NBC to Offer Free, Automatic Downloads through "Olympics On the Go"

I'm not a huge Olympics fan, but NBC is partnering with digital content provider Wavexpress to provide some pretty remarkable coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games. Dubbed "Olympics On the Go," Vista Media Center users will be able to schedule their favorite summer events to download automagically to their PCs or laptops (through TVTonic). Clips will come in "up-to-HD quality," meaning that at least some of the downloads will be good enough to be worth watching. And it's all free. The only catch seems to be that there's no mention of Zune syncing, but what good is synchronized swimming on such a small screen anyway?

Wavexpress to Provide Internet Video Download Service for NBC's Coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games

Free Service to Allow Media Center Users the Ability to Download Content During NBC's Coverage of the Beijing Olympics, August 8-24, 2008

NEW YORK – June 23, 2008 – Wavexpress, a provider of broadband media technology and services, majority-owned by Wave Systems Corp. (NASDAQ: WAVX), has been selected by NBC Universal, Inc., to develop, host, and support a service for viewing NBC's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Microsoft's Windows Vista Media Center. The announcement was made today by Perkins Miller, Senior Vice President, Digital Media, NBC Sports and Olympics, and Michael Sprague, President of Wavexpress.

The "NBC Olympics on the Go" service will take advantage of Wavexpress' TVTonic Internet video service to allow Media Center users to watch channels of NBC's coverage of Olympic events in up-to-HD quality on the go on their laptop. The free service will enable viewers to watch NBC's extensive coverage of the Beijing Games on a sport-by-sport basis, with channels designated to match the hundreds of events included in the Games. Users can simply sign up for the channels they are interested in, and the service will automatically synchronize NBC's video clips as they become available, so viewers will have a fresh slate of Olympic content to watch on their morning commute.

"This service will provide a fantastic viewing experience for Olympic fans with Windows Vista Media Center," said Sprague. "They can choose their favorite sports, from diving to water polo to gymnastics, and extended coverage is automatically synchronized to their PC in the middle of the night. With a laptop, they will get a high-quality video experience to view on the train, the plane, or in the college quad."

"As we prepare to broadcast the Beijing Olympic Games, we are committed to reaching as many viewers as possible," said Miller. "Our partnership with Wavexpress will enable us to reach viewers seeking high-quality in-depth coverage of the wide range of sports that make up the Olympics. The service will especially appeal to fast-paced fans who want to catch up on their favorite sports offline."