NBC: We’re airing 5,535 Olympic hours
That's a new record and nearly 2,000 more than 2008
June 29, 2012
Next month's London Games will be all but unavoidable on television and online.
Yesterday, NBCUniversal firmed up details for its upcoming Summer Olympics broadcast, and it includes 5,535 hours of coverage, almost 2,000 more than the Beijing Games in 2008 and a new record for any Olympics telecast.
Nine cable networks, including two devoted solely to the Games, will carry coverage, and NBCOlympics.com will stream every event live for 3,500 total hours of coverage.
NBC will carry the bulk of the medal events, airing the most popular sports on tape delay since London is five hours ahead of the Eastern time zone.
This marks the first time NBC has offered every medal event live online. It marks a big change in policy for the network, which for years has presented tape-delayed events in primetime as though they were taking place live.
But the advent of the internet, where people can find out real-time results, forced NBC to change its policy. Now the network insists that the online coverage will boost interest in the Games overall and could lead people to watch the tape-delayed events even if they already know what happened.
The network is also making a major push on NBC Sports Network, formerly known as Versus, hoping to elevate the channel's profile as it attempts to compete with longtime cable sports leader ESPN.
Other NBCUniversal channels airing Olympic coverage are MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, a first-ever 3D platform and two specially launched channels focusing solely on the Games.
The network also slated its talent for the Games, including Bob Costas anchoring the network's primetime coverage for the ninth time.
"Sunday Night Football" play-by-play man Al Michaels and former "SportsCenter" anchor Dan Patrick will host NBC's mid-day coverage.
"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest will serve as a special contributor, making his Olympic debut.
Mary Carillo will be the network's late-night anchor, just as she was in Beijing and the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
NBC Sports Network's coverage will be anchored by Michelle Beadle, Liam McHugh and "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist.
To view the online stream, web surfers will have to register by verifying their cable, satellite or telco provider. The stream is available on mobile devices as well, but verification is required no matter what screen you plan to watch on.
The network also said it plans to have an extensive Twitter presence during the games and offer a number of social media extras, such as "hangouts" with athletes on Google+, where fans can ask questions and offer encouragement to their favorite medal contenders.
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