The main restriction on non-rights holders is the so-called "three-by-three-by-three rule", which limits them to showing no more than three minutes of Olympic material in no more than three news programs, which must be at least three hours apart, per day - a total of nine minutes of fresh footage to be spun out over 24 hours.
There's been a fair bit of analysis as to how this will effect the way that the ABC, Nine and Ten (SBS are for the first time inside the tent) cover the games. There's been less focus, however, on the assault on the principles of news and journalism that the restrictive rules represent.
The Olympics are news, and deserve to be treated that way. News is a product that belong to all, and should not and cannot be hoarded by a select group. It is of public interest, and something the public is clearly interested in, and so it is a gross insult for access to footage of news to be restricted. The restrictions do not just control footage of the events themself, but include footage shot in the athletes village, the media centre, and just about anywhere where Olympic-related news might occur. Footage of press conferences with athletes are not open to all broadcasters... accept as part of the peek-a-boo 3x3x3 rule.
Although it is barely tolerable when the focus is on sport alone, it becomes intolerable when stories of drugs/crime/sex/terrorism/politics/corruption begin to emerge, and access to footage and information is restricted. It's a nasty trend, and it is ordinary punters who are the big losers. Sure, Seven need to get value for money from their investment (and gut instinct suggests they paid more than they should) it shouldn't be happening through practices bordering on censorship.