NBC Universal to provide Unprecedented Coverage in US of Sochi 2014


NBCUniversal to Provide Unprecedented Coverage of 2014 Sochi Olympics

NBCUniversal to set Winter Olympics record with 1,539+ hours of coverage including 539 televised hours on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network and 1,000+ hours of live streaming coverage of all Winter Games competition on NBCOlympics.com via NBC Sports Live Extra. NBC begins 185 hours of coverage with primetime show on Thursday, Feb. 6.


Stamford, CT – WEBWIRE – Friday, December 27, 2013

The biggest Winter Olympics in history, set to take place in the biggest country in the world, will receive the most U.S. coverage in Winter Games history. NBCUniversal will present more than 1,539 hours of coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC, USA Network and NBCOlympics.com. The 1,539+ hours are the most ever for a Winter Olympics and more than the coverage of the previous two Winter Olympics combined.

NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Sochi Games begins in primetime on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. ET, one night before the network’s traditional coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7, and continues until the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 23. NBC’s schedule is divided into three dayparts – daytime, primetime and late night – for a total of 185 hours over 18 days.

Following is a breakdown of NBCUniversal’s coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games:

· The six NBCUniversal platforms – NBC (185 hours), NBCSN (230), CNBC (36), MSNBC (45), USA Network (43) andNBCOlympics.com (1,000+) – will offer the most in-depth coverage in Winter Olympics history. The 1,539+ hours is more than Vancouver (835) and Torino (419) combined (1,254);

· NBCUniversal’s 539 hours of television coverage is the most ever for a Winter Olympics, eclipsing Vancouver (436) in 2010;

· Over the 18 days of the Sochi Games (Feb. 6 - 23), NBCUniversal’s coverage will average over 85 hours per day – nearly double the entire coverage of the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympics (43.5) on ABC;

· NBCUniversal is presenting its 14th Olympic Games and eighth consecutive, both the most by any U.S. media company. ABC is second with 10 and four (twice), respectively;

· Bob Costas will host primetime and late night for NBC’s Sochi Winter Olympics Coverage, becoming U.S. television’s first 10-time Olympic primetime host. Click http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/shows/2014-sochi-olympics/ for additional commentator announcements;

· Sochi marks the first time NBC will air Olympic primetime coverage before the Opening Ceremony. The primetime broadcast on Thursday, Feb. 6, is scheduled to include competition in the Olympic debuts of snowboard slopestyle (men’s and women’s), in which two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White may compete, and team figure skating, where the U.S. is expected to contend for a medal, as well as women’s freestyle moguls, where defending U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Kearney is scheduled to compete;

· NBCSN, the NBC Sports Group’s Emmy Award-winning 24/7 sports network, will present more than 230 hours of coverage, including live figure skating for the first time, and serve as the home for Team USA;

· MSNBC, NBCUniversal’s 24/7 cable news channel that is fully distributed in roughly 100 million homes, will telecast live hockey coverage on 11 of its 12 days, including medal round games;

· USA Network, the #1 network in all of basic cable for an unprecedented seven straight years and seen in more than 100 million U.S. homes, will present medal round coverage of hockey and curling and three men’s hockey games featuring Team Canada;

· CNBC, NBCUniversal’s fully distributed cable business channel, will serve as the home for curling during the 2014 Sochi Games, and present a daily curling program beginning on Feb. 10;

· NBCOlympics.com will serve as the preeminent digital destination for Olympic content and the exclusive home of Olympic video coverage, featuring, for the first time, live streaming of all Winter Games competition, plus event rewinds and extensive video highlights.

A breakdown of platform-by-platform coverage follows:


NBC will present 185 hours of 2014 Olympic Winter Games coverage from Sochi over 18 days, beginning with primetime coverage on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and concluding with the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 23. Coverage of the Opening Ceremony begins on Friday, Feb. 7 in primetime.

