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Sochi 2014 Olympic Media Updates


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And here's the headline we've all been waiting for..

NBCUNIVERSAL TO PROVIDE UNPRECEDENTED COVERAGE OF 2014 SOCHI OLYMPICS

Here's the breakdown..

NBC (185 hours)

NBCSN (230)

CNBC (36

MSNBC (45)

USA Network (43)

That's 539 TV hours (up significantly from 435 in Vancouver), plus 1,000+ hours of live streaming.

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[rant]Why is it that anyone who would say something in defense of NBComcast is most likely a spokesperson/shareholder? No, I'm neither. I will admit I did work as an intern for NBC Olympics one summ

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

Sport1 will cover 25 hockey games in both men's and women's live and in their entirety, inclduing the semifinals and finals, during Sochi 2014 on its sports channel, Sport1 HD, and online for Germans as a sublicensing deal with ZDF and ARD. If SKY Deutschland wasn't going to touch the Olympics on the pay-TV front, I'm glad Sport1 is, given how both channels will jump around in their coverage. It should also be a sublicensing partner later for Rio, IMO. It actually was involved with the German Winter Olympic coverage back in 2006 for Torino when it was known as DSF (Deutsche Sport Fernsehen).

http://www.sport1.de/de/mehrsport/newspage_823035.html

http://www.sportbusiness.com/tv-sports-markets/sport1-agrees-olympic-ice-hockey-rights-deal

Cielo will broadcast 100 hours live from Sochi starting February 7 and on to February 23 exclusively free as part of the SKY Italia family. Will focus on skiing and show both ceremonies with a emphasis on Team Italia Azzurri and medal events with its own studio and special programming (if I got the personal translations right...)

http://www.outdoorblog.it/post/166399/le-olimpiadi-di-sochi-2014-in-diretta-in-chiaro-su-cielo

http://www.davidemaggio.it/archives/89055/olimpiadi-invernali-sochi-2014-in-esclusiva-free-su-cielo

http://www.sportcafe24.com/97779/focus/olimpiadi-sochi-sky-cielo-diretta-tv.html

Women's skiing will get the BBC treatment on BBC2's Ski Sunday this coming Sunday at 5:05pm (17:05 GMT)

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/winter-olympics/25374020

RIA Novosti stays on as official host news agency for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics 50 days to go

http://en.ria.ru/agency_news/20131219/185744023/Fifty-days-to-Sochi-Olympics-RIA-Novosti-to-remain-host-nation.html

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Just a question Durban. Only BBC2 is showing coverage from Sochi right?

What the BBC seem to be implying is more that, for the duration of the Olympics, BBC2 will become BBC Sochi, showing nothing but live coverage of the Games during the day, followed by a primetime highlight show (the time difference works out really well for the UK).

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Dipping back in here for the first time in a long time - thanks to Durban for all the updates - you're as informative as ever.

Not sure if this has been posted but the official OBS intro sequence looks great:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNAHIP0uz38

As for the BBC - generally speaking BBC2 has pretty much shown the Winter Olympics exclusively for the last few games now - even back in Vancouver when overnight coverage could easily have been on BBC1. The weekend afternoon slots on BBC1 will be dominated by the Six Nations so coverage will remain on BBC2 there too, but I'd be surprised if they do continuous coverage from 7am to 7pm. I would bet on there being a break in coverage once the morning ski events are done, especially as BBC2 usually has it's daily political coverage around midday. Coverage will probably be something like 7am-11am and 1pm-6pm at most.

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P.S. Considering they dropped the Ski Sunday theme for the 2010 games I assume the BBC will use something specific for Sochi too. The obvious choice is surely Bolero - 30 years on from Torvill and Dean's victory and with links to Russia as the piece was commissioned by a Russian ballerina. It would make a lot of sense IMO.

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The really obvious choice is Stravinsky's Firebird going by the sequences they did for Beijing and Vancouver, and the theme of Sochi's torch relay....

Beijing:

Vancouver:

Sochi?:

Looking forward to seieng what they come up with. I've loved the direction the BBC have taken with their opening sequences since Beijing.

Edited by Rob.
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Epic intro as usual of the OBS, although I prefer the London one much more.


