NBC to Air 3,600 out of 3,800 Possible Hours of Olympic Competition

nbc2040808 NBC to Air 3,600 out of 3,800 Possible Hours of Olympic CompetitionOver the weekend, Allison Romano of Broadcasting & Cable took an in-depth look at NBC’s plans for broadcasting the upcoming Olympic games in China.

According to Ms. Romano, this year’s coverage of the games by NBC represents a "radical shift reflecting a more technologically savvy era," that will result in more sports than ever before being covered on a variety of NBC owned platforms, including Telemundo, "five of seven major NBC Universal-owned cable channels," and NBC’s Olympic Web site.

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After being criticized in the past for limited and delayed Olympic coverage—not to mention for its ill-fated Triplecast pay-per-view deal for the 1992 Barcelona Games—NBC is now going to an unprecedented extreme. Of 3,800 possible hours of Olympic competition, the network will air 3,600, with 1,400 running on television and another 2,200 being streamed online. There will also be extensive offerings for mobile phones and wireless devices.

Different sports will be earmarked for particular NBC networks. While USA Network will be home to lots of Dream Team basketball coverage, MSNBC will offer daytime airings of at least seven sports, including softball, wrestling and soccer. CNBC, as in past Games, will run boxing and overnight views of weightlifting and volleyball. And the hope is that a daily half-hour gymnastics recap, plus tennis and equestrian events, will be popular with Oxygen’s female viewers.