NBC has revealed it’s broadcast plans for the 2012 London Olympic Games. The main network will broadcast 272.5 hours of coverage, much of it on tape delay. Still, that is about ten hours less than what CBC showed in Beijing. Yes, Canadian broadcasting of the Olympics is at least four years ahead of our American counterparts. CTV will show upwards of 300 hours of coverage from London (exact numbers aren’t confirmed yet). Here is NBC’s press release with more information.
NBC will broadcast 272.5 hours of London Olympic coverage over 17 days this summer, the most extensive coverage ever provided by an Olympic broadcast network, and nearly 50 hours more than the 225 hours for Beijing in 2008. Swimming — including Michael Phelps’ quest to become the most decorated Olympian ever — track and field, gymnastics, diving, and beach volleyball, among other sports, will serve as the centerpieces of NBC’s coverage, which begins with the Opening Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, July 27.
Olympic coverage on NBC will again be divided into three day parts: daytime, primetime and late night. NBC’s primetime program, featuring the traditional, award-winning Olympic storytelling coverage that viewers have come to expect, will air 8-11:30 p.m. or Midnight ET/PT on most nights.
Daytime coverage has increased significantly for London. Coverage will begin on most weekdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT, immediately following TODAY, which is originating from London. On weekends, NBC’s daytime coverage will begin as early as 5 a.m. ET/PT. A one-hour late night show will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the primetime program. Primetime will be replayed following the late-night show.
It was announced in April that Bob Costas, a 22-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, returns as the primetime host for NBC’s coverage. For Costas, London marks his 10th Olympic broadcast assignment and his ninth as the primetime host (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Salt Lake City, 2002, Athens 2004, Turin 2006, Communist China 2008, Vancouver 2010).
Al Michaels, who hosted daytime coverage at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, and Dan Patrick, making his Olympic hosting debut, will host NBC’s weekday and weekend daytime coverage, and Mary Carillo will once again host the NBC late night show.
Additionally, top TV broadcaster Ryan Seacrest, tennis legend John McEnroe, famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi, and Carillo, broadcasting her 11th Olympic Games, will serve as Olympic correspondents during primetime coverage on NBC.
What is most interesting is two bullets from elsewhere in the press release.
- Daytime coverage has increased significantly for London. Coverage will begin on most weekdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT, immediately following NBC News’ TODAY, which is originating from London.
- On weekends, NBC’s daytime coverage will begin as early as 5 a.m. ET/PT.
Primetime and latenight should account for about 90 hours of NBC’s coverage. The other 182.5 hours will probably come from daytime coverage. It sounds like NBC’s weekday afternoon coverage will expand to cover 10am-4pm (double what they showed in 2008). This is during the late afternoon London time, so NBC can cover many secondary events (that aren’t saved for primetime) live. This will almost certainly include a daily beach volleyball match.