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Sochi 2014 Olympic Media Updates

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I decided to start this very important thread because NBC is starting to promote their coverage tomorrow!

And some big news already: NBC will start their primetime coverage on Thursday, February 6 as the competitions (mainly figure skating for NBC i assume) will for the first time start on the day before the Opening Ceremony.

via press release:

NBC TO BEGIN PRIMETIME COVERAGE OF 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS ONE DAY PRIOR TO OPENING CEREMONY

Competition from Sochi, Russia Begins on Thursday, February 6; Opening Ceremony Takes Place on Friday, February 7

NBCUniversal to Celebrate One Year Out from First Day of Competition with Primetime Promotional Roadblock across 19 NBCU Channels Tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Sochi Celebration takes over TODAY Show Plaza on Wednesday, including Mount Rockefeller Ski Slope

NEW YORK – Feb. 5, 2013 – Competition at next year’s Olympic Winter Games will begin one day prior to the Opening Ceremony. As a result, NBC will begin its primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Thursday, February 6, 2014, one night before the broadcast network provides its traditional primetime coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, February 7, 2014. This marks the first time any U.S. media company has dedicated primetime coverage to Olympic competition – Winter or Summer -- prior to the Opening Ceremony. Additional Sochi Olympic programming details will be released later this year.

To celebrate one year out from the first day of competition – tomorrow, February 6 -- NBCUniversal will distribute promotional messages across its vast array of assets, which include two broadcast networks, NBC (English) and Telemundo (Spanish); 17 cable channels, including Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network; 10 NBCU-owned stations and 235 NBC affiliates, including their digital assets; the NBC Sports Radio network; the NBC Sports Regional Networks; and more than 40 NBCU websites, including NBCSports.com and NBCOlympics.com.

In addition, numerous NBCU programs across television, radio and the web will preview the Sochi Olympics with editorial content. NBC’s TODAY, NBC Sports Network’s NHL Live and The Crossover, and numerous NBC Sports Radio shows will be among the NBCU outlets carrying one-year-out coverage. Most NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBCU-owned stations and NBC affiliates will be covering the one-year-out occasion as it pertains to their markets.

PROGRAMMING

With 12 new events debuting at next year’s Sochi Olympics, including eight in freestyle skiing and snowboarding, the International Olympic Committee constructed a competition schedule that begins on Thursday, February 6, 2014, one day prior to the Opening Ceremony.

Team figure skating and men’s and women’s slopestyle snowboarding, which are new Olympic events, along with women’s freestyle moguls, begin the day before the Opening Ceremony, and will be featured during NBC’s primetime coverage on Thursday, February 6, 2014. The Opening Ceremony takes place the next night -- Friday, February 7, 2014.

“Our recent Olympic coverage has clearly demonstrated that the viewer’s appetite for Olympic content continues to grow,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “Due to the new events, it’s our pleasure to provide an 18th night of primetime coverage, a first in Olympic history that will benefit viewers, advertisers, affiliates, and all of our Olympic constituents.”

Click here to watch NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel speak with NBCU Direct about next year’s Olympics: http://www.nbcudirect.com/olympics-2014/

ONE-YEAR-OUT MARKETING

NBCU will again celebrate one year out from the Games with a robust promotional plan, including a primetime roadblock. At 8 p.m. ET/PT tomorrow, nearly all of NBCU’s 19 broadcast and cable networks will air a 60-second promo for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. It will also air at 8 p.m. ET/PT across 33 non-NBCU cable channels via Comcast Spotlight, the ad sales division of Comcast Cable that reaches nearly 80 markets and more than 33 million homes. More than 40 NBCU websites will feature banner and still ads, and all will link to the Olympic promo. The 60-second spot recalls the magical feelings of the London Olympics and looks forward to the anticipated excitement of Sochi.

“Our primetime roadblock is emblematic of our ability to utilize the scale of NBCU to market the Olympic Games to great effect,” said John Miller, CMO, NBC Sports Group. “Our one-year-out campaign begins what will be the largest marketing effort ever by NBCU for an Olympic Winter Games. The eight-tier marketing plan we employ has been honed over the past 20+ years. When finished, it will reach every American several times over. And it officially begins tomorrow, one year out from the first day of competition.”

