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Sochi 2014 Olympic Media Updates


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So which of the European countries will have the majority of the coverage on pay tv only? Are we just talking Italy?

Not just Italy...It's also Modern Times Group's Viasat in Sweden (though Viasat's sister FTA channels TV3 and TV10 will provide ample coverage), Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and possibly MTG's Diema in Bulgaria. NTV Plus and RTR's FTA channels are virtually going to be even in terms of hours for Russia.

Curiously, we haven't seen any Sochi 2014 promos coming yet from hosts Russia's RTR/VGTRK, Channel One, and NTV Plus. Seemingly unusual coming from a host nation that would like to promote the massive media attention to Russians. May be there already from YouTube, though. So a look is in order.

Another Dentsu deal was struck with The Philippines coming forward today with Sports5 becoming the official Philippine Olympic broadcaster for Sochi 2014, Nanjing YOG 2014, and Rio De Janiero 2016. Comes at a great time with figure skater Michael Martinez becomes the first homegrown Filipino Pinoy Winter Olympian to compete with the nation returning to it after a 22-year absence. And there will be Winter Olympians from the Filipino diaspora to follow on Sport5 like JR Celski (US) and Gilmore Junio (Canada) and may be promoted. To be clear, it will be on TV5, AksyonTV, and Hyper covering Sochi on TV with online and mobile coverage coming via Sports5.PH and with the support of PLDT, SMART and CignalTV. Details are still forthcoming with everything all starting on February 8 (Philippines time)


If I read the still-revising IOC Sochi broadcasters list right, Star India will have Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2 conducting the Sochi 2014 TV broadcasting throughout South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, and Bhutan). Further info is due to arrive shortly for those wanting to see luger Shiva Keshavan do his thing in the face of all that cricket and soccer dominating the Indian sports TV scene.

For Bulgaria, Sochi 2014 Olympic coverage will come on BNT1 and, for the first time, Bulgarian pay-TV Diema that's owned by Modern Times Group, just like Viasat in Scandinavia and in the Baltics. Possible that TV+ will handle that but it could end up at those Nova Sports channels. As for BNT1, I'm thinking it would have to go around 200 hours of Olympic coverage.

Czechs and Slovakia everywhere across the Czech Republic and Slovakia are getting into the Olympic spirit wherever they are. Even down to what they wear regardless how nice and warm it could be there. And even gather around to host Olympic parties like here. The promo says: " It's coming! You are going at it all. It's starting slowly to grow. And it's fun to train. Our athletes there will be not alone--We'll be there with them! The Winter Olympics in Sochi on Nova Sport. Look for Sochi!"

Music is "All Night" by Perov Stellar


That Canadian Olympic Committee's #We Are Winter 2014 promo I mentioned last night. French version is coming next post

Latvia's LTV7 just started its new Olympic news program that preimered Monday night that seemingly takes off from what Misjion Londona did up to London with all the latest goings on Latvia's Winter Olympic hopefuls (and even some Summer ones like BMX 2x gold medalist Maris Strombergs) with Olimpiska Sporta Studija--made it resemble like a dance club. Following is the promo.


Under the promotional campaign of "Latvijas Komanda", LTV7 gets to go all out on the FTA realm as Viasat takes over on the pay-TV front with private MTG channels TV3 and TV6 solely dealing with the hockey. LTV7 will focus during its Olympic coverage on the Team Latvia--and not just its athletes but also coaches, trainers, managers, presidents, physios, pyschologists, journalists, their families, friends, neighbors, supporters, and volunteers in that sense of community that makes the Latvian Olympians "theirs" in the spirit of national unity. All starts on February 7. LTV7 will show everything but hockey on the terrestrial side. LTV1 will more than likely do just the ceremonies again.



Where you can see the array of LTV7's Olympic promos and brief archival videos. In one of them the LTV team talk about Sochi and what the Latvian team mean to them as fellow Latvians:


LTV7's Sochi team are Anatolijs Kreipāns, Māris Rīmenis, Juris Valdovskis, and Normunds Melderis. Armands Tripāns, Dāvids Ernštreits, and Dīvs Reiznieks will actually be there in Sochi.

