NBC plans put Winter Olympics everywhere for days


If you were to use live viewing, multiple DVRs, an online replays to watch every minute of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage across all NBC Universal platforms, with eight hours per day reserved for sleeping, you would be watching for a little more than 52 days. NBCU is going all out for the games next month, offering more hours of coverage than the previous two Winter Olympics combined.

NBC Universal says it will present more than 835 hours of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage. Also, the Vancouver Games will be the first Winter Olympics to be presented entirely in high definition

Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics and executive producer of NBC Universal’s Olympic coverage, revealed the aggressive schedule, which begins with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, February 12th.

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

Here, from NBCU, is a breakdown of the Vancouver Olympics coverage:

Over the 17 days of the Vancouver Games (February12-28), 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).

Platform-by-platform, here’s who will carry what:


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, February 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.

 “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 US team won one gold medal in each. This US team should have potential medal winners almost every single day of the Vancouver Olympics,” said Ebersol.

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” (ABC) champion, remains one of the most recognizable US 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 US 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 US 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, February 14.


MSNBC, available in 91.6 million homes in the US, 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, February 13.


CNBC, available in 95 million households in the US, will carry 100.5 hours of Olympic programming over 14 days, beginning Saturday, February 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.

NBCOlympics.com, Mobile, and VOD

NBCOlympics.com 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
(*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.