Unfortunately, TV coverage isn't planned until December 1st, according to Ironman.com. If you live in Germany, however, you can watch the entire race live. Maybe there's a bar near you that gets European satellite (think places people go to watch soccer, rugby or cricket).
Ironman.com is also hosting some forms of race-day coverage, but I don't think it's going to be live, streaming video.
Maybe it's time to start sending emails to Versus and the WTC for live coverage next year, though I doubt NBC will give up the rights.
The NBC show is usually not aired until a weekend in mid to late Nov. There will be 18 or so hours of good live coverage on saturday broadcast on ironman.com, including extensive video coverage, updates, standings, athlete tracking and on course commentary. It's probably the best internet coverage of a live sporting event anyone is doing these days. coverage starts at 6:00ish AM Kona time on Saturday. Thats 3 hours later than Pacific time. hope that helps.
I thinks its tough to keep anyones interest for a block of 8 hours, was hard enough for me and I love the sport, the live webcast was a bit dry and very boring to watch unless you saw the start and transitions. I don't think the networks want to waste a whole day on this event. I think NBC does an excellent job with what they air in December and is worth the wait.
NBC wins an emmy almost annualy for their coverage of the event, which always includes at least 3 or 4 heart warming human interest stories like Team Hoyt or the Blazeman. It takes them a month to edit the footage and put that package together. Plus, the last poster is right, only a very few people could watch a triathlon for eight to nine hours straight, and that would kill other fall sports coverage on NBC.
I like the NBC coverage but the ironmanlive.com simulcast is pretty good too. I caught it a couple times during kona and was great to get live impression of the race and info from legends in the sport except for a couple glitches w/ my computer it was pretty great.
goals for 2011:
break 19minutes for 5k
break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic
break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)