In an attempt to reel in customers who drift to media streaming smartphone and tablet applications like Netflix, NBC announced its TV Everywhere initiative which will stream Winter Olympics coverage to devices, the Associated Press reported.
Ryan Seacrest will debut in a how-to video for the initiative that will allow Olympic coverage to devices for the first time, according to the AP.
NBC announced paying customers will be able to download an app which will offer 30 minutes of free Olympic coverage before asking for cable subscriber verification, allowing for unlimited Olympic coverage on tablets and smartphones, the AP reported. Some days, the free pass may only be used for five minutes.
"It's a big step forward for the industry," Rick Cordella, NBC Sports' senior vice president for digital distribution said, according to the AP. "I think it will engage a lot of people."
NBC has been playing with the idea of streaming to tablets and and smartphones, but different system operators and networks have been the process complicated and slow, the AP reported.
In order to stream coverage of the Olympic games, customers will be required to download the NBCOlympics.com app, or NBC's LiveExtra app which will offer 1,000 hours of Olympic events, highlights and analysis, according to the AP.
Customers who download the app will have to use a username and password provided by their cable or satellite companies, the AP reported. Many customers do not use their username or password often enough to know it, so a call to their provider may be necessary.
According to NBC, almost 10 million devices watched live programming for the London Summer Olympics, but an exact number of customers who used the service could not be quantified, according to the AP.
During the Summer Olympics, users could not view any portion of the games without authenticating their device with username and password, but NBC hopes the free pass will invite more customers to use the service, the AP reported.
"We've tried to make it as easy as possible for the average person," Ron Lamprecht, executive vice president of digital distribution for NBC Universal, told the AP.
NBC is hoping for a great turnout for the Sochi Olympics so it can begin to offer other events or programs, according to the AP.