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Watching Sochi From Sidelines? Cable Cord-Cutters Get Left Off Podium

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)--Whether you're at home or on the go, there are more options than ever before to see the Olympics. There are five channels --NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, and NBC Sports Network -- showing the competition on TV, but if you want to watch on a computer or mobile device, a cable subscription is still key.

To get any more than a half-hour of live streaming of the action, you'll have to use a cable or satellite bill-payer's credentials to log in.

"They can watch live video that's available on, or on the NBC Sports Live Extra app," says Vito Forlenza, who heads Comcast's TV Everywhere Content and Product Strategy. "You can use that to watch more than 1,000 hours of live streaming coverage throughout the games." (To Watch On Apple Device) (Android)  (Windows)

That app is free for smartphones and tablets, and Comcast's says it includes live look-ins at all the medal moments, with Gold Zone -- think of it as the NFL Red Zone for the Winter Games.

"It's hosted by NBC talent," explains Forlenza. "They'll take you over from snowboarding to bobsledding to hockey, over to skiing -- all these events in rapid fire."

As you might imagine, being the Sochi broadcaster's parent, Comcast is offering benefits to its customers: those with the new X1 interface can try 'Instant On-Demand,' which lets you re-start primetime competition the same night. The cloud-based guide also is kitted out with a big-screen version of NBC Sports Live Extra. (See More)

"We'll have about 200 hours of video on-demand," says Forlenza, "with the videos available by about 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. the next morning. "So if you saw something and want to see it again, or maybe missed something from the day before, you can go to our on-demand folder the next morning, and we'll have it there for you."

For everyone and for the duration of the games they're offering free and open use of Xfinity WiFi hotspots. Forlenza says there are thousands in the area.

"Anybody will be able to go on one of our public Xfinity WiFi hotspots and be able to access the general Internet. And we hope they use that and take advantage of it to watch the Olympics." (See More)

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