NBC’s 2014 Sochi Games coverage highlights:

· NBC will begin its primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Thursday, Feb. 6, one night before the broadcast network provides its traditional primetime coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7;

· Primetime coverage will include figure skating, short track, speed skating, alpine skiing, snowboarding/freestyle, and more;

· Daytime coverage will include gold medal finals in 11 of the 15 Winter Olympic sports, including speed skating, short track, snowboarding and hockey;

· All 12 new Olympic events, including disciplines in freeskiing, snowboarding and figure skating, will air on NBC;

· NBC will present coverage of the men’s and women’s ice hockey gold medal games live across all time zones;

· o The women’s gold medal game airs on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Noon ET/9 am PT;

· o The men’s gold medal game airs on Sunday, Feb. 23, with coverage beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT;

· NBC’s coverage of the Sochi Games concludes with the Closing Ceremony, preceded by Sochi Gold, on Sunday, Feb. 23, beginning at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

In alpine skiing, reigning Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn, the most decorated skier in American history, is looking to recover from knee injuries suffered in 2013 and repeat her performance at the 2010 Vancouver Games, where she became the first American woman to take Olympic gold in the downhill. Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety, who won three world titles in 2013, is expected to make his debut in primetime on Sunday, Feb. 9. Eighteen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin has the makings of the next great American ski racer. She won the world and World Cup titles in the slalom last season to establish herself as the Sochi favorite, and she is also rising fast in her other event, the giant slalom.

In snowboarding, Shaun White looks to become the first American man to win the same Winter Olympic event three times with a gold medal in the men’s halfpipe. White earned the gold medal in the halfpipe in Torino (2006) and Vancouver (2010). He should also contend for a medal in the new slopestyle event. American Jamie Anderson is a favorite to win the gold medal in women’s slopestyle.

NBC’s coverage of figure skating at the 2014 Sochi Games begins with the Olympic debut of team figure skating on Thursday, Feb. 6. The new event will include men, ladies, pairs and ice dance teams for each of 10 qualified countries, including the U.S., Canada, and host Russia. Reigning U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and 18-year-old Gracie Gold could challenge for medals in ladies’ singles, while two-time world champions and 2010 Olympic silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White have a slight edge over reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in ice dancing after defeating their Canadian counterparts at the 2013-14 Grand Prix Final.

In speed skating, Shani Davis looks to become the first American man to win titles in the same event at three Olympic Winter Games after earning gold in the 1000m in Torino (2006) and Vancouver (2010). Davis also took home silver medals in the 1500m in Torino (2006) and Vancouver (2010), and is the current world-record holder in both of those distances. Medals in both the 1000m and 1500m in Sochi would tie Davis with Bonnie Blair for the most Olympic medals by a U.S. speed skater. Davis became the first African-American athlete to win a Winter Games gold medal in an individual event, and is expected to make his primetime debut on NBC on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

In short track, J.R. Celski aims to build off of his double bronze medal performance in the 1500m and 5000m men’s relay at the Vancouver Winter Games. Celski should compete in all three individual men’s short track events – 500m, 1000m, and 1500m – and lead the U.S. men in the 5000m relay. Celski is the world record holder in the 500m, is the only skater to ever break the 40-second barrier in that event, and will debut on NBC in primetime on Monday, Feb. 10.

NBC will present live coverage of the men’s and women’s hockey gold medal games across all time zones. Live coverage of the women’s gold medal game will air on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Noon ET/9 a.m. PT, with coverage of the men’s gold medal game scheduled to begin on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT. Team USA looks to build off of silver medals in men’s and women’s hockey at the 2010 Vancouver Games, after both teams fell to Canada in the gold medal contests. The U.S. men are expected to be led by numerous Stanley Cup champions. The women are led by Vancouver veteran and team captain Meghan Duggan.


NBC Olympics will utilize NBCSN, the NBC Sports Group’s Emmy Award-winning 24/7 sports network that is distributed in more than 80 million homes, to present more than 230 hours of coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, this February. It will be the most Winter Olympic coverage ever on a cable network.

NBCSN’s 2014 Sochi Games coverage highlights include:

· The most comprehensive live coverage of the Sochi competition day;

· The network serving as the cable home for Team USA;

· Starting Saturday, February 8, when NBCSN’s Olympic coverage begins, the network will feature complete, live coverage of figure skating;

· In addition to its extensive figure skating coverage, the network will feature live coverage of 10 more sports, including speed skating, bobsled, ski jumping, Nordic combined, and more;

· Team USA vs. Russia in men’s hockey on Saturday, Feb. 15.