We all know here that social media has rapidly become such an important component in not just the Olympics during competition but also, of course, with Olympic broadcasters worldwide in just a short amount of time. NBC just announced today a symbiotic partnership with Facebook and Instagram for Sochi bult upon the successful relationship that help NBC's London coverage be the most watched Olympics in US history, further integrating NBC's multiplatform Olympic coverage. On NBC Olympics Facebook page, Talk to Sarah Hughes during the figure skating comp and see the first social media feature centering on the unlikely Seattle friendship between short track speed skater JR Celski (he's back again) and rapper Macklemore bonding over their respective adversities!



How Schweizer Radio and Fernsehen will generally structure its Sochi 2014 coverage on SF2, Radio SRF 3 (making its Olympic venue debut there), and its Sochi Player online with 6 Internet streaming channels in German for roughly 14 hours daily solely on the SF2 TV side. Naturally, coverage emphasis comes on the Swiss Winter Olympians. Right now, the French and Italian versions of the coverage haven't arrived. RTS Deux and RTSI LA2 will likely reprise their respective Swiss Olympic TV broadcasting.



If we are going to hear from the Danish Olympic TV channels, DR and TV2, it will have to come from after the handball championships that the two share are through for a few days. The women's world championship is already completed in Serbia, so we'll have to wait after the men's European Championships.

YLE brings 350 hours of Sochi 2014 TV coverage on TV1, TV2, and YLE 5 with an additional 700+ hours online and mobile over at YLE Areena for a total of 1000+ hours!


YLE Sports' Internet poll revealed the majority of voters like hockey as their Winter Olympic sport and look forward to it the most in Sochi


A fuller press release detailing SKY Italia's Sochi plans accompanied by a series of SKY Italia Olympic videos:



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NBC's Sochi 2014 TV schedule now up a few hours ago. Just NBC proper for right now. Only the men's and women's gold medal hockey finals are live out of this.


Little late to the party, Durban. Aside from full listings now being on NBC's site.. http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv

You also have full schedules for every network at..



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One aspect of the NBC Olympic scheduling that hasn't been discussed here until now is that all terrestrial TV stations and its now digital subchannels, not limited to NBC affiliates, must comply to having a minimal amount of hours of educational/informative children's programming a week, as mandated by the FCC following years of demand from children's media groups and politicians. Those for many such programming tend to come on Saturday mornings outside of PBS. Preempts can be done--look at Wimbeldon for decades when NBC had the rights and even the London Olympics two years ago--but requires lots of manuvering over what NBC needs to show or not in the slated programming time slots.

TVP1 News report on the digital streaming on TVP's Sochi 2014 website and its apps through TVP Stream

ARD-Team Chief Werner Rabe talks to Das Erste on ARD's and ZDF's joint plans to cover the Sochi 2014 Olympische Winterspielen, even sharing the same glass studio there


TV2 Norge sportscasting team profiles as part of its 120 IOC-accredited personnel in Sochi:

General overview:


Harald Bredeli, Ole Kristian Stoltenberg, Raphaël Poirée, Kjell Ove Oftedal (Ski Jumping)


Øyvind Alsaker, Lars Elton Myhre, Pernilla Wiberg (Alpine Skiing)


Kasper Wikestad, Kari Traa (moguls), Hilde Synnøve Lid (aerials), Jonas Greve (snowboard), Stian Blipp (snowboard studio host), Kasper Wikestad, Andreas Ygre Wiig (snowboard interviews) (Freestyle Skiing/Snowboard)


Bjørn Erevik, Knut Skeie Solberg, Ole Eskild Dahlstrøm, Morten Langli, Geir Hoff (Ice Hockey)


Fredrik Aukland, Christian Paasche, Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset (Cross Country Skiing)


Others will arrive for clicking later

RTVE's Sochi 2014 webpages:


Looks as though the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics will appear in the Middle East on BeIN Sports on pay-TV. After the Qatari sports company bought the wide-ranging then-Al-Jazeera Sports last year and absorbed them all under the BeIN Sports banner effectively on New Year's Day, it grew in its roster to 19 HD channels and 13 SD channels (known for its lots of soccer and basketball leagues, track and field, superbike, rugby, volleyball, and tennis) with a few English, French, and Spanish channels, so no doubt it can clearly handle the Olympics. No official announcement has been made yet regarding the Olympics, except to say Sochi is definitely in the plans.


