Sochi 2014: A TV Everywhere Success Story

New York, NY

In Home Auto Verification, Temporary Pass among Innovative Features Fueling Successful Verification Rates.

Like no other event to date, the Olympic Games have been, and continue to be, a critical driver of "TV Everywhere," helping to propel awareness and usage.  During the 2014 Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia (Feb 6-23), and the NBC Sports Live Extra app featured, for the first time, live streaming coverage of all Winter Games competition plus the closing ceremony, event rewinds and extensive video highlights. 

"TV Everywhere" played an important role during the Sochi Olympics, with verification rates significantly higher than previous Olympic Games. During the 18 days of the Sochi Olympics,, the mobile site and the apps delivered unprecedented traffic, consumption and engagement.  The vast majority of live streaming was only available to verified cable, satellite or telco customers.

  • In an unprecedented effort, 225 multichannel distributors offered verification for their customers.
  • 4.8M devices were successfully verified with a 54% success rate, a 50% improvement from a 36% success rate during the 2012 London Games.
  • and the NBC Sports Live Extra app saw 24.6M video viewers (160% higher than the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and 8% higher than the 2012 London Summer Games.)
  • The February 21 verified live stream of the Olympic men’s ice hockey semifinal between the United States and Canada generated more than 2.1 million unique users (2.12 million) – believed to be the largest "TV Everywhere" verified streaming audience in U.S. history, and ranking #1 in unique users for any NBC Sports Digital stream, topping NBC’s non-authenticated Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012.

"We are thrilled with the ‘TV Everywhere’ results we’ve seen from the Sochi Olympic Games.  The usage shows the value of the Olympics content to our viewers and distributors," said Ron Lamprecht, Executive Vice President, NBCUniversal Digital Distribution. "Coming off the launch of ‘TV Everywhere’ for our valued cable networks over the past 12 months, we will apply what we’ve learned from the Olympics to the rest of NBCUniversal's portfolio."

"The critical relationship between NBC Olympics and our distribution partners in insuring that the complete Games are made as accessible as technology will allow has significantly contributed to the growth of ‘TV Everywhere,’" said Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics. "It has provided cable, satellite and telco customers with the ability to watch the Games where and when they want via multiple devices."


In-Home Auto-Verification allowed devices of cable subscribers of Comcast Xfinity, Cox Communications, Cablevision's Optimum TV and Midcontinent Communications (Midco) to be automatically verified when used within the customers’ homes.  These providers recognized the device’s IP address and cross-referenced those addresses with subscriber accounts to automatically verify video subscriptions. 

  • In-home auto-verification increased success rates on average by 18%.
  • Verification success average for distributors who did not offer in-home auto verification was 43%.


Temporary Pass was also an innovative solution and key driver of ‘TV Everywhere’ usage and consumption. Customers were issued a temporary 30-minute pass upon their first visit during the Olympic Games, allowing them the ability to watch the event they wanted and verify their subscription at a later time; 5-minute passes were granted on subsequent days.

  • 73% of total verifications began with a temporary pass. 
  • 81% of temporary passes issued were the initial 30-minute pass.


NBCUniversal made Olympic highlights and full-event rewinds available via its distributors’ Video-On-Demand service in addition to a digital figure skating show called "Olympic Ice," delivering the following: 

  • 14M video on demand transactions from over 3.3M unique set-top-box’s, with over 30M advertising & promotion impressions via Dynamic Ad Insertion.
  • Delivered 170+ full event replays and 690 short form (including 45 assets in Spanish), and 15 Olympic Ice shows all in SD & HD to 60+ distributors.


  • Cross Domain Verification: Customers who already verified their subscriptions with Adobe Pass on NBCUniversal network websites and applications did not have to re-verify those subscriptions. The device recognized their verification credentials and provided immediate access to NBC Sports Live Extra’s live stream content.
  • Interactive TV: AT&T, DIRECTV, DISH and Century Link customers had access to an on-screen interactive application with NBCUniversal’s real-time medal counts, athlete bios, Team USA reports, Olympic news and more during the Olympic programming on the networks of NBCUniversal. Comcast Xfinity made the Olympics streaming portion of the NBC Sports Live Extra app available on its X1 set top boxes.