NBC will be offering over 1,500 hours of Olympics coverage from Sochi, Russia over its broadcast network, four of its cable/satellite channels, and online. The latter two will feature live events, but if you only get broadcast TV, you’re stuck with NBC’s taped broadcast coverage.
NBC is available over the air on KNTV, channel 11, no cable or satellite package necessary. It has the opening ceremony on Friday night as well as the closing ceremony on Sunday, February 23. It'll have over 135 hours of Olympic programming, but all of it will be taped.
A lot of that has to do with the time difference. Sochi is exactly 12 hours ahead of us. Most events will take place overnight while we sleep. Still, the peacock could’ve scheduled some live stuff then instead of rerunning the previous day’s programs. The Today Show could’ve also been replaced by live coverage but NBC is not willing to sacrifice its morning cash cow.
On weekdays, coverage begins at 3 p.m. then breaks for the news, resumes at 8 p.m., then there's a late-night show at 12:30 a.m. Weekends may start at early as 2 p.m. Events will vary, but expect a lot of features, up-close-and-personal looks, and fluff.
If you want live, look to NBCSN. Once again, it’ll have the most coverage with a good deal of it live, starting each day at midnight.
And if you're a Comcast subscriber, you're in luck because the Bay Area's major cable provider offers the network as part of its basic lineup. So you won't have to sign up for a higher-priced package. It's on channel 81.
MSNBC also has 45 hours of live curling and hockey, including medal rounds. Comcast carries it on channel 60. And USA Network will serve up 43 hours of live curling and hockey coverage, including medal rounds. It’s on Comcast channel 42.
Back to taped, CNBC has curling weekdays at 2 p.m. after the stock market closes. There's a joke there but I'll let you fill it in. You'll find it on Comcast channel 58.
What about online? NBC Sports’ streaming platform is called LiveExtra and is available to those with a TV package that includes MSNBC and CNBC. These subscribers can also watch live on an iPhone or Android device by installing NBC’s LiveExtra App.
There’s also a special “Gold Zone” streaming channel with live whip-around coverage each morning from 4 a.m. until noon.
But if you don’t subscribe to cable or satellite, and many in the Bay Area don’t, you won't see any of these live offerings.
Also note that the opening and closing ceremonies won’t be streamed at all. Unless you know how to set up a VPN, you’re stuck with NBC’s 12-hour delay.
So if you want your Olympics live, stick with NBCSN, MSNBC, USA, and your computer or smart device. And don't forget to set your alarm.