As the 2010 Winter Olympics get underway in Vancouver (February 12-28), the logistics for NBC Universal are astounding, even at the human resources level. Bob Costas leads a lineup of 53 NBC Olympic commentators, and that’s just the on-camera crew.
The NBCU crews will broadcast more than 835 hours of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage – the most total hours ever for a Winter Olympics.
The roster of commentators includes 18 Olympians who have won a combined total of 16 Olympic medals (seven Gold, six Silver and three Bronze). NBC Sports notes that in terms of medals, “Team NBC” would have been seventh in the Torino medal count; ahead of Sweden and just behind Norway.
Costas, a 20-time Emmy Award winner, serves as primetime host for the eighth time and works his ninth overall Olympics for NBC; Al Michaels, who will serve as daytime host, makes his NBC Olympic debut and works his fifth Games overall after a 22-year absence and 30 years removed from his legendary “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” call; Mary Carillo, who serves as both late night host and Olympic correspondent, works her 10th Olympic Games and seventh with NBC; and Cris Collinsworth, also serving as an Olympic correspondent, makes his third Olympic appearance for NBC.
And then there’s the real veteran. Olympic correspondent Dick Button has more experience at the Olympics than any NBC commentator, appearing at his 17th Olympic Winter Games and his second for NBC. Button won gold for the US team in men’s figure skating at the 1948 and 1952 Winter Olympics.
Eight commentators are making their NBC Olympic debut: the aforementioned Michaels; hockey analysts Mike Milbury, Ed Olczyk and Jeremy Roenick; Olympic freestyle gold medalist Jonny Moseley; two-time curling World champion Colleen Jones; Olympic skeleton silver medalist Lea Ann Parsley; and Olympic short track silver medalist and four-time Olympian Andy Gabel.
The NBCU commentator roster includes seven Canadians: Sandra Bezic, Todd Brooker, Don Duguid, Colleen Jones, Tim Ryan, Elfi Schlegel and Tracy Wilson.
In all, the 53 commentators will cover more than 835 total hours of coverage on six NBCU platforms – NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC and Universal HD, as well as NBCOlympics.com.