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NBC Universal Announces Coverage Plans for Vancouver Winter Olympic Games

Thursday, January 14, 2010 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 1:52 PM, under , , ,

NBC Universal may be saying that the network will lose close to US$200 Million on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, but that does not mean diminished coverage. In an announcement today, the network said their family of broadcast and online properties will air a record 835 hours of coverage for the event.

Here is the press release issued by NBC Universal. Note that the image was not provided by NBC, but was designed as a poster for NBC by Malcolm Turk of Flicker Inc (one of many he has done for the network). He has it posted in a very interesting before and after format for those readers who enjoy the work behind photo compositing


Most Winter Olympics Coverage in History: More than 835 Hours on NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, Universal HD &

First All-HD Winter Olympics

NEW YORK - Jan. 14, 2010 - NBC Universal will present more than 835 hours of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage - representing the most total hours ever for a Winter Olympics, more than the last two Winter Olympics combined, and the most live hours ever for a Winter Games. The Vancouver Games, which will be the first Winter Olympics to be presented entirely in high definition, commence with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 12. The announcement was made today by Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics and executive producer of NBC Universal’s Olympic coverage.

The more than 835 total hours of coverage on six NBC Universal platforms - NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC and Universal HD, as well as - nearly doubles the coverage from Torino (419) and is more than Torino and Salt Lake City (375.5) combined (794.5).

Following is a breakdown of the Vancouver Olympics coverage on the NBC Universal networks:

· The six NBC Universal platforms - NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC and Universal HD, as well as - will offer the most in-depth coverage in history for a Winter Olympics. The more than 835 hours is nearly double Torino (419) and is more than Torino and Salt Lake City (375.5) combined (794.5).

· Over the 17 days of the Vancouver Games (Feb.12-28), NBCU’s coverage will average nearly 50 hours per day - that’s more coverage in one day than all of the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympics (43.5) on ABC.

· The networks of NBCU will provide coverage of every one of the 15 Winter Olympic sports.

· Vancouver will be the first Winter Olympics broadcast 100-percent in high definition, including the first-ever online HD.

· The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games represent the 12th Olympics broadcast by NBC, the most Olympic broadcasts by any U.S. network (ABC is second with 10).

A breakdown of coverage platform-by-platform follows:


The NBC network schedule is divided into three dayparts - afternoon, primetime and late night - for a total of 193.5 hours of coverage over 17 days beginning with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Primetime coverage will heavily consist of men’s and women’s figure skating and alpine skiing. Other sports to be featured in primetime will include freestyle skiing, speed skating, snowboarding, and short track.

Ebersol: “What’s unique about Vancouver is that more than any time in winter sports history, the United States over the last two years has emerged as the dominant international winter sports power. I remember the 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics when the U.S. team won one gold medal in each. This U.S. team should have potential medal winners almost every single day of the Vancouver Olympics.”

Kicking off the first night of primetime is the men’s 1500m gold medal final in short track speed skating. Team USA is particularly strong this year, led by Apolo Ohno, a five-time Olympic medalist who needs two medals in Vancouver to pass Bonnie Blair and become the most decorated Winter Olympic athlete in U.S. history. Ohno, the 2007 Dancing With the Stars champion, remains one of the most recognizable U.S. Olympic athletes. He will again be one of the favorites competing in his third Games, this one practically in the Seattle native’s backyard. He competes in four gold medal events across five nights with his biggest competition coming from South Korean and Canadian athletes.

In alpine skiing, Team USA should also be a strong contender for Olympic gold with World Champion Lindsey Vonn, who is the first American woman in history to win back-to-back overall World Cup titles. She heads into the Olympic season with two World Championship titles and 28 World Cup victories (as of Jan. 14, 2010), tops among U.S. female alpine skiers. She currently leads this season’s World Cup standings and has won the past five World Cup downhill races dating back to last season (as of Jan. 14, 2010). The only medal Vonn is missing is an Olympic gold.

In speed skating, Shani Davis of Chicago, who four years ago in Torino became the first African-American athlete to win a Winter Games gold medal in an individual event, will be featured on multiple nights in primetime. Davis, one of the sport’s dominant stars, plans to skate in five individual events, making him the first U.S. Winter Olympian to do so since Eric Heiden 30 years ago in Lake Placid.

Shaun White won gold in his first Olympics four years ago. His Torino Olympic gold medal and unique style led to the rare feat of gracing the covers of both Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone in the same week. The redheaded action sports icon is the headliner of the deep-as-ever U.S. snowboarding team. With his style and new “double cork” trick, he is the frontrunner to repeat his gold medal performance in the men’s halfpipe competition.

USA Network

USA Network, available in 98.5 million homes, is the cable home of the U.S. Olympic Team for the Vancouver Games. The USA men’s and women’s curling and ice hockey teams will be the staples of USA Network’s Olympic coverage from Vancouver. All Team USA hockey games, both men’s and women’s, will be seen live, the majority on USA Network. USA Network will also feature a live curling match nine of the 12 days of the Olympic curling tournament. USA’s 41 hours of coverage begins on Sunday, Feb. 14.


MSNBC, available in 91.6 million homes in the U.S., will provide 100 hours of Olympic coverage from Vancouver highlighted by live quarterfinal, semifinal and medal round hockey competition. MSNBC’s hockey coverage also features the much-anticipated USA vs. Canada men’s hockey game. MSNBC will also provide extensive live curling coverage, including medal round games, in addition to live speed skating and figure skating. MSNBC begins coverage on Saturday, Feb. 13.


CNBC, available in 95 million households in the U.S, will carry 100.5 hours of Olympic programming over 14 days, beginning Saturday, Feb.13. On most days beginning at 5 p.m. ET, CNBC will feature live long-form coverage of Olympic curling. CNBC will also have expanded, live long-form coverage of numerous Olympic sports, including ice hockey and biathlon.


Universal HD, currently available in approximately 17 million homes, will re-air USA Network’s coverage., Mobile, and VOD will provide more than 400 hours of live event competition from Vancouver. In addition, the site will offer more than 1,000 hours of on-demand access to full-event replays from broadcast and host-feed coverage of all 15 sports on the Winter Games program, as well as extensive highlights such as event recaps, best-of montages, commentator analysis and athlete-specific clips.

Powered by Microsoft's Silverlight technology, the video player will present video in stunning high-definition quality and offer DVR-style controls (allowing users to pause and rewind live Olympic video), enhanced navigation and more. By comparison, in Torino, NBC streamed two hours of live action of the men’s gold medal hockey game, mostly as a back-end test.

NBCOlympics mobile will provide up-to-the-minute results, breaking news, as well as video highlights of every event, while Olympics video highlights and event replays will be available on set-top boxes for on-demand viewing.

Times may vary
(Check or local listings)
(*ET; **ET/PT)

By Network:
NBC: 3 p.m.- 5 p.m.**
8 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. **
12:35 a.m. - 2 a.m.**
2 a.m. - 5 a.m.**
CNBC: 5 p.m.- 5 a.m.*
MSNBC: 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.*
3 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.*
USA: Noon - 5:30 p.m.*
Universal HD - 9 a.m. - Noon*

Universal HD: 9 a.m. - Noon
USA: Noon - 5:30 p.m.
NBC: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
CNBC: 5 p.m. - 5 a.m.
MSNBC: 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
NBC: 8 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
NBC: 12:35 a.m. - 2 a.m.
NBC: 2 a.m. - 5 a.m.
MSNBC: 3 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.

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