Comcast To Bring Online Olympics Coverage to TV

Over the past few Olympics, NBC has shown more live coverage over the Internet than it has on TV. For the upcoming Winter Games, Comcast's Xfinity TV subscribers will be able to tap the breadth of that online coverage on their big screens.

For the first time, subscribers who use Comcast Corp.'s latest-generation X1 video set-top box will be able to access content that had once been "digital only."

That includes use of the NBC Sports Live Extra app on big-screen TVs. This year, the app will include a buffed-up version of a live program called "Gold Zone." It will cut in and out of medal events and recap highlights. This time, it will also have hosts and a studio, similar to football's NFL RedZone channel. Live streaming of events and other coverage from Sochi, Russia, will also be available on the TV through the X1 box.

All told, NBC is streaming more than 1,000 hours of live event coverage online. For the first time, that will include popular events such as figure skating. At the Winter Olympics in Vancouver four years ago, live coverage online was limited to curling and ice hockey, plus some training runs, and only 430 hours of online coverage was live.

Subscribers of other pay TV companies will be able to catch the "Gold Zone" and other online coverage only on computers, tablets and mobile phones -- at least without connecting cables to the TV. Verification through the X1 is automatic, as it will be for some subscribers of other services that can recognize if you're on your home Wi-Fi network.

The change is one further step in the TV industry's evolution to become a platform delivered via the Internet. Because the X1 box can handle the HTML 5 Internet programming language, it was easy to repurpose the app, the...

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