I liked the kaleidoscope effect with the sport venues and the Sochi City Hall (too bad they didn't used onion domed churches, they're always so representative of Russia)

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NBC has released its sports TV schedule for the next few weeks:

http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/sports/nbcsports/pressreleases?pr=contents/press-releases/2013/12/26/sportseventsonn1505260.xml

A couple of interesting notes regarding commentators for the Olympics: Ted Robinson appears to be moving from short-track to long-track speed skating, as he will be covering the long-track Trials with Dan Jansen. Terry Gannon will be joined by Apolo Ohno for the short-track Trials. NBC has already announced that Terry Gannon will be doing the commentary for the live figure skating coverage on NBCSN, so it looks like he may be pulling double duty in Sochi with figure skating and short-track. Al Trautwig will be doing the commentary for cross-country skiing and nordic combined. This will be his seventh straight Olympics on those events, dating all the way back to CBS's coverage from Albertville in 1992.

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Also some good info here.. http://mediaplussea.com/sochi-2014/

NBC 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

NBCU SCHEDULE

These 2 links are dated from mid-November, so the number of hours doesn't necessarily match what was announced, especially from NBCSN. But it does give some insight into what the network and cable schedules will look like.

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With all of the extra events this year, I expected that NBC's primetime coverage would run from 8pm-midnight instead of 8-11:30pm. I'm also surprised that there aren't more hours on the weekend afternoons. The official schedule should be released in the next few weeks--it'll be interesting to see what changes have been made from the tentative schedule.

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With all of the extra events this year, I expected that NBC's primetime coverage would run from 8pm-midnight instead of 8-11:30pm. I'm also surprised that there aren't more hours on the weekend afternoons. The official schedule should be released in the next few weeks--it'll be interesting to see what changes have been made from the tentative schedule.

I said the same thing when I saw the NBC schedule. Figured there would be some opportunities there for live coverage, especially on the weekend, but clearly the priority there is driving a live audience to NBCSN. And with primetime, don't forget.. what used to push that extra hour of the primetime show was the big nights of figure skating. Not sure how big those nights will be now that all the figure skating is being shown live.

The thing I'm curious to see.. I'm not so sure they're covering all the hockey and curling that they did from Vancouver. And especially the curling, I think there might be a number of US and medal round matches that aren't live. If that cable schedule is to be believed, that's going to be the case. As much as we're getting more coverage (and much of it live) thanks to NBCSN, there's gonna be some trade-offs for all that figure skating coverage that most of us didn't expect would be there.

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I said the same thing when I saw the NBC schedule. Figured there would be some opportunities there for live coverage, especially on the weekend, but clearly the priority there is driving a live audience to NBCSN. And with primetime, don't forget.. what used to push that extra hour of the primetime show was the big nights of figure skating. Not sure how big those nights will be now that all the figure skating is being shown live.

That's true, the 4-hour primetime shows were typically on nights when they were showing figure skating. NBC usually showed the top 10-12 skaters in both the short program and the free skate. With the live coverage, I'm guessing we'll get a more edited version in primetime with the top 5-6 skaters plus the Americans.

Excluding the primetime repeats, NBC is only airing 125 original hours of coverage according to the tentative schedule. (I'm assuming the 185 hours from last week's announcement includes the repeats, though the announcement of 225 hours from London did not.) That's actually quite a few hours less than 2010, when most of the primetime slots were 4 hours, weekend afternoons were at least 6 hours, and late night was 1.5 hours instead of 1. It's pretty similar to the schedule from 2002 and 2006, with the main difference being an extra hour on weekday afternoons. I'm also surprised at the lack of any live coverage on NBC outside of the hockey finals--that's a big departure from 2012, when they had 7 hours of live coverage on NBC every afternoon. At the very least, I thought we'd get some live coverage on NBC on the weekends. In 2016, I expect that they'll be running live coverage all day on both NBC and NBCSN, as well as MSNBC.

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That's true, the 4-hour primetime shows were typically on nights when they were showing figure skating. NBC usually showed the top 10-12 skaters in both the short program and the free skate. With the live coverage, I'm guessing we'll get a more edited version in primetime with the top 5-6 skaters plus the Americans.

Excluding the primetime repeats, NBC is only airing 125 original hours of coverage according to the tentative schedule. (I'm assuming the 185 hours from last week's announcement includes the repeats, though the announcement of 225 hours from London did not.) That's actually quite a few hours less than 2010, when most of the primetime slots were 4 hours, weekend afternoons were at least 6 hours, and late night was 1.5 hours instead of 1. It's pretty similar to the schedule from 2002 and 2006, with the main difference being an extra hour on weekday afternoons. I'm also surprised at the lack of any live coverage on NBC outside of the hockey finals--that's a big departure from 2012, when they had 7 hours of live coverage on NBC every afternoon. At the very least, I thought we'd get some live coverage on NBC on the weekends. In 2016, I expect that they'll be running live coverage all day on both NBC and NBCSN, as well as MSNBC.

