Miscellaneous 3 min. read

Watching the Olympics from outside of UK

Watching the Olympics from outside of UK

Olympic fever is on! The BBC just reported a record-breaking number of digital viewers for the first Olympic weekend.

Olympics - watch it now!The 2012 Summer Olympic Games started in London, United Kingdom, with a big bang and a very memorable (for various reasons) opening ceremony held on July 27th, 2012. China is already leading the way with 30 medals followed by the United States with 29 medals. London 2012 will witness over 10,000 athletes from 204 countries fighting for the gold.

It is literally the largest live sporting event in our history that is being streamed online.

Everyone is crazy about watching the Olympics. However, not everyone is crazy about NBC, which has received criticism over its streaming of the Olympics in the United States.

The NBC Catastrophe

BBC is the official broadcaster of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. It is airing the entire competition, over 5,000 hours of coverage spread across a number of different channels. As the Olympics are prestigious and one of the most important events of 2012, the licensing rights are expensive. And as a result, most channels have bought rights to only broadcast in their own respective countries.

Accordingly, BBC iPlayer (which is the biggest online streaming service of the Olympics) does not allow non-UK residents to access it. Therefore, everyone living outside of UK or most of Europe has to depend on other official sources for  Olympics coverage.

In America, that official source is NBC. Here is a quick list of things that have caused controversy amongst viewers:

  • You need a cable or satellite TV subscription in order to view the Olympics.
  • NBC Olympics coverage is not live. It is delayed by many hours.
  • NBC Olympics coverage is censored. Many scenes are edited out to create fake tension.
  • There are ads and commercials inserted during the middle of events, interrupting the regular flow of the games.
  • The entire opening ceremony was changed with CGI to add more fireworks and other additions.

Some Twitter Reaction to NBC’s Olympic Coverage







Watch 2012 Summer Olympic Games outside of UK

All is not lost though, as millions have figured out around the world. There are many solutions out there which you can use, for free, to start watching the Olympics in HD within 5 minutes.

VPN services like our very own Expat Shield allow you to establish a direct connection to different UK servers. After doing that, any program like BBC iPlayer will allow you to watch the Olympics, since your online connection through those UK servers will make you look like a UK visitor to those online services. Expat Shield right now is the most famous and widely used alternative to watch the Olympics.

Here is what some of the big names in the tech industry are saying about Expat Shield:

  • Lifehacker: “…..ExpatShield. It’s free and assigns you a UK IP address. It’s worth checking out if you’re on a Windows machine.
  • PC Magazine: “NBC did a bad, bad thing…….British expats around the world use AnchorFree’s free Windows program ExpatShield
  • Reddit: “Install Expatshield or Tunlr to view the BBC live stream.
  • Pando Daily: “BOOM, live streaming BBC coverage of the Olympics in all its suspense-filled, NBC-free glory.


Download Expat Shield now to gain access to BBC Olympics livestream right away.

In today’s digital age, you don’t have to be limited to what corporations force on you. Because of the internet, you have many options. Pick the best one, and enjoy the games!

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