Illegal streams enable early US ceremony viewing

A light show is seen during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )
A light show is seen during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC’s decision not to stream a feed of the Winter Olympic opening ceremony live in the United States didn’t mean that video couldn’t be found.

Links to the ceremony from other sources popped up online Friday on social media sites like Twitter, sometimes accompanied by complaints about NBC’s decision. NBC has rights to Olympic video in the United States, but there are other rights holders outside the country that aired the ceremony live.

NBC said Friday that a “very small number of users” watched online instead of waiting for the network’s prime-time coverage. During the London Olympics in 2012, NBC estimated that less than 2 percent of Olympics video viewed in the United States was not from NBC’s official feed.

The network would not discuss anti-piracy efforts taken in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee.

The ceremony over, NBC is showing all of the competition live online or on cable TV. No decision has been announced on the closing ceremony, although NBC streamed that online. There is a nine-hour time difference between the eastern United States and Sochi.

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