The 19 NBCU networks airing the promo tomorrow either at 8 p.m. ET/PT, as part of the roadblock, or at another time within the 8-9 p.m. ET/PT hour are: NBC, Telemundo, Bravo, Chiller, Cloo, CNBC, E!, G4, Golf Channel, MSNBC, mun2, NBC Sports Nework, Oxygen, Sprout, Style, Syfy, The Weather Channel, Universal HD, and USA.

Click here to watch the 60-second Olympic promo at NBCOlympics.com.

In addition to the roadblock, one-year-out marketing efforts will include: coordination with all NBCU social media assets; banner ads for NBCU websites; distribution of the promotional spot and digital banner ads to 10 NBCU-owned stations, 235 NBC affiliates and the NBC Sports Regional Networks; and a significant presence at the NBC Experience Store in Rockefeller Center.

TODAY SHOW & ADDITIONAL EDITORIAL COVERAGE

Tomorrow, the TODAY Plaza will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with Mount Rockefeller, a 14 by 56 foot ski slope. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls will join Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales on the Plaza to preview the upcoming Winter Games. Correspondent Ben Fogle will report live from Sochi to catch up with hopefuls from the US Ski Team and US Bobsled Team. Fogle will also take a look at the Olympic preparations underway and Russia’s plans for a year out celebration.

TODAY will introduce freestyle skiing’s slopestyle event, which is new to the Olympic program. Slopestyle skiers will show off the first-time Olympic sport on Mount Rockefeller while teaching some of the basics to the TODAY show anchors. Scott Hamilton will join the TODAY team to take a look at what’s ahead in figure skating, and OlympianCHUCK Berkeley will discuss what’s new in bobsledding. The 2010 Men’s Figure Skating Olympic champion, Evan Lysacek, will perform live on The Rink at Rockefeller Center.

Fans and viewers are encouraged to visit Rockefeller Plaza tomorrow at 7 a.m. to participate in TODAY’s “Countdown to Sochi” celebration with interactive winter activities and Olympic-style photo booths. Plus, Roker’s forecast calls for a 100-percent chance of snow on the Plaza.

In addition to TODAY, numerous NBC Sports Group platforms and shows will dedicate editorial content to previewing the Winter Games, including NBC Sports Network’s NHL Live and The Crossover, numerous NBC Sports Radio shows, and NBC Sports Regional Networks. Most NBCU-owned stations and NBC affiliates will cover the occasion as it pertains to their respective markets.

SOURCE: NBC Universal Media Village

And the first promo is already online:

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So exciting. Hard to believe that we are just one year away!

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There is one error in that release. ABC showed the USA-Sweden hockey game the night prior to the OC from Lake Placid.

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There is one error in that release. ABC showed the USA-Sweden hockey game the night prior to the OC from Lake Placid.

I remember they also showed USA-Canada (somewhat abbreviated) from Sarajevo in '84. But I guess in some people's minds, the Olympics have never been on a network other than NBC.

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I remember they also showed USA-Canada (somewhat abbreviated) from Sarajevo in '84. But I guess in some people's minds, the Olympics have never been on a network other than NBC.

I found it curious how NBC tried to word the release so that it sounds like a first. I don't know if they took those 1980 and 1984 hockey games into account, but I'm guessing they don't consider that "dedicated primetime coverage" so in their minds, they can get away with that one. But yea, if those had been on NBC instead of ABC, it probably would have gotten mentioned

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Also don't forget that CBS did show from Albertville two hockey games prior to the Opening Ceremony that it aired on tape-delay on the start of its Olympics coverage during that Saturday afternoon: Canada vs. France and the Unified Team vs. Switzerland.

That timing of NBC's start of its Sochi plans sure was unlucky following Lindsay Vonn's devastating injury. She's going to be promoted, no doubt, if she comes back. But after that accident, I fear she won't likely be as fierce and competitive on the slopes.