TV Azteca is not thrilled about online TV channel UnoTV, Latin America's current online Olympic rights holder. And it calls UnoTV illegal.


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There will be Sub-Saharan African Sochi 2014 Olympic TV and other media coverage after all, officially--and beyond. What's interesting is that South Africa's got its own separate IOC deal of its own and can't influence up and above it. So SABC and possibly and hopefully Supersport will part of it.


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Well actually SuperSport just won the rights of the 44 nations' Sub-Saharan African pay satelitte TV, Internet, and mobile rights for Sochi to Rio De Janeiro, and possibly including the Nanjing 2014 YOG. Then again, SuperSport might not touch Nanjing. For South Africa terrestrial TV and radio, it's very likely SABC will get it; I'd be shocked if it was another SA media entity like E-TV. Had no doubt The lessons from Vancouver have apparently been heeded in SuperSport getting short shrift in lack of Vancouver coverage and SABC2 just highlights and full ceremonies. Brandon Foot, Acting SuperSport CEO, says SuperSport will have a "dedicated 24-hour HD channel with multichannel coverage with magazine shows, news, highlights, and more". The IOC really likes SuperSport a lot with providing such coverage since, I think, Nagano-Sydney.

SuperSport will employ the IOC World feed for its coverage with its sportscaster anchors back home in Rustenberg. Would like to see SuperSport employ some French and Afrikaans (South Africa only) language coverage to go along with the English and Portuguese already installed with a few new channels, as a nod to the predominately French-speaking West and Central Africa. No doubt it will be comprehensive.


The IOC just released its Sochi 2014 marketing media guide. Time for some calculation, shall we? On page 8, the media guide says the host Russian free to air broadcasters--Channel One, Russia 1, and Russia 2--will show 1300 hours between them. While additional coverage will be made available from Russian satelitte pay-TV broadcaster NTV Plus, which will broadcast an additional 3200 hours that will be shown across seven channels likes Russia HD, Sport, and NTV Plus channels. A combined 5700 hours will appear on seven websites from those aforementioned media entities online. 1300 hours will come from Russian Olympic mobile apps. So everything will get shown there. Now we know about Russia's overall hours.

Japan will have NHK and the other members of the Japan Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium show 538 hours--450 hours combined on the general NHK and BS1 and 88 hours from Japanese commercial channels Fuji TV, TBS, NTV, TV Tokyo, and TV Asahi. Like with past Olympics including London, the latter channels will likely focus on select sports. Gorin and NHK will make available online and mobile coverage on its websites and apps.

Here's where things get interesting: When the CBC announced their general Sochi 2014 coverage plans, it announced it will show a combined 1519 TV hours in both English and French, a CBC Winter Olympic record. The CBC and Radio-Canada Television will show a combined 700 hours (357--CBC, 343--Radio-Canada Television). Yes, CBC/Radio-Canada Television and all the specialty Olympic networks (TSN, TSN2, Rogers Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE, RDS, TVA Sports, ARTV, and Explora) will try to show everything. The English portion will. But yet, the same media guide makes the mistake saying TSN, TSN2, RDS, Rogers Sportsnet Sportsnet ONE, and TVA Sports will show 2200 hours. Maybe there's some Canadian TV networks that since acquired the Sochi rights that we don't know about. Did the likes of OMNI, APTN, and ATN decided to join after all for the multilingualism? I seriously doubt the last two points.

The Sochi OBS will produce 1300+ hours, 400 hours more than Vancouver thanks to new events in part.


If I did the tabulations right regarding the French-Canadian coverage, which seriously hasn't yet been announced, the breakdown will go like this: There will be a total of around 707 hours from Sochi with 343 of them going to Radio-Canada Television in the same daily structure like the CBC, 311 heading to newcomers TVA Sports from Quebecor Media, RDS has a serious comedown from its Vancouver height of 354 hours (more on that later) to 90, and the remaining 153 hours allotted to ARTV and Explora. I'll delve more into my Canadian Olympic coverage analysis next week

TVA Sports is your French-Canadian/Quebecois Sochi 2014 Olympic destination for all 46 Olympic matches, men's and women's, as part of its 311 overall hours of coverage with an emphasis on the French-Canadian Sochi 2014 Olympians. All lead by Louis Jean, Paul Houde, and Jean Page as the faces of the TVA Sports coverage with an army of ex-hockey players as analysts in both men and women behind them. And it all starts on February 8 live at 2am Canada/US CST when the United States takes on Finland in women's hockey and then men's snowboarding. Thought it would also simulcast both ceremonies like the English portions would. But no.



