The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics begin soon, so NBC is gearing up for its biggest TV event of the year. The Winter Games kicks off on Friday, Feb. 7 with the Opening Ceremony and ends on Sunday, Feb. 23 with the Closing Ceremony. In between, 98 events in 15 disciplines in seven sports will play out over a 17-day period. There are plenty of ways to catch all the Olympic action, especially on NBC and its affiliates. Plus, all events will live stream on NBC’s digital platforms. The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is the first in a $4.38 billion contract with NBC, which obtained U.S. rights to the Games through the year 2020.
According to NBC Sports Group, the network began its pre-Olympic TV coverage last weekend with the United States Ski and Snowboard selection events. To cover social media, NBC has partnered with Facebook (including Instagram). The network will feature premiere video content, an Olympic first for NBC. Fans who visit the NBC Sports Facebook page will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes during NBC’s primetime coverage of 11 nights of figure skating performances. In addition, NBC will post exclusive Olympic videos on Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform. The first premiered on Jan. 16 and featured how J.R. Celski, America’s top short track speed skater, triumphed over adversity and became friends with rapper Macklemore. NBC also plans to post polls, video galleries, trivia and much more content related to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
“Building off of our successful collaboration for the London Olympics, we have expanded our relationship to better serve Olympic fans’ insatiable appetite for Games’ content,” said Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics. “All with an eye on driving viewership to our multi-platform coverage, we will use our unique access to all aspects of the Sochi Games to ignite the Olympic conversation and engagement on Facebook.”
In addition to TV coverage, NBC will live stream the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics online. “Every event is going to be available live online for the first time ever in a Winter Games,” Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports Group Chairman, stated in a press release. “We did this in London, and it was a great success for us, and for fans and viewers."
NBC will live stream events from the 2014 Sochi Olympics on the following websites:
NBC’s primetime TV schedule will not include live events, due to the time difference. The network was panned for this during the 2012 London Summer Olympics, but the situation remains the same for the Sochi Winter Games. Lazarus countered the criticism by stating:
We will once again emphasize our packaged primetime show. The time difference doesn’t allow for us to be live in primetime. We will package and curate it in a way that makes it a place that huge gatherings of family and friends want to gather and get together in front of their TV. Between that and the 12 hours a day live on NBC Sports Network, we’re in a very good position to deliver the best events to the most viewers.
At the height of the Sochi Winter Olympics, the network will utilize a team of about 2,700 NBC-credentialed employees to cover the Games. Events from all 15 venues will live stream online. To kick off its official Olympic coverage, NBC will air the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7. Jim Bell, Executive Producer, NBC Olympics, stated:
In keeping with the big theme, I can share that it is a huge show. It’s taking some real risks, and provides a window into what is still for many, foreign land. For these athletes, that night is really, for many of them, the signature moment of the games, a moment of a lifetime. I think given all the news that’s been leading up to these games, it’s safe to say that night, all eyes will be on President Putin.
For a complete TV schedule of NBC televised events during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, head to NBCOlympics.com and enter your zip code and cable provider. The website will provide a detailed, day-by-day schedule of Olympic events on NBC, plus its affiliates NBC Sports, USA, MSNBC and CNBC.
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