Promotion has been launched for the premiere of The Road To Sochi on Universal Sports and NBC Sports Network

NBC Olympics head man Gary Zenkel interview with NBCUDirect.com's host Janine Brady on the general overview of NBC's coverage. Logo's not bad. Was expecting a little more distincly Russian with the whitecapped mountains.

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There is an increasing number of events starting before the opening ceremony.

I know in the summer games its football and mens archery ranking rounds.

I can understand football... But not really sure whether they need to being before the opening ceremony?

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A few more nuggets with regard to NBC..

Tim Ryan announced his retirement, so for the first time since 1988, he will not be calling alpine skiing at the Olympics. It appears Dan Hicks will take his place for Sochi.

Plus, a couple of other nuggets I saw in some articles related to yesterday's press release..


According to Richard Sandomir of the NY Times, "more than half the events, including every United States hockey game and curling match, will be shown live somewhere amid NBC’s cluster of broadcast and cable networks". Don't know how that compares to 2006 in Torino, but it certainly is encouraging. Along similar lines, this article in the Washington Times says "For Sochi, NBC executives are considering whether to televise more marquee competitions live, then still run them back at night — encouraged by the fact the Internet streams seemed to only boost prime-time viewership, not hurt it."

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A few more nuggets with regard to NBC..

Tim Ryan announced his retirement, so for the first time since 1988, he will not be calling alpine skiing at the Olympics. It appears Dan Hicks will take his place for Sochi.

Plus, a couple of other nuggets I saw in some articles related to yesterday's press release..

According to Richard Sandomir of the NY Times, "more than half the events, including every United States hockey game and curling match, will be shown live somewhere amid NBC’s cluster of broadcast and cable networks". Don't know how that compares to 2006 in Torino, but it certainly is encouraging. Along similar lines, this article in the Washington Times says "For Sochi, NBC executives are considering whether to televise more marquee competitions live, then still run them back at night — encouraged by the fact the Internet streams seemed to only boost prime-time viewership, not hurt it."

How do we know that it will be Dan Hicks?

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How do we know that it will be Dan Hicks?

Because he said so on Twitter. He tweeted this morning that he's headed to Austria for the world skiing championships and "my new winter sport." Assuming that means he'll be calling Alpine in Sochi next year

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Because he said so on Twitter. He tweeted this morning that he's headed to Austria for the world skiing championships and "my new winter sport." Assuming that means he'll be calling Alpine in Sochi next year

Interesting. I wonder who will take over speed skating then.

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A few more nuggets with regard to NBC..

Tim Ryan announced his retirement, so for the first time since 1988, he will not be calling alpine skiing at the Olympics. It appears Dan Hicks will take his place for Sochi.

Plus, a couple of other nuggets I saw in some articles related to yesterday's press release..

According to Richard Sandomir of the NY Times, "more than half the events, including every United States hockey game and curling match, will be shown live somewhere amid NBC’s cluster of broadcast and cable networks". Don't know how that compares to 2006 in Torino, but it certainly is encouraging. Along similar lines, this article in the Washington Times says "For Sochi, NBC executives are considering whether to televise more marquee competitions live, then still run them back at night — encouraged by the fact the Internet streams seemed to only boost prime-time viewership, not hurt it."

I'm thinking the Team USA stuff will be designated for the most part live on the NBC Sports Network just like it was for London. For weekends, if there's a game scheduled on then involving them, NBC will likely put it on NBC proper. Maybe the execs could find a way in the scheduling so as to have the hockey not conflict with figure skating during primetime. Don't know.

Oh yes, don't forget from 1998-2002 when hockey had 16 teams, there were qualification round games prior to OC before the big powers played with the puck. Furthermore, I can definitely see in time for Rio upon FIBA's recommendations that the basketball field could get expanded to 16 teams and play games before the OC like soccer does.

Yeah, the NBC moguls did attempt to put a positive spin on Lindsay immediately after her accident at the meeting yesterday.

