NBC, the exclusive broadcaster for the Olympics in the United States, has released a basic schedule for all sports at their website: www.nbcolympics.com Handball is scheduled to be aired daily on the USA Network and/or MSNBC. As these networks will be broadcasting multiple sports, however, it is unclear as to how much Handball will actually be aired and at exactly what times during the broadcast windows.
NBC’s link to the schedule will interactively determine what your viewing options are based on your location and your cable/satellite TV package. This should immediately help you assess whether you might want to consider an alternative cable/satellite TV package. Additionally, if you were thinking about getting a TIVO or DVR player, the Olympics might be the impetus to go ahead and buy/rent one. DVRs with their capacity to record up to 80 hrs will be well suited for storing several hours of coverage and then searching for that Handball coverage you’re looking for.
NBC has also indicated that they will be providing extensive coverage of all sports via online streaming. The online streaming will be provided free of charge, but specifics such as whether all matches will be available and whether they will be provided both live and on-demand is currently lacking. Perhaps, most importantly, for Handball fans with a day job and other commitments, it’s also not clear if the NBC website will support “time shifting” with on demand viewing options that won’t prominently reveal the final score of matches.
Different news reports have also indicated that online viewing may require that your computer has the new Microsoft Vista operating system:
At the official NBC Olympics site, however, there appears to be little or no information in regards to system requirements. I’m guessing that NBC has probably received some backlash on this, and it will surely only intensify as more people find out about this requirement; so I’d wait to run out and get a new computer. If Microsoft is truly engaged with this effort, though, we might be seeing online video at never before seen quality levels. And maybe, just maybe, the bar will be forever raised for future offerings by the IHF, EHF and other outlets.