live stream coverage hurt the traditional TV viewership.

“Anytime you have a great event that happens before it shows on the air, it increases ratings and generates buzz,” NBC Sports Digital Media VP Rick Cordella told the New York Times. Those comments mimic what Cordella said earlier this year when the company decided to offer a live stream of the Super Bowl. “Whatever is on schedule that day, if cameras are on it, we’ll stream it,” he said, which accounts for about 2,500 hours of coverage.

NBC Sports is ditching Microsoft’s Silverlight video plugin for this year’s Olympic streaming coverage. Instead, the company is teaming up with YouTube, which has been ramping up all its live streaming efforts. The video streaming themselves, however, will exclusively be available on the NBC Sports Olympic site.

Will you be checking out the late-night Olympic live streams?  Let us know in the comments.

London 2012 Olympics photo via  Steve Heap / Shutterstock.com; Via The Verge