Couldn’t get a ticket to London to catch the Olympics? Or perhaps tickets were just a little too hefty on the purse at (rumoured) 1,000 pounds a ticket on the black market. Whatever the reason, you’re not alone. London’s already seeing congestion a month before the world’s greatest sporting event takes place, and plane tickets, not to mention hotel rooms are all flat out. For us, we prefer to just stay at home and watch in high definition on YouTube. It’s not quite as thrilling, but the money you save goes a long way to beer, whisky and fine food.

Thanks to an agreement between the International Olympic Committee and Google-supported YouTube, you won’t need to crowd in on the London metro in order to get a glimpse of Ian Thorpe or Michael Phelps. The IOC will be live-streaming the London 2012 Olympic Games in 64 territories on the IOC’s channel on YouTube During the Games (July 27 to August 12), sports fans in countries across Asia and Africa will be able to enjoy live coverage of the events as well as highlight clips on this digital platform — free-of-charge, a phrase we love to hear. Viewers from these territories will be able to watch the streams on the IOC’s YouTube channel, accessible online or on any Internet-enabled devices.

There will be ten live feeds from London 2012, running 9am to 11pm (London time) (on some days, these will start early or finish later based on competition schedule), plus a 24-hour broadcast of the Olympic News Channel, which includes summaries of the latest results, general reports on different events, and interviews with athletes. Highlights and full events will all be organised by day and sport as well as medal event so you won’t miss a thing – in fact, you’re more likely to have a better view of the Olympics than most of your pals who’ve scurried across continents to catch the event.

Timo Lumme, Managing Director, IOC Television and Marketing, said “We are delighted to be able to offer live online coverage of London 2012 to sports fans free of charge across these 64 markets. We first provided clips on our channel on YouTube during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games across the region, and since then have continued to provide footage of past Olympic Games across the world on our YouTube channel. Now we will also be able to offer live coverage during London 2012, complementing the excellent coverage provided by our broadcast partners across the world across all media platforms.“

Claude Ruibal, YouTube Head of Sport Content Partnerships, said, “From baseball to cricket to martial arts, YouTube has become a global hub for live sports. There is no sporting event, however, more exciting or iconic than the Summer Olympics, and we are thrilled to work with the IOC to bring live coverage of these truly international Games to even more people around the world. The IOC is making the most of our platform by offering fans 11 different livestreams on their channel, which can be viewed on desktops, mobile phones, and Internet-connected devices. We hope sports fans enjoy finding the exact event they want to see as well as checking daily highlights whenever they want to see them.”

So enjoy your YouTube-ing. Just make sure your boss doesn’t catch you following the synchronised swimming instead of finishing up budgets.

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