TVA Sports Sochi 2014 TV schedule:


Haven't seen any TVA Sports Olympic promos as of yet. But I know they're coming. RDS also made its coverage plans known with that surprising decrease from 354 to 90 hours from Vancouver to Sochi. But because now there's TVA Sports in this as the premier cable French-Canadian Olympic TV carrier with its abundance of hockey, and there's also more to share around with ARTV and Explora in it too. No need for RDS INFO either. As an official specialty channel under CBC/Radio-Canada, it will be wide-ranging in sports including hockey with Claude Mailhot, David Arsenault, Pierre Houde, Patrick Lalime, and Norman Flynn all focusing on the Canadians. Moreover, RDS has its own campaign where viewers can "Live The Dream of the Winter Olympic Games". It just released a series of promos where you can see quick Olympic action shots and no voiceover all starting with a notable Canadian Winter Olympian from Vancouver. Which is why it's titled for that person or team in beginning. What I have coming up is one featuring legendary Canadian dual Olympian and Vancouver flagbearer Clara Hughes. Others will be forthcoming here.



RDS Olympiques Sochi 2014 90-hour TV schedule with announcement of its Olympic campaign. Will simulcast both ceremonies with Radio-Canada Television.



Denmark's TV2 new Sochi Vinter-OL 2014 promo just came up on YouTube a few hours ago. Three of its sportscasters all talk about the Olympics in a humourous style including skiing, hockey, and curling. All three no doubt will be huge parts of the TV2's Winter Olympics coverage starting on February 8. DR is going to do the Opening Ceremony.

Just visited SportsMax's Facebook page and it announced a couple days ago that it will broadcast the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics through the West Indies


Kimmie Messner joins NBC's Sochi 2014 team covering team figure skating in her first time being on the other side of the camera there


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NBC will be airing an Olympic preview called "Winter Gold" at 8pm Eastern on February 4th. This is the first time NBC has aired an Olympic preview show since 1996. Preview shows used to be common, but the last time we had one was in 1998, when CBS aired one before the Nagano Games. There will also be a special on NBC at 8pm Eastern on February 5th. It will be presented by P&G and will focus on how athletes' moms have helped them to get to the Olympics.

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NBC will be airing an Olympic preview called "Winter Gold" at 8pm Eastern on February 4th. This is the first time NBC has aired an Olympic preview show since 1996. Preview shows used to be common, but the last time we had one was in 1998, when CBS aired one before the Nagano Games. There will also be a special on NBC at 8pm Eastern on February 5th. It will be presented by P&G and will focus on how athletes' moms have helped them to get to the Olympics.

Well that's a nice refreshing throwback there. Where are you seeing listing through the 4th and 5th? Most of the online sites I'm on cut off at the 3rd for now

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Oh yeah, NBC did report on the TWA Flight 800 tragedy during that. I presumed the Atlanta Olympics preview was live throughout. Nevertheless, I'm glad NBC is going back to the Olympic previews again, something I been clamoring them to do so here for several years. Perhaps NBC believes it would indeed be refreshing because bringing the Olympics preview back on TV with the biggest Winter Olympic coverage on US TV/online/mobile apps history. Hope they do a good job in it. With Sochi Gold, NBC would significantly start promoting US Olympians in various winter sports to at least US casual Olympic fans not named Lindsay Vonn (and throw in a few notable non-American Winter Olympians to educate people on).