They have definitely cut back on the NBC hours, but I think that's more about not having live coverage this time around. So that shortens primetime and the weekend shows, not to mention they cut late night down to an hour. And yea, the complete and total lack of live coverage is very disappointing, especially after the expanded NBC's hours so much for London. I wasn't expecting that here, but clearly there's a priority to NBCSN they didn't have last time. My big thing, and we'll see how it plays out in the schedule.. every hockey game except for 1 and almost every curling session was covered live from Vancouver. I think we're going to see less hockey this time around (although part of that is a function of the assinine schedule where the start times aren't as well staggered as Vancouver) and much less live curling. Which is a departure from what I had heard a while ago that all the U.S. hockey and curling matches would be televised live. I'll withhold judgment until I see the final schedule, but I expect my reaction to be that it's great that NBCSN is in the fold to give us live coverage, but that NBC overall could have done better with the TV schedule.

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The really obvious choice is Stravinsky's Firebird going by the sequences they did for Beijing and Vancouver, and the theme of Sochi's torch relay....

(...)

Sochi?:

Looking forward to seieng what they come up with. I've loved the direction the BBC have taken with their opening sequences since Beijing.

An excellent piece - and the most obvious musical choice for the lighting of the cauldron, especially if Baron's prediction that they'll choose a firebird theme for the lighting comes true.

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They have definitely cut back on the NBC hours, but I think that's more about not having live coverage this time around. So that shortens primetime and the weekend shows, not to mention they cut late night down to an hour. And yea, the complete and total lack of live coverage is very disappointing, especially after the expanded NBC's hours so much for London. I wasn't expecting that here, but clearly there's a priority to NBCSN they didn't have last time. My big thing, and we'll see how it plays out in the schedule.. every hockey game except for 1 and almost every curling session was covered live from Vancouver. I think we're going to see less hockey this time around (although part of that is a function of the assinine schedule where the start times aren't as well staggered as Vancouver) and much less live curling. Which is a departure from what I had heard a while ago that all the U.S. hockey and curling matches would be televised live. I'll withhold judgment until I see the final schedule, but I expect my reaction to be that it's great that NBCSN is in the fold to give us live coverage, but that NBC overall could have done better with the TV schedule.

With the live coverage on NBCSN, I'm guessing that there may be some sports that get almost no coverage on NBC this time around. That's great for the diehard fans of those sports, who will get full live coverage of events, but I doubt the general public will be getting up at 4am to watch full live coverage of bobsled or cross-country skiing, for example. What I really liked about NBC's coverage in 2006 and 2010 was that almost everything but hockey and curling was on the main network. I don't necessarily care enough about biathlon or ski jumping to watch full live coverage, so I really liked the packaged coverage on NBC. I hope we don't lose all of that this year in favor of full live coverage. We know figure skating will be re-packaged for primetime, but I'm not so sure the other sports will get the same treatment.

I'll be surprised if we don't get all of the USA hockey and curling matches live. I'm not a huge fan of either hockey or curling, but it is disappointing if we get less coverage of those sports this year than we did in 2006 and 2010. People can still watch on the internet, but it's not the same.

It seems to me that the programming decisions are being based largely on a desire to drive up the subscriber fees for NBCSN. Since the figure skating begins at 10am Eastern, they could have easily put the live coverage on NBC instead, but they know the live coverage will increase viewership for NBCSN. I'm thrilled that we now have NBCSN as an outlet for full live coverage, but I don't want to see the NBC coverage diminished because of it. The next three Games will probably be different, though, since all three will allow for a significant amount of live primetime and late night coverage on NBC.

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With the live coverage on NBCSN, I'm guessing that there may be some sports that get almost no coverage on NBC this time around. That's great for the diehard fans of those sports, who will get full live coverage of events, but I doubt the general public will be getting up at 4am to watch full live coverage of bobsled or cross-country skiing, for example. What I really liked about NBC's coverage in 2006 and 2010 was that almost everything but hockey and curling was on the main network. I don't necessarily care enough about biathlon or ski jumping to watch full live coverage, so I really liked the packaged coverage on NBC. I hope we don't lose all of that this year in favor of full live coverage. We know figure skating will be re-packaged for primetime, but I'm not so sure the other sports will get the same treatment.

