NBC says it worked with Olympic officials to stop some 45,000 instances of illegally posted video or pirate streams that surfaced to show competition during the Sochi games.
The chase after video pirates operates in the shadows with an intensity all its own. Broadcasters pay big money to the International Olympic Commission in return for exclusive TV and streaming rights and guard that exclusivity keenly. In NBC's case, the network paid $775 million for the Sochi rights.
Officials estimated Thursday that some 20,000 Olympic videos were kept off YouTube and 20,000 more off other video-sharing sites around the world.
The anti-piracy police also said they located and stopped as estimated 5,000 illegal streams of Olympic material, much of it live competition.