We are only about 17 months away from the 2012 Olympic Games in London and today LOGOC (which doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as VANOC by the way), announced the competition schedules for the 2012 Games. While we are still at least 16 months away from knowing how CTV’s coverage will work, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the big events and how coverage might break down by network. Of note, all times are Atlantic Daylight Time in this post (and all Olympic related posts).
I’ll start with the Opening Ceremonies, which will likely air on CTV, TSN, Sportsnet and other channels. The Ceremonies will start at 3:30pm and should run until around 6:30pm. I’d expect CTV and co to come on from 3-7pm. That way the Ceremonies would lead into local news in the east on CTV, SportsCentre on TSN and Connected on Sportsnet. The Opening Ceremonies would probably get a second run in primetime on CTV from 8-11 local and late night on TSN and Sportsnet (assuming the Jays are playing on Sportsnet and Friday Night Football is on TSN).
Now on to swimming. The morning heats will generally take place from 6-9am. CTV will probably air bits and pieces of these and we may see full coverage on TSN or Sportsnet some days, but I wouldn’t bet on complete coverage of the prelims. The finals will start at 3:30pm every day and run until 5:30pm on most days. I think that CTV will air virtually complete coverage of the finals, with the possibility of full coverage on TSN or Sportsnet some days, with the important races on CTV.
I think that athletics will work a lot like swimming. The morning prelims will take place from 6:00-9:45am on most days. I expect this to work just like the swimming prelims. I think the evening sessions will air in full, usually from 3:00pm-6:00pm, on TSN or Sportsnet. I think that CTV will pick up coverage and air the finals and some semi finals. The men’s 100m final will be on Saturday August 5th. It will be one of the highlights of the Games and will certainly air on CTV. The big question is, will NBC be satisfied with airing it in the late afternoon or will they tape delay it to primetime. History tells us the latter is true, but I could see them airing it live considering it will be late afternoon on a weekend.
The women’s marathon will be on Sunday August 5 from 7:00-10:00am. I think it will air in its entirety on TSN or Sportsnet, with CTV coming and going as they air other events. The men’s marathon will take place on the final day, Sunday August 12, from 7:00-9:40am. I think it will air live in its entirety on CTV, with the posibility it will be simulcast on TSN or Sportsnet.
I think complete coverage of both the diving semi finals and finals will air on TSN or Sportsnet. CTV will probably show some coverage featuring the top divers. Diving finals will be in the evening BST, usually starting at 3:00pm AT. This will conflict with the athletics finals, so I think we will see CTV jump back and forth between the two during the second week of competition.
Gymnastics will probably be another sport that will get complete coverage on either TSN or Sportsnet, with the main competitiors’ routines airing live on CTV. In order to appease Asian television, these events will take place in the afternoon BST. As a result they won’t really conflict with the swimming finals. The All-Around sessions will run from 2:30-4:30pm or 5:30pm AT and the apparatus finals will run from 10:00am-12:20pm or 1:05pm depending on the day.
Rowing will take place in the morning, and like the other sports mentioned so far, I think Sportsnet or TSN will have live coverage of the entire sessions with important heats airing on CTV too. Rowing will usually run from 5:30-9:00am. This makes me quite happy as a rowing fan because it should allow me to get up and watch rowing to start off my day at a decent time. The rowing at Sydney, Athens and Beijing all aired over night in Canada, which meant I had to get up really early to watch it. Canoe/kayak sprint should follow the same pattern as rowing.
I think we will see a lot of tennis on TSN and Sportsnet. In past Olympics tennis always got overlooked because CBC and TSN were too busy showing other events; however, in 2012 I can see tennis getting daily coverage with at least one men’s and women’s match a day. Depending on what else is happening, I think the finals will air live on CTV. The men’s singles final will be on Sunday August 5th in the afternoon and I just can’t see CTV, or NBC for that matter, giving up the opportunity to air a possible Nadal-Federer final at Wimbledon live. By the way, because the tennis is at Wimbledon, there will be no night sessions. I also think NBC, and maybe CTV, will air the women’s final on Saturday afternoon, especially if the Williams sisters are competitive next year.
I think that the two triathlon races may air live in their entirety on CTV; however, it is possible they will air on Sportsnet or TSN with the majority of the race on CTV too. The women’s will run from 5:00-7:40am, which makes it a great candidate for CTV (especially with Canadian Paula Findley winning the warm-up race in London last year). The men’s race will take place from 7:30-10:00am, which makes it a great option to air in its entirety on CTV too.
Both volleyball and beach volleyball should get lots of full, live games between CTV, TSN and Sportsnet. Beach Volleyball should be featured on CTV lots because 60-90 minute games work great for OTA television and, as CBC and TSN proved in 2008, work as a very good filler between live events. The indoor volleyball will probably air mostly on TSN and Sportsnet, but I could see some games on CTV.
We won’t know a lot about the basketball coverage until we see if Canada qualifies on the men’s or women’s side. We do know that the men’s final will be on Sunday August 12 at 11:00am. This will be the final event before the Closing Ceremony and I expect CTV to treat it much like how the hockey final was treated in Vancouver. All of CTV, TSN and Sportsnet will almost certainly show it. I think the women’s final will air on TSN. I think that many men’s games, especially involving the US and Canada (if they qualify) will air on TSN or Sportsnet, while some of the women’s games probably will to. For anyone wondering, it looks like NBC’s daytime window will go from 1:00pm-4:00pm ET, with delays in the west. I think this because of the times scheduled for the basketball quarter and semi finals.
Finally, to the event that the English hold dearest, football. The football coverage will begin two days before the opening ceremonies with 6 women’s games on Wednesday July 25 and 8 men’s matches on Thursday July 27. I expect these to air on TSN and Sportsnet live. After that I expect all Canadian women’s games to air on TSN or Sportsnet, along with many men’s games. The games involving the host Great Britain (well actually the English U-21 team playing under the British flag) should also be on TSN and Sportsnet because English games bring in great ratings in Canada. The men’s final will be on August 11 at 11:00am. I could see this airing on CTV depending on what else is happening. It will certainly be live and in its entirety on CTV, TSN or Sportsnet though.
I think OLN’s schedule will mostly consist of the mountain and road cycling events. The men’s road race will be on July 28 from 6:00am-2:15pm and the women’s road race is on July 29 from 8:00am-2:15pm. There is no way that TSN or Sportsnet, let alone CTV, would be able to air either of these in full, so they should certainly be on OLN. I think TSN/Sportsnet, or maybe even CTV, will pick up parts of these races. Both the men’s and women’s time trials will be on August 1, with the women’s from 6:00-7:30am and the men’s from 9:00am-2:15pm. The men’s mountain biking will be on August 11 from 8:30-10:30am , with the women’s race a day later from 9:30-11:30am.
Well, that covers everything I’m going to cover for now. However, with the start times being released now is a good time to look at how CTV’s day might shape up. All times ET for this…
Olympic Morning: 4:00am-11:00am
Olympic Daytime: 11:00am-7:00pm
Local News: 7:00pm-8:00pm
Olympic Primetime: 8:00pm-Midnight (9:00pm-1:00am on CTV Atlantic)
National News: Midnight-12:30am
Olympic Primetime (cntd.): 12:30am-4:00am
Or CTV could change it around and do their daily schedule like this
Olympic Morning: 4:00am-10:00am
Olympic Daytime: 10:00am-4:00pm
Olympic Primetime: 4:00pm-7:00pm & 8:00pm-Midnight
Olympic Late Night: 12:30am-4:00am