Reprising a promo it put into play in 2012 for the Summer Olympics in London, Comcast Jan. 21 announced that it will provide free access to “tens of thousands” of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots during the 2014 Sochi games, which run from Feb. 6 through Feb. 24.
The idea is to allow both Xfinity broadband customers and non-subs to get connected so they can watch NBCUniversal’s authenticated TV Everywhere coverage of the games, including on the web at Xfinity.com/NBCOlympics, NBCOlympics.com and via the NBC Sports Live Extra app for tablets and smartphones. The digitally-delivered component on web and through the app is slated to present all 98 competitions from 15 sports across more than 1,000 hours.
Comcast noted that complimentary access will be offered in “high-traffic” locations such as shopping districts, parks, train platforms and small businesses outfitted with Wi-Fi access points that emit the “XfinityWiFi” SSID. Comcast has deployed Wi-Fi hotspots in several markets, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, San Francisco and parts of New Jersey.
A Comcast spokesman confirmed that the MSO is opening up access during the games only to its owned-and-operated hotspots in public spaces, and not to in-home DOCSIS wireless gateways that now broadcast separately managed “XfinityWiFi” signals that are accessible to Comcast high-speed Internet who are on the go.