If you’re Jeff Bewkes, the chief executive of Time Warner, you might get pleasantly surprised over the next couple weeks at the number of your Time Warner Cable subscribers who use their Internet connections to access streams of video of the 25 sports being sent live via www.nbcolympics.com.
Don’t be. They could be Cablevision Systems cable subscribers.
If you try to log in to the live video streams on NBC’s Olympics site, you will be rejected if you identify yourself as being a Cablevision customer. According to NBC, Cablevision hasn’t come to agreement to provide the full range of enhanced services it is offering for the Games.
Don’t worry, though. If you instead identify yourself as a digital customer of Time Warner Cable in Manhattan, you’ll get in and the system will identify you as the same customer the next time you come back, without any questions asked.
The ethics are up to you to decide. Or NBC, which hadn’t put in any means to authenticate users’ stated subscribership, as of 7 a.m. this morning.