NBCSN’s Olympic coverage begins Saturday, February 8 at 3 a.m. ET/Midnight PT, when Team USA faces Finland in women’s hockey, and concludes Sunday, February 23, the final day of the Sochi Games. NBCSN will air at least one gold medal final live each day through its 16 days of coverage. Most days, live coverage on NBCSN will begin at 3 a.m. ET and continue for 12 hours.


NBCSN’s complete live figure skating coverage begins Saturday, February 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET with the team event, which makes its Olympic debut in Sochi. The event will be featured prominently in NBCSN’s first weekend of coverage and pits countries against each other in every figure skating discipline.

Following coverage of the team event, NBCSN will show every performance and every skater of the pairs, men’s, ice dancing and ladies competitions. Reigning ice dancing world champions and 2010 Olympic silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White are expected to compete for Team USA in Sochi in the team event as well as ice dancing.


NBCSN will present 16 men’s live hockey games through the bronze medal game, including qualifying, playoff, quarterfinal and semifinal games. Live men’s hockey medal-round coverage begins Tuesday, February 18 at 3 a.m. ET. The network will air three Team USA qualifying-round games, including Team USA vs. Russia on Saturday, February 15 at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Russia’s Olympic hockey rivalry with the United States dates to the Soviet Union’s first appearance at the Winter Games in 1956, when the Soviets defeated the Americans en route to their first gold. From 1956-92, the Soviet Union and Unified Team won eight of the 10 Olympic hockey tournaments, with U.S. upsets of the Soviets in 1960 and 1980 the lone exceptions. Since competing as Russia, however, Olympic hockey’s most successful nation has yet to win a gold medal. Team USA games beyond the qualifying round are TBD.


NBCSN’s women’s hockey coverage features seven live games through the semifinal round and the bronze medal game. Qualifying-round coverage is highlighted by three Team USA games, including Team USA vs. Canada on Wednesday, February 12 at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Since women’s hockey was added to the Olympic program at the 1998 Nagano Games, Team USA and Canada have won all four gold medals, with Canada winning three times (2002, 2006, 2010) and the U.S. once (1998). The rivals have met in the gold medal game at every tournament except 2006.

NBCSN’s Olympic coverage begins with Team USA facing Finland in women’s hockey on Saturday, February 8 at 3 a.m. ET. Team USA games beyond the qualifying round are TBD.


NBCSN will present live coverage of 11 Olympic sports throughout the Games, including live gold medal coverage of events in bobsled, Nordic combined, cross-country skiing, speed skating, and ski jumping, including women’s ski jumping, which debuts as an event in Sochi.


NBC Olympics will again utilize fully-distributed NBCUniversal cable channels CNBC, MSNBC, and USA Network to serve as Olympic platforms when they combine to televise 124 hours of live coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games this February from Sochi, Russia.

CNBC will serve 36 hours of curling coverage through a daily weekday show. MSNBC will host 45 hours of live hockey and curling coverage. USA Network will air live curling and hockey, including three Team Canada men’s hockey games, as part of its 43 hours of live programming.


CNBC will present a daily curling program during the Sochi Olympics. The channel will televise 36 hours of curling coverage, including the men’s and women’s finals, over 12 days, beginning Monday, Feb. 10 and concluding Friday, Feb. 21. CNBC’s curling show will air daily from 5-8 p.m. ET from Feb. 10-21, except for Sunday, Feb. 16, when coverage will air from 4-7 p.m. ET.


MSNBC will carry 45 hours of live Olympic hockey and curling programming over 12 days. MSNBC’s 2014 Olympic Winter Games coverage from Sochi begins on Saturday, Feb. 8 with live women’s hockey featuring Canada-Switzerland at 8 a.m. ET, and concludes on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

MSNBC will telecast live hockey on 11 of its 12 days, including medal round games. The network will also feature curling coverage, highlighted by men’s and women’s semifinals on Wednesday, Feb. 19.


USA Network will present live hockey and live curling during the 2014 Sochi Games, including medal rounds of both sports and three men’s hockey games featuring Team Canada.

The channel will televise 43 hours of live coverage over nine days starting on Monday, Feb. 10 with live women’s curling featuring U.S.-Switzerland. Men’s hockey coverage includes three games featuring Team Canada, including a matchup on Sunday Feb. 16 between Canada-Finland, the gold and bronze medal-winning teams at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

Coverage will air on USA Network in the mornings and afternoons with exact times varying from day to day.


