A look at NBC’s cable plans for the 2012 Olympics

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The Summer Olympics are almost here and NBC is beginning to roll out information with regards to their coverage plans for the games.  NBC already announced the live online streaming of every event from London, which is a dream for those of you hardcore Olympic fans that don’t want to wait for primetime.  Recently, NBC announced the cable television plans for the Olympics on four networks that will carry action – Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, and NBC Sports Network.  Here’s a guide on what you’ll see on which network and who will bring you the action…

Bravo

Host: Pat O’Brien
Sports: Tennis

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Bravo will air 56 hours of tennis coverage live from Wimbledon July 28-August 3 in the morning and afternoon.  Veteran television personality Pat O’Brien has worked five Olympics for CBS and NBC, hosted Access Hollywood and The Insider, starred in explicit, drunken voicemails, and controversial e-mails.  His television career keeps coming back from the dead like it’s leading a zombie apocalypse.  And honestly, the role of Olympic host is right in his wheelhouse.  Tennis is one of the stronger sports in terms of attracting top athletes and the Wimbledon setting is unmatched.  With the competition being set aside on Bravo, it will definitely be one worth following throughout the Games.

CNBC

Host: Fred Roggin
Sports: Boxing

CNBC will be the home for Olympic boxing coverage for the fourth time.  CNBC will air 73 hours of men’s and women’s boxing from London July 28-August 12.  The network will air delayed coverage from 5-8 PM ET and live coverage on the weekends.  Fans of Olympic boxing and curling will certainly be content with Roggin’s return for his seventh Olympic Games.  This is a formula that has worked for NBC’s Olympic coverage in the past and they’ve returned to a reliable setup for CNBC once again.

MSNBC

Host: Kelly Tilghman
Sports: Badminton, Basketball, Soccer, Wrestling, etc.

MSNBC will offer an ambitious 155.5 hours of Olympic coverage over 19 days of the Games from July 26-August 12 including 18 medal rounds and 20 sports.  The Olympics take over MSNBC from 9 AM-6 PM ET on weekdays and even more action on weekends.  The biggest news from MSNBC’s corner of the Olympic universe is Tilghman working her first Olympics.  Tilghman’s presence is a sign