NBC website says "Full live streaming of sailing - all 10 boats - will begin Sunday, July 29". They did the same thing in 2008, and it was quite watchable with decent video quality (for the internet). I think the only play-by-play was by text comment. The biggest problem was the races in China were running at 2 AM US time, slightly less of a problem with London.
It might be available on digital cable or satellite, but any Olympics coverage would probably be blacked out in the US. NBC pays beaucoup dinero for exclusive coverage here. And then proceeds to only show selective sports.
Seems we are in luck here is Oz with 8 new dedicated Olympic channels. This is from the Fox website:-
Every nation's gold medals LIVE and in full
Watch on 8 new dedicated channels
Available in stunning High Definition
Foxtel will bring the glory of the London Olympic Games to life with eight brand-new, dedicated channels that will air in both High Definition and Standard Definition.
With around 1,100 hours of live events, and over 3,200 hours of total coverage, Foxtel will showcase all the drama, electricity, joy and despair of the Olympic Games as they’ve never been seen before on television.
The channels are*:
LONDON 1: Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo
LONDON 2: Cycling - Track, Cycling - BMX, Cycling - Mountain Bike, Cycling - Road
LONDON 3: Gymnastics - Artistic, Gymnastics - Rhythmic, Gymnastics - Trampoline
LONDON 4: Athletics - Track
LONDON 5: Athletics - Field
LONDON 6: Equestrian - Jumping, Equestrian - Eventing, Equestrian - Dressage, Fencing, Table Tennis
LONDON 7: Rowing, Canoeing - Sprint, Canoeing - Slalom
LONDON 8: Beach Volleyball, Sailing, Football, Hockey, Weightlifting
The remaining sports will be shown across a range of channels depending on the competition schedule.
For the first time ever, Foxtel subscribers will be able to see every single Gold Medal event live and in full. No matter what sport you love, or which country you barrack for, you will not miss the world’s best athletes as they vie for Olympic gold.
Over the 17 days of competition Foxtel will broadcast all sessions and matches of sport in full, with all major sports shown live. And with MyStar, you can record**, pause and rewind live TV so they see all the action at a time that suits you.
Foxtel's ground-breaking coverage of the LONDON 2012 Olympic Games will go live on July 25 AST to include live coverage of the 14 football matches that precede the Opening Ceremony. Competition will commence on air at 6.00pm on Saturday, July 28 (AEST).
* Some sports listed may appear across different channels as determined by the competition schedule. May not be available in some building types. **Remote record available from July 21.
Typically, we see maybe a 5 minutes highlight package each night at some stage (wich they don't announce) of the sailing on the free to air, even if it's the gold medal race where we have already bagged a medal. The TV stations prefer to show repeats of the swimming heats a dozen times and the finals 2 dozen times.
The number of people subscribing to pay TV is quite small.