Where to Watch the USA-Finland Olympic Hockey Match Online

Better late than never? NBC has come under a lot of heat for holding back live coverage of the Olympics, using tape delays to aggregate larger audiences during prime time hours. But it looks like the broadcaster might finally be embracing live, open coverage of some Olympics events, with the news that it will make today’s semifinal Men’s Hockey match between the United States and Finland available for free on live broadcast TV and on the web.
Beginning at 3:00 pm EST / 12:00 pm Pacific, the match will air on NBC. But unlike Wednesday’s match-up between the U.S. and Switzerland, which ran live on the east coast but was held under a time delay for Pacific and Mountain time zones, this time it will run live on both coasts. That’s great news for hockey fans that will be at home during that time, but for those that are working and won’t be in front of a TV, the match-up will also be streamed live online at NBCOlympics.com.
Importantly, the match-up won’t be restricted behind an authentication hurdle, but will be available to all viewers at the broadcaster’s Olympics site. Previously NBC required viewers of live and on-demand video streams to prove that they were paying cable subscribers by singing in through a log-in system. It seems to be making an exception for Men’s Hockey, which will probably bring in large audiences during daytime work hours. On Wednesday it streamed the entirety of the quarterfinal Men’s Hockey matchup between the U.S. and Switzerland without requiring users to log in to the site, making the video open to anyone who tried to access it.
Related content on GigaOM Pro (subscription required): Not Your Grandfather’s Streaming Video Business

Play Ball! Preview MLB.TV in HD Today

mlb_tvHey baseball fans, or heck, even non-baseball fans, MLB.TV is offering a free preview of its brand-new HD media player today to non-subscribers. Take a break from your daily grind to watch the Yankees take on the Phillies during a Spring Training game at 1:05 ET.
After last season, the league dropped Microsoft Silverlight in favor of Adobe’s Flash, and new features for this season’s video player include HD streaming and DVR functionality (both of which you’ll be able to check out as part of today’s sneak peek).
We’ve kept our eye on Major League Baseball because it’s a sport that really gets online video — and it gets people to pay. Half a million people ponied up $120 to subscribe to MLB.TV last year. But even the big leagues aren’t immune to the recession. MLB dropped the subscription price this year to $110 for the full-featured player and $80 for a stripped-down version.
If you’re more of a hockey fan, the NHL is also running a discounted special. Between tonight and the Stanley Cup Playoffs, users can sign up for single night of games for $19.95, or sign up to watch the rest of the season for $79.
Update: Looks like MLB wasn’t that great at pointing people to today’s game. A sharp-eyed commenter discovered it here: http://mlb.mlb.com/mediacenter/ (free reg. required).

10 iPhone Apps for Sports Freaks

Back in the day, you used to have to count the hours until your favorite sports team took the field or court, and there was precious little to do in between games. Fortunately, now there are a metric ton of apps in the App Store that help you while away the hours until tipoff or first pitch. Here are my top 10 favorite.

Baseball (free)

baseball4 If you follow baseball, then you know half the fun of the game is talking about player stats. When a player steps up to the plate, guesses on what they are about to do are largely based on what they did during their last at bat, last game, and last season. Keep statistics on each player right at your fingertips with Baseball. Stats go back as far as 1871 so the next time you’re having a friendly argument about whether Evan Longoria is the next George Brett, you’ll have hard, cold data to back you up.

NFL Live (99 cents)

nfl-livePredictably, there are around eleven billion football apps in the App Store. I’ve probably tried most of them, but my top pick for this category is NFL Live. It corrals all the news from ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, and Fox Sports in one place and even features offline browsing. NFL Live tracks scores in real-time and also allows you to email links right from the App.
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HockeyGPS Aims to Locate Cool Spots Nearby

I’m a big hockey fan — cheering on the Colorado Avalanche and playing whenever I get the chance. So when HockeyGPS (free) came out for the iPhone and iPod touch, I had to give it a try.

The basic idea behind the app is that it will locate nearby hockey facilities of any kind, or in the words of Hockey Science & Technology — the developers of the app:

Easily find and navigate to locations such as hockey arenas, skill development or training centres and retail locations selling hockey equipment, skate sharpening services, hockey memorabilia and so much more.

This sounds great, and even offers the ability for you to add local resources that may not be included in the database yet. The concept has some merit, but unfortunately, HockeyGPS is pretty rough around the edges out of the gate.
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