The IOC is freely broadcasting the Olympics to 64 Asian and sub-Saharan African countries on YouTube. Ghanaians, or Indians, or Basotho can tune in, without paying, to watch some 10 different live streams, which run from 9am to 11pm London time. They can also watch the 24-hour Olympic News channel.
All the broadcasts are in English. Internet availability throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa remains scarce.
Why does an East Timorese get to watch the Olympics online, for free, while Americans don’t? Because the US (and Canada, and most South American and European countries) have large media companies which will happily bid for the right to show the Games. In most of the territories that receive free YouTube access, there just isn’t a big media company which could air the Olympics and turn anything close to a profit (yet), reports The Atlantic.
Here’s the full list of the 64 territories The Atlantic found which can view the Games online. In Asia:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Bhutan, Cambodia, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
RBR-TVBR observation: It makes sense to offer the streams to other nations wanting to see the games, but with limited access. With all of the Olympics streaming locked up by NBCU already in the US, YouTube would likely end up in court if it streamed the games here.