NOS, through Nederland 1, announced yesterday it will show 230 TV hours mostly from 7-21:30 and 90 radio hours on Radio 1 largely between 14-18:00 (Dutch times in both) of the NOS-paid 3 million euro Sochi 2014 coverage for Dutch Olympic fans to consume under its "Operation Sotsji" campaign and to seriously start the new sports year. All this will very likely fall under the NOS Studio Sportwinter banner (remember its logo acting as nimbuses in that promo I embedded). Dione De Graaff heads the NOS team and will be the primary studio anchor in Sochi along with Mert Smeets, and Henry Schut followed by former Olympic medalists Paulien van Deutekom, Rintje Ritsma, Erben Wennemars and Annette Gerritsen serving as analysts. Other Dutch Olympic champs Epke Zonderland and Marianne Vos will be hand in Sochi with Derk Sauer and Erica Terpstra at the NOS Olympic studios right by the Holland House. Radio 1 becomes RadiOlympia during this time in those said hours with studio hosts Robbert Meeder and Lara Rense with a one-hour review from 22-23:00 with the Langs De Lijn. Focus, of course, will be placed on the sports, mostly on the popular Dutch Winter Olympic sports speed skating, snowboarding, short track, figure skating, ice hockey, bobsled, and freestyle skiing--whereever the Dutch are competing. So Dutch fans can cheer on Sven Kramer, Ireen Wust, and Nicolien Sauerbreij doing their thing for example. But Nederland 1 and Radio 1 will not shy away from tackling the political and social issues affecting Russia surrounding Sochi during their coverage. Just think, Nederland 1 will have more 2014 Winter Olympic TV hours than Great Britain's BBC2 or France's France 2 & 3. On the online/mobile side of things, NOS will offer 7 livestream Olympic Internet channels to compliment the TV coverage.



NOS' official 2014 Winter Olympic TV coverage anthem is Promises of No Man's Land by Blaudzun



Some Olympic hockey TV info to gather:

-TV SLO 2 and web channel MMC-TV will carry all of Slovenia's hockey matches with some other big early matches and all the elimination ones, even the women's final

-SF 2, RSI 2, and RTS 2 will show all of the Swiss matches

-TV3 and TV6 has all of Latvia's matches with Viasat Sport Baltic having all the others

-ORF1 will likely show all of Austria's games, the semis, bronze, and gold medal games

-TV Markiza will broadcast all of Slovakia's games with Dajto TV (Markiza's second channel) airing all the others

UnoTV's Maria Jose Rojas interviews the well-experienced Gildardo Figueroa and Jaime Janez, the Olympic ice hockey sportscasters for UnoTV's new sister sports network Claro Sports' Sochi coverage. As you expect, hockey is only a marginal sport of interest throughout Latin America, and the two educate Rojas on the sport's general pointers. Mexico, Argentina, and Chile are IIHF members but the latter two are actually associate ones.


Claro Sports' Sochi 2014 TV coverage will be 24 hours a day all over Latin America (except Brazil)


Claro's new streaming service CLAROVIDEO will allow Claro subscribers to directly watch all the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic events on-demand in real time


RTS Sport's promo for the French-Swiss coverage for Sochi 2014 that will be shown on RTS 2


NOS promotes its special Sochi 2014 online coverage and mobile app with all the trimmings like live blogs, articles, video, and photos through online, tablets, and smartphones in this promo to the tune of the famous Russian folk song "Kalinka" (it's in Russia after all) that it launched yesterday

America Movil sublicensed the Sochi 2014 broadcasting rights in Panama to NEX SPORTS on Canal 21 and Canal 33


Hopefully now Belgian Winter Olympic TV coverage in French won't suck. With VRT, through Sporza on Canvas, kickstarting its live coverage in Sochi on February 6 because of snowboarder Sebastien "Seppe" Smits, it's only right that La Deux from RTBF will start its on that date and then the Opening Ceremony the next day. French Belgian Winter Olympic TV coverage will focus on the popular winter sports to Belgians that have wide support and also focus on the Belgian Winter Olympians in speed skating, short track, figure skating, snowboarding, and skiing (finally for some Belgian viewers). May get a boost if they perform unexpectedly well. Not much hockey there or even on Canvas' Sporza since Belgium is not a huge ice hockey nation and is in the lower-tiered IIHF tournament nations. Commentators on La Deux will include former snowboarder Christophe Reynders, former skier Pierre Cockerel, reporter Christophe Delstanches, and Quebec comedian Dan Gagnon, who will comment on the semi-final and the final of ice hockey. Livecenter online will offer more comprehensive coverage with sports that won't be covered on La Deux like curling, skeleton, luge, and bobsledding. Christine Hanquel presents Journal Games daily on RTBF Radio Une at 8 am and ViveCite comes with its daily summary at 17:30.


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Some more Sochi 2014--from a German Olympic point of view:


Brilliant! Ice Dream was awesome.

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NBC had a conference call today talking about Sochi coverage..