I'll be surprised if we don't get all of the USA hockey and curling matches live. I'm not a huge fan of either hockey or curling, but it is disappointing if we get less coverage of those sports this year than we did in 2006 and 2010. People can still watch on the internet, but it's not the same.

It seems to me that the programming decisions are being based largely on a desire to drive up the subscriber fees for NBCSN. Since the figure skating begins at 10am Eastern, they could have easily put the live coverage on NBC instead, but they know the live coverage will increase viewership for NBCSN. I'm thrilled that we now have NBCSN as an outlet for full live coverage, but I don't want to see the NBC coverage diminished because of it. The next three Games will probably be different, though, since all three will allow for a significant amount of live primetime and late night coverage on NBC.

I don't think there's any question this Olympic schedule is about boosting NBCSN's profile. It's almost funny because they're putting the most marquee of marquee winter sports there, yet that's probably going to come at the expense of a sport that is most associated with NBCSN.. hockey. You're darn right they could have put it on NBC instead where it would follow the Today Show and be a more natural transition for those viewers rather than expecting an audience to jump over to NBCSN that probably doesn't know where the channel is. And the thing for me, as someone who doesn't care much for figure skating, is that they're using all these hours to show sport live that's obviously going to get a lot of coverage in primetime. I had figured NBCSN would be loaded with live coverage, but I figured they'd stick to sports that weren't getting coverage on the main network. Let NBC show long-form coverage of a cross-country race or ski jumping rather than having NBC hack it into pieces. I'm totally fine with that. And then instead of NBC showing 5 or 6 events in primetime, let them concentrate on only 3 or 4 and don't even show the others that were shown live, particularly the ones that don't work as well in packaged form.

The sense I'm getting is that NBC and NBCSN aren't necessarily going to work in tandem with each other so much as they'll operate as 2 separate entities. I've already heard that the live figure skating coverage will be a completely different production (different announcers and all) than what's shown in primetime. That they're going to double over coverage of figure skating.. fine, I can accept that because I understand what it means for NBCSN. I just hope that for all the hours they're adding that weren't there from Vancouver that more of it is additional live coverage and not showing things twice. That's the argument against showing the big events live in the daytime during the Summer Olympics and the same logic should apply here.

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Yes, the live figure skating coverage will have commentary by Terry Gannon, Johnny Weir, and Tara Lipinski, while the primetime coverage will have commentary by Tom Hammond, Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic, and Tracy Wilson. I'm thrilled for the live coverage simply so I'll have an alternative to the usual screeching and idiocy by Scott and Sandra, who have absolutely no understanding of the new scoring system and talk like the sport is still in the 1990s.

When NBC first announced that they might show some major events live during the day, I thought they'd probably show the alpine skiing events live. It's very easy to show the entire event live and then package the top 10 plus Americans and crashes for primetime. I guess NBC figured they wouldn't gain much viewership for NBCSN by showing live skiing at 3am, so they decided to go with live figure skating, which they know will draw lots of viewers, at the expense of sports like hockey and curling. I also expect them to repackage any bobsled events they show live on NBCSN since the U.S. has strong medal chances in all 3 bobsled events. If they are going to double up on a number of events, I don't know why they couldn't add more hours on MSNBC to handle the events that are getting bumped from NBCSN.

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I said a while ago when the hockey schedule came out that NBC must have had some influence in the scheduling of Team USA's games to early in the morning to accommodate figure skating shown live, but Quaker said I was wrong and there was no chance that any meaningful figure skating would be shown live. Well, looking at it now, it appears I was correct.

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I said a while ago when the hockey schedule came out that NBC must have had some influence in the scheduling of Team USA's games to early in the morning to accommodate figure skating shown live, but Quaker said I was wrong and there was no chance that any meaningful figure skating would be shown live. Well, looking at it now, it appears I was correct.

Yes, I'll eat my crow over that one as I was dead wrong. However, 2 things worth noting.. only 2 of the 3 games are on days where figure skating is held, so 1 of those wouldn't have conflicted (and 1 of them is also a weekend game that could have fit very nicely into NBC's schedule). And to be fair about how correct you were, you said "Of course there won't be any meaningful figure skating live on tv, but It will all be online live." So yes, the US hockey games were scheduled around figure skating, but that's because they are in fact airing on the same network, not simply so the 2 wouldn't be held at the same time.

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