YouTube Carrying Olympic Video ... with a Caveat

International Olympic Committee: YouTube channel won’t be available in United States, Canada, most of Europe.

The International Olympic Committee said it is starting a dedicated YouTube channel that will feature extensive video from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The channel, however, will not be accessible to visitors from countries that have digital video-on-demand deals with the IOC already. In other words, if you live in the United States, Canada, or most of Europe, you won’t be able to watch any (official) Olympic videos on the Google-owned site.

In the United States, NBC will offer far more online coverage than the IOC, but it requires Microsoft Silverlight software and certain events will not be available online until after a broadcast window.

Among the 77 countries that will be able to view the channel: India, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia and Nigeria.

The IOC said it hopes that by making officially licensed video available worldwide through channels such as YouTube, it is limiting the risk associated with piracy infringement.

“The IOC’s priority is to ensure that as many people as possible get to experience the magic of the Olympic Games and the inspirational sporting achievements of the Olympic athletes,” IOC director of television and marketing services Timo Lumme said in a statement. “The IOC’s channel will make fantastic Olympic footage available where young generations of sports fans are already going for online entertainment and will complement the footage offered in these territories by our broadcast partners across all media platforms.”