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Oh yeah, the CBC has started on its return to Canadian Olympic broadcasting at the one-year mark. Canada to win the most gold medals in Sochi? Possible. But I won't fully bank on that:

http://www.cbc.ca/live/countdown-to-the-winter-olympic-games.html

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/

https://www.facebook.com/CBCOlympics?ref=ts&fref=ts

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Interesting. I wonder who will take over speed skating then.

I was thinking the same thing. My guess would be to slide Ted Robinson over from short track. Or.. because the venues are right next door, I suppose it's not impossible he could do both.

I'm thinking the Team USA stuff will be designated for the most part live on the NBC Sports Network just like it was for London. For weekends, if there's a game scheduled on then involving them, NBC will likely put it on NBC proper. Maybe the execs could find a way in the scheduling so as to have the hockey not conflict with figure skating during primetime. Don't know.

Oh yes, don't forget from 1998-2002 when hockey had 16 teams, there were qualification round games prior to OC before the big powers played with the puck. Furthermore, I can definitely see in time for Rio upon FIBA's recommendations that the basketball field could get expanded to 16 teams and play games before the OC like soccer does.

Yeah, the NBC moguls did attempt to put a positive spin on Lindsay immediately after her accident at the meeting yesterday.

Few things here..

There will be no conflicts between hockey and figure skating. If past form holds, figure skating will be exclusive to primetime while the hockey will be covered live on the cable nets. Yes, it's definitely possible NBC will put a weekend game or 2 on the main network. The time slots for hockey in the qualifying round are 3am ET, 7:30am, and Noon ET. So that last one especially seems like it could definitely land on NBC. Not sure how the cable coverage will shake out.. don't think it's so simple as to say that all the team USA stuff will land on NBCSN because there's a lot of hockey and a lot of curling to cover. And less we forget that a lot of team USA games in London were on in NBC daytime, not NBCSN.

1 other clarification.. the 1998 and 2002 hockey tournaments had 14 teams, not 16. And none of the games were played before the Opening Ceremony. I hadn't heard about the basketball tournament expanding, although in doing some research, I see what you're talking about. If the did expand the tournament though, it wouldn't necessarily lengthen the tournament since the teams would be organized into 4-team groups instead of 6-team groups.

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Because he said so on Twitter. He tweeted this morning that he's headed to Austria for the world skiing championships and "my new winter sport." Assuming that means he'll be calling Alpine in Sochi next year

I like Hicks. He's solid on everything he does and definitely an upgrade over Ryan. I wonder what's behind the switch. I would think that Alpine and long track are roughly equivalent in prestige, so maybe it's because the US alpine team happens to be pretty strong right now. Or maybe he just likes the scenery.

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There is an increasing number of events starting before the opening ceremony.

I know in the summer games its football and mens archery ranking rounds.

I can understand football... But not really sure whether they need to being before the opening ceremony?

I think because the figure skating team event has both a short and long program for each discipline and requires three sessions, they needed to begin early because the figure skating venue is also the short track venue. I'm not sure why they need to start the other ones early, but if it means another night of coverage, I'm all for it.

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I think because the figure skating team event has both a short and long program for each discipline and requires three sessions, they needed to begin early because the figure skating venue is also the short track venue. I'm not sure why they need to start the other ones early, but if it means another night of coverage, I'm all for it.

hmmm its interesting....

If more and more sports need to begin before the openin ceremony, why dont they just start the games a day earlier? There is more interest in the sports once the opening ceremony has occurred?

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hmmm its interesting....

If more and more sports need to begin before the openin ceremony, why dont they just start the games a day earlier? There is more interest in the sports once the opening ceremony has occurred?

I was wondering that myself. In the United States (I don't know if this is true elsewhere), Friday is not a good TV night. So it would seem to make some sense to put the OC on Thursday and then start competition on Friday. To FiveRing's point.. they probably could have started the figure skating competition later and still made it work with short track at the same venue (there is 1 day where both sports are being contested), but I guess they figured this would work better.

