NBC launched two mobile apps that will let people watch Olympics events as they happen, look up athlete profiles and access other extra content on their iPads, iPhones and certain Android devices.
NBC said that most of the content will be available only to pay-TV subscribers who have MSNBC and CNBC as part of their service. The apps – NBC Olympics and NBC Olympics Live – are free to download starting Thursday.
The apps were created by Adobe Systems. Adobe said NBC will receive analysis about how people interact with the content and ads on the apps. Users will be able to set reminders for their favorite events; record, pause or watch clips later; and switch between camera views while they watch, said Jeremy Helfand, vice president of monetization at Adobe.
Until now, he added, online content for the Olympics has been “limited.” A big reason for that is NBC has been worried that showing the games online could hurt its TV audience. Under its new Comcast ownership, NBC executives now think that the extra coverage will increase interest in the games.
NBC said this is the first time that all of the Olympic events, more than 3,500 hours of coverage, will be available on smartphone and tablet computers. The 2012 Olympics will begin on July 27, with the official opening ceremony in London. In addition to the apps, NBC is also streaming events online.
Despite the popularity of the games, NBC has said that it does not expect to turn a profit on them, given the high cost of doing business in London.