NBC Confident With Sochi Security

1 key takeaway mentioned about the live streaming, and this is a big one..

Bell said that in terms of the live streams of events NBC will be airing on a delayed basis on TV in prime time, it will not restrict access to replays of those streams before the prime time airings.

Maybe I won't need that Canadian VPN after all!

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That is great news. Now I can watch everything I want and get to bed at a decent hour in order to get up for my 5 am cross country races the next morning.

Durban mentioned the USA Today preview issue in an earlier post. I picked up a copy today and while I will not spoil the fun for others, I'll just say that it's pretty good, a lot better than their London preview which was just a regurgitation of athlete profiles that they had been running on their website.

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NBC had a conference call today talking about Sochi coverage..

NBC Confident With Sochi Security

1 key takeaway mentioned about the live streaming, and this is a big one..

Maybe I won't need that Canadian VPN after all!

Also interesting that they only have about 50 profiles/"fluff" pieces planned for the Games. NBC used to have over 100 of those--I think they had about 120 in 1992 and 1996.

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Likely with the amount of straightforward coverage it now has since 1992-1996, NBC doesn't feel the need to hit the century mark in those fluff pieces anymore when people can now go online to take a look at the athletes' profiles like on NBCOlympics.com and USAToday.com. Putting them digitally as online features like with the JR Celski/Mackelmore piece is a nice outlet. Back up to 1996, they were like among the centerpieces in American Olympic TV coverage.

I should've said in my last point: "Some more Sochi 2014 apps--from a German point of view".

It's official: SportsMax will cover Sochi 2014 for the Caribbean (or West Indies), as announced yesterday with the IOC rights announced--and will have the newer SportsMax2 to help in its second consecutive Winter Olympics project. Interestingly, it'll include Belize (in Central America but alligns itself with their fellow Commonwealth neighbors in the West Indies), Guyana, Suriname (both in South America), Haiti, AND Cuba. So I wonder will SportsMax plans for some French, Spanish, and Dutch coverage this time? In any case, the Jamaican bobsledders like Winston Watt and those who come from those nations. Rio De Janiero's rights went to CANOC. UPDATE: it will be English-only and NO online or mobile coverage rights.



Viasat Sport Baltic already got their sports commentating teams for Sochi to cover the respective sports. Will they covering in Sochi or back at their respective nations. Hopefully the others will arrive very soon.

Viasat Sport Baltic Estonia (but unless you happen to watch Viasat Sport Baltic Eesti, we don't exactly know who does what Winter Olympic sport):


Journalist Marie-Laure Viola and RTS Sport Editor Massimo Lorenzi will present RTS' French coverage of the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony that kick starts RTS Sport's live 250 hours of French coverage from Sochi to Switzerland being "at the heart of sports" on RTS2 HD and rtssport.ch


Channel One Russia selects Portland's (OR) Elemental Live for its multichannel video processing streaming up to Channel One's nine Olympic online channels


Brazil's SporTV had a four-part Sochi series back in October on Friday evenings called "SporTV in Sochi"


Hey Canadian sports fans! This upcoming weekend is your final chance to see your Canadian Winter Olympic athletes before Sochi on TV like with the Winter X Games!


We've just seen the French Belgian Olympic coverage plans from RTBF's La 2, RTBF online, and Radio 1. Now get the full Dutch/Flemish VRT Olympic coverage plans in Belgium under the Sporza banner (like NOS Studio Sport is doing in The Netherlands) with Canvas, VRT Radio 1, and Stefaan Lammens and Eddy Demarez will head the Sporza on Sotsji at their studios with coverage resembling like the old school America ABC/NBC Olympic coverage as far as times at 11:55-20:10. If a Belgian is competing earlier that day in an event, Sporza will go it live. But unlike the French counterpart, Sporza will try to show a wider range of Winter Olympic sports with skiing, speed skating, ice hockey, figure skating, bobsled, biathlon, cross country skiing, and curling. Play-by-play Sporza Sochi 2014 sportscasters are Renaat Schotte (speed skating), Christophe Vandegoor (skiing), Gert Gommé, Marc Willems (snowboarding), Geert Heremans, Inge Van Meensel, and Kris Meertens. Analysts are TBA. Maarten Vangramberen and Bert Sterckx are the Sochi reporters. OP 12, VRT's third channel on Ketnet, will offer from 60-80 minutes of general Olympic highlights and news daily with a special focus on Team Belgium. It will even re-air the 2010 documentaries on Saturdays at 20:00 (8pm) on the Belgian bobsledders in Lake Placid working towards Sochi called Bobslee: Operatie Lake Placid and Bobslee: Operatie Vancouver. Sporza will offer two extra live streaming channels for the Olympics with other competitions on sporza.be and Canvas to go with already there that will go from 6-21:00. On-demand videos and news on the Belgians will also be included, The aforementioned Maarten Vangramberen and Bert Sterckx will be the reporters for VRT Radio 1 too. Plus, there's that snowboarder Seppe Smits documentary coming on February 4 at 20:40 (8:40pm). Includes Sporza TV on Canvas schedule.