I like Hicks. He's solid on everything he does and definitely an upgrade over Ryan. I wonder what's behind the switch. I would think that Alpine and long track are roughly equivalent in prestige, so maybe it's because the US alpine team happens to be pretty strong right now. Or maybe he just likes the scenery.

Alpine is trending upward in the United States, it seems. Team USA won 8 medals in Vancouver (double the next closest country) after only winning 2 in Torino. You have Lindsay Vonn (hopefully, for NBC's sake) and some other big names. Contrast that with speed skating where the United States won only 4 medals in Vancouver after 7 in Torino and all of those were on the men's side. So a lot of the speed skating competition in Vancouver was relegated to late night and didn't get as much attention in primetime. So that might be the basis behind the switch. But you're right that it could be that he just likes the scenery.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/dowbiggin-cbc-deal-allows-secondary-networks-use-of-olympic-highlights/article8327715/

CBC will formally announce its Olympic broadcast contract this morning,

confirming that it has obtained TV and digital rights to the 2014 Winter

games in Sochi and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The deal

was previously revealed by CBC on the eve of the 2012 London Summer

Olympics, a move that annoyed more than a few people in the Bell/ Rogers

consortium that had rights to those games.

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Yeah, why not put the Opening Ceremony onto "Must See TV Night" that is Thursday in the US, a better night for TV than Friday with lots of people out of their homes? I was wondering about the structural format involving the venue for both figure skating and short track and how they seem to alternate nights with its sessions, which is interesting. I haven't read the Sochi schedule, but it would seem to make more sense to defer figure skating until later. And as Quaker2001 says, if there's some bonafide US Olympian medal contenders in speed skating for Sochi like there was with Bonnie Blair, Chris Witty, Jennifer Rodriguez, Shani Davis, Eric Heiden, and Dan Jensen, we definitely would see more primetime blocks devoted to the sport with Alpine skiing starring Lindsay Voss.

More revelations are coming about CBC's coverage. Breaking news is that the CBC/SRC hooked up with Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet ONE AND TSN/RDS (something that we expect anyway) for sublicensing. Sportsnet and Sportsnet ONE will air 200 hours of Sochi--is that each or combined? So news of the Canadian Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium being dead is not really true, just in a different makeup. This is great news! Canadians get the best of both worlds with the excellent CBC Sports coverage it provides for years in winter sports and the brilliant recent coverage of the Olympics from Bell and Rogers. Plus, CBC gets the increasingly all-important access to Bell and Rogers mobile coverage. Former Olympic coverer Bold (formerly CBC Country Canada), in case you're wondering, isn't even owned by the CBC anymore having sold it to Blue Ant Media last year. This is only the beginning for the CBC-led consortium!

http://canadiansportsfan.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/breaking-sportsnet-partners-with-cbc-for-2014-olympics/

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Was watching either Anderson Cooper or Erin Burnett last night (whilst doing something else), and then all of a sudden came a full-blown NBC commercial for Sochi. It was pretty good; and I guess CNN will be partner of sorts.

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I was thinking the same thing. My guess would be to slide Ted Robinson over from short track. Or.. because the venues are right next door, I suppose it's not impossible he could do both.

I'm wondering if they might be moving Tom Hammond to speed skating. He hasn't done any of the figure skating events on NBC this season--Mike Emrick did both Skate America and Nationals as a fill-in, but he'll certainly be doing hockey in Sochi. Terry Gannon has done a number of skating events for NBC since Vancouver (in addition to his 13 years of experience doing figure skating on ABC/ESPN), so perhaps he will do figure skating in Sochi? Hammond has never seemed to enjoy figure skating.

I, for one, will miss Tim Ryan on alpine skiing. He was always very knowledge and passionate about the sport.

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The CBC's Sochi 2014 promo with THAT familiar score to Canadians and hardcore Olympic fans worldwide

This is so much better than I Believe. Getting nostalgic and its only been three years -_-

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The CBC's Sochi 2014 promo with THAT familiar score to Canadians and hardcore Olympic fans worldwide

Thanks for posting that. I totally forgot about that Olympic score. It's definitely an iconic staple in Canadian Olympic broadcasting.

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