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Tokyo Olympics 2020: the Sky is the limit?

Paul Brislen, Editor. 26 July 2021, 7:44 am

These are strange times indeed and if an example of just how strange is needed - along with COVID, disinformation campaigns, anti-science protests and all the rest - I have purchased a service from Sky TV.

For a very long time Sky declined to move with the times and offer streaming services. Even as the world, and New Zealand users in particular, cried out for better access to online content, Sky seemed to feel it was unable to offer said service, offering up set-top box after set-top box, bundles of content that required users buy channels they may not want to get to the programmes they did, and of course a stern word for anyone who suggested otherwise.

All that has changed and now instead of forcing viewers of the Olympics to buy a package that may or may not show users what the want on the channel as advertised, Sky has launched a Sky Sport Now online streaming option for the remarkably reasonable price of $24 for the duration.

No bundle, no contracts, no set-top box, no dish, no fuss.

So far I've watched some bonkers equestrian (who can resist "horse parallel parking"), canoe slalom, a bit of fencing (they have the coolest gear), skateboarding (they wear earbuds and, and this may shock you, don't appear to wear a uniform) and the women's eight rowing team as it blasted past Canada and China to win their slot.

So caught up in the drama of it were we that I even pulled out the phone to keep up with the games while ordering dinner at our local dumpling shop (Barilla Dumplings - do try the French beans) and watched a few minutes of the greatest show on earth.

A few niggles with the calendar aside (a channel that claimed to show electric racing cars actually had a rugby game on, and I'm pretty sure neither are part of the Olympic calendar) the whole thing is remarkably painless and means for the first time in a very long time I'm actually watching sport on television, and so is the rest of the family.

Full credit to Sky which has moved on from its pay-TV fortress mentality to becoming a service provider. 

Now if you'll excuse me I have to write a stern letter to the New Zealand Olympic committee about why New Zealand's top archer was excluded from the competition even with scores that would put him in the top ten, and I do believe it's nearly time for the gymnastics.


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