Canadian Olympic Committee's French version "#Noussommesliver"

Also interesting that they only have about 50 profiles/"fluff" pieces planned for the Games. NBC used to have over 100 of those--I think they had about 120 in 1992 and 1996.

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Australian worker appalled at Sochi Olympic Games conditions

WHEN the Australian Olympic Committee held an event to mark 100 days to go until the Sochi Winter Olympics, Australia's chef de mission Ian Chesterman was glowing in his praise for the facilities in the Russian city.

"They are easily the best I've seen anywhere in the world," the five-time chef de mission declared of the $50 billion worth of new infrastructure.

"The money's been spent and you can see where it's been spent," Mr Chesterman added.

But an Australian course worker at the Sochi Winter Olympics has painted a bleak picture of the area just two weeks out from the Games, describing dodgy construction, poor accommodation and questionable employment conditions - all the while preparing not to be paid.

Sydney-raised Johnnie Balfour, who is accredited as a shaping expert by the Russian Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, was contracted to build a course at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. He arrived in Sochi earlier this week but hasn't had too many nice things to say about the Games city.

"Nothing is finished here and there is piles of garbage everywhere," Balfour wrote on his tumblr blog, confirming its contents with via email.

"Muddy water is pouring off the mountain and flowing through the streets and the cobblestone pavers are all lifting up or disappearing into sink holes.

"This entire place was built in the last few years, it looks nice at first glance but look a little closer and you can see that it was just thrown together.

"Most of the buildings are not finished and with only two weeks to go before the Games start, they never will be finished. It is pouring rain and close to 10 degrees above zero. The little snow they have is rapidly disappearing."

He wasn't exactly impressed with his accommodation either.

"The toilet flushes muddy water, there is no hot water, the shower floor is covered in dirt and mud, there was piss all over the toilet, the water is undrinkable (it's brown), it's even sketchy to brush your teeth with it and the idea of having internet in this place is a joke," he wrote.

Balfour, a former soldier in the Australian Army, is a renowned shaper of snowboard cross and ski cross courses, and built the site at Cypress Mountain for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. He now thinks it's unlikely he will even get paid after saying the terms of his service were changed so payment would be received 10 days after he returned to his base in Canada.

Balfour blogged one line on Thursday: "I've just been told to shut up."

Ian Chesterman remained upbeat yesterday about the venues in Sochi, especially in the mountainous area where Mr Balfour has been working, saying forecasts of warm weather and muddy courses were of no concern.

"I have been involved in winter sports for a long time and I've learned never to listen to the weather forecast," he said.

"They will be prepared for it. They had good early snow... I reckon Sochi will get through with no problems.


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So, er, it seems Channel 4 will be doing a Celebrity edition at the same time as the BBC are in Sochi....


It will be finished before the Olympics begin. Ridiculous really that the likes of Amy Childs and Anthea Turner will get to ski jump on TV before any woman has ski jumped at the Olympics.

The BBC have launched their new Winter games website - and for once a new look is an actual improvement - layout is far better than the main site and looks much better. They've also confirmed Clare Balding, who will probably now go down in history as the sole presenter of the London games, will front the Opening Ceremony and daily coverage from 4pm, including the 7pm highlights. Hazel Irvine will commentate on the ceremonies and host the early shift, while Jonathan Edwards hosts from around midday to 4pm. Sue Barker has reduced her role to just commentating on the figure skating.

P.S. Think I might have asked this already but considering most the worlds broadcasters have now dropped it will any Sochi content be available in 3D?

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