NBCOlympics.com will provide more than 1,000 hours of live event competition from Sochi. The site will serve as the preeminent destination for Olympic content and the exclusive home of Olympic video coverage, featuring, for the first time, live streaming coverage of all Winter Games competition, plus event rewinds and extensive video highlights. Like no other event to date, the Olympic Games have been, and continue to be, a watershed moment for “TV Everywhere” helping to drive awareness and usage. In addition, the site will offer more than 1,000 hours of on-demand access to full-event replays from broadcast and host-feed coverage of all 15 sports on the Winter Games program, as well as extensive highlights such as event recaps, best-of montages, commentator analysis and athlete-specific clips.


Prior to the 2014 Sochi Games, NBCOlympics.com will provide in-depth coverage of Winter Olympic news, announcements and information. The site will profile key competitors, with a focus on many of the athletes likely to represent Team USA in Sochi, preview popular events across all 15 sports, and feature video highlights from memorable Winter Olympics moments. In addition, NBCOlympics.com will offer coverage of the U.S. Olympic Trials, and will feature a detailed viewing guide once those details are released.


During the Sochi Olympics, and for the first time in the history of the Winter Games, all competition across all 15 sports, including each medal-winning performance in all 98 events, will be live streamed on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app. The vast majority of live streaming will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home, and on multiple platforms. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app are the exclusive places to consume Olympic live streaming. The site will also feature exclusive content, real-time results, medal standings, event highlights and analysis, athlete interviews and profiles, and rewinds of all event coverage.


A division of the NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s Olympic coverage. It is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history. For more information on NBC Olympics’ coverage of the Sochi Olympics, please visit: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/

American Thanksgiving from an athlete's perspective

Thanksgiving is truly a North American holiday.  In Canada it is celebrated in October, while in the United States it is the last Thursday in November.

For athletes that are from the US, Thanksgiving is a holiday that one rarely gets to celebrate with at home because if your a winter sport athlete most likely your World Cup season has begun.  If your a summer sport athlete their is a chance that you have a meet outside of the US, but you do have a greater likelihood that you might be at home.

With that being said your national team is in a sense your family and any American traditions are somewhat spent with the men and women that are in the same shoes as yours.  Far from home, but you have a job to do.

This Thanksgiving weekend in Calgary, AB, the US Bobsled and Skeleton team took part in the first of 8 World Cup events.  At the same time, other US teams that are competing domestically and on the road include US Ski Team (Alpine), US Speedskating and US Biathlon.

In day 1 of the the FIBT World Cup Women's Skeleton and Men's 2-man bobsled competed.  In what could have been a banner day for the US, Noelle Pikus-Pace and Steven Holcomb / Steven Langton all picked up victories.  

An hour after Noelle's win, she was disqualified because of a rules violation challenged by the team that finished 2nd.  I cannot tell you what or how this rule violation affected the race because it was deemed that though she did everything correct on the course and her sled that was legal just a few days ago now, was now illegal for having tape on the handle.  Her win became a DQ which instead of earning her 225 points, now became a zero.  Why this matters is after the 8 World Cup events are over, whomever earns the most points has the position to go first at the Olympics when ice conditions are considered to be optimal.  You have to somehow put this behind you because you have a job to do next week in Park City, the week after that in Lake Placid, off for the holidays and then go to Europe on December 27, 2013.

On the flip side, Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton raced in the 4th generation, new 2-man BMW bobsled in their first official competition.  Holcomb and Langton did some amazing things in the sled, they not only won the races, they also broke the track record twice in two heats that had stood since 2005.  Now while Holcomb has piloted 5 consecutive 2-man victories in North America doing so in different technology is very impressive.

At the end of the day, missing a treasured holiday by 99.9% of Americans is another day at the office, 69 days from the start of the Winter Olympic games in Sochi.  These athletes will do whatever it takes to not only want to make an Olympic team, but to try and win an Olympic medal.  They would rather celebrate Thanksgiving in March then worry about a great turkey dinner today.

To those on their journey to try and become a member of any Olympic team, I thank you for all that you do to represent your country and wish you best of luck in achieving your ultimate goal.