SBD/May 24, 2012/Media

NBC Announces Coverage Plan For London Games Across Multiple Platforms

NBCUniversal yesterday announced that it will provide 5,535 hours of coverage for the London Games across multiple platforms including NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, two specialty channels and the first-ever 3D platform. The coverage is an increase of nearly 2,000 hours from the ’08 Beijing Games and includes a total of 272.5 hours on NBC, the most ever for an Olympic broadcast network. NBC's daytime coverage on most weekdays will start at 10:00am ET/PT and will begin as early as 5:00am on weekends. NBC Sports Network will serve as the home to U.S. team sports, with 292.5 hours of total coverage. MSNBC will carry 155.5 hours of long-form Olympic programming while CNBC will serve as the home for Olympic boxing with 73 hours of coverage. Bravo will televise 56 hours of long-form tennis coverage. In addition, NBCOlympics.com will live stream every event and sport for the first time ever. The site in total will live stream more than 3,500 total programming hours, including the awarding of all 302 medals (NBCUniversal). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Marisa Guthrie noted the amount of coverage “reflects a commitment to live stream -- via NBCOlympics.com -- every event via an authentication model.” NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus has “made live streaming the events from London a priority.” There will be “no live primetime events from London, which is five hours ahead of the U.S. in Eastern time zones.” Still, NBC will “protect some big events by not archiving them until after the West Coast primetime block so that viewers who missed the live stream will be inclined to catch up on linear TV” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 5/23).

TV EVERYWHERE: In L.A., Flint & James wrote NBC’s strategy “underscores Comcast's commitment to the media industry's TV Everywhere initiative.” The network has “even recruited its late-night host Carson Daly to make promotional spots to educate viewers about TV Everywhere.” NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel is “hoping that the Olympics will provide a motivation for distributors to hype TV Everywhere.” NBC's push to put more content online “contradicts the previous school of thought at the network, which once feared that such a move might hurt the prime-time audience.” But Zenkel “subscribes to the opposite theory and believes that the more content that is available online, the better the promotion and potential for a bigger audience in prime time.” He said, "Live streaming does not cannibalize the prime-time audience" (L.A. TIMES, 5/23).
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