NBC lays out its plans for 2012 London Olympics Coverage

Michael Santo's picture

NBC has outlined its plans for its 2012 London Olympics coverage, and despite the obvious fact that the time difference is going to make some events difficult to watch in the U.S., but the news is not all bad, and there is actually much good mixed into it.

Full Olympics Schedule

After the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where many of the events were time offset for prime time, something that DVR users are used to for programming, but not when it's a live sporting event, the news has to be good. By leveraging the Internet and live video streams, every event will be available as they happen. In fact, NBC has abadoned Silverlight for YouTube, which is the network's official on-demand partner for the 2012 London Olympics Games.

While using Google's backbone, the actual webcasts will be found at NBCOlympics.com. In all, the site will live stream more than 3,500 total programming hours, including the awarding of all 302 medals. Also new for the Internet will be multiple video streams for a single event, meaning that a viewer could be watching gymnastics, but select a particular apparatus (say vault or uneven parallel bars) at will.

In addition, the network plans to leverage its cable affiliates, as well. In total, 5,535 hours of coverage will be broadcast for the 2012 London Olympics across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, two specialty channels, and the first-ever 3D platform (242 planned hours of 3D coverage that NBC is producing in partnership with Panasonic, which will - unfortunately - air on a 24 hour tape delay).

It wouldn't be 2012 if NBC wasn't leveraging mobile. NBC plans to have two different apps for smartphones and tablets, one that airs live video streams and another providing highlight clips. The network didn't specify which platforms would be supported, but we expect iOS and hope for Android (with the assumption being the network would be foolish to exclude Android). Odds of Windows Phone support are probably small, but possible, with BlackBerry OS being a no, we'd guess.

To be clear, those mobile apps, for the most part, will provide video which will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers.

More highlights from NBC's press release:

  • This will be NBC's 13th Olympic Games and seventh consecutive, both the most by any U.S. media company. ABC is second with 10 and four (twice), respectively.
  • London will be NBC's seventh consecutive Summer Games, having broadcast each one since the 1988 Seoul Korea Olympic Games.
  • The 5,535 hours of Olympic coverage are the most ever and surpass Beijing's coverage (3,600 hours) by nearly 2,000 hours.
  • NBC itself will broadcast 272.5 hours of London Olympic coverage over 17 days, the most extensive coverage ever provided by an Olympic broadcast network, and nearly 50 hours more than the 225 hours for Beijing in 2008.
  • 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 will originate from London during the Olympic Games.
  • On weekends, NBC's daytime coverage will begin as early as 5 a.m. ET/PT.
  • CNBC will serve as the home of Olympic boxing this summer, including the debut of women's boxing. The channel will televise 73 hours of boxing coverage over 16 days -- from elimination bouts to the men's and women's finals.
  • Bravo will act as the home of Olympic tennis this summer, televising 56 hours of long-form tennis coverage from July 28-August 3.
  • NBCOlympics.com will live stream NBCUniversal cable channels NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo, which will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Too bad, personally I liked the silverlight web app. The best live streaming feeds I know (here in the netherlands) are using silverlight

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Last June NBC spent a reported $4.38 billion to secure Olympic broadcast rights through 2020

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