Cord Cutters and the Olympics

Some cord-cutting sources say that cord-cutters can access the NBC Olympics app. My reply to this is simple – Don’t believe the hype!

My definition of cord-cutting is rather inclusive. I consider folks with cable Internet services and even satellite TV. This Pollyanna-like view puts me at odds with some cord-cutting purists. These hardline “cord-cutting conservatives,” if you will, insist that the term can only refer to those with a TV antenna who get their HDTV for free. If you share their definition of what a cord-cutter is, then no cord-cutter will be able to access to NBC’s Olympics App this year. To tell the truth, even my open-minded attitude toward the definition of cord-cutting is challenged the truth of NBC Olympics app claim.

Words Can Be Misleading
Once you get past the clickbait that says “cord-cutters” can access the Olympics app, you find the truth has some limitations. What these blogs really are saying is that anyone with a PlayStation Vue subscription can access the NBC Olympics app. Apparently this service provides full access to the channels covering this year’s summer Olympics, and allows access to the app on Android, iOS, Fire TV, and Roku, as well.

Here’s a list of the channels covering the Olympics:

  • Bravo
  • CNBC
  • Golf Channel
  • MSNBC
  • NBC
  • NBCSN
  • USA Network

Watch the Olympics Without Cable
Cord-cutters who want access to NBC’s Olympics app first must have subscribe to PlayStation Vue. This streaming service costs $29.99 per month and provides access to more than 50 channels including CNN, TBS, TNT, NBC, CBS, and FOX. The service is available on PlayStation consoles as well as Fire TV, iPhones/iPads, and many more streaming devices. Watching Olympic golf coverage on the Golf Channel requires an extra $34.99 for the station’s plan. Other costs also might apply.

The Try-and-See Approach
Some blogs have hinted that cord-cutters should sign up for the PlayStation Vue service for one month. This is to see summer Olympics coverage, of course. They then recommend dumping the service after the Olympics, unless you’re happy with it. Apparently, such a thing is possible, since PlayStation Vue is a month-to-month subscription service that doesn’t require a contract. Users can cancel at any time. It’s up to you if you want to try this, but you’re going to need some type of Internet service to make it happen.

The Truth About the Olympics and Cord-Cutting
So you see, the Olympics app isn’t really available to all cord-cutters. If you’re a purist, you might say it’s not available to cord-cutters at all. (The cable company-provided Internet service needed to host to the PlayStaton Vue app steps well outside the TV antenna paradigm.) Even me, with my expanded definition of the cord-cutting term, doesn’t see it, either. The Olympics app is available to streamers, specifically those who are willing to purchase the PlayStation Vue services… even for just a short time.

So now you know how I feel. What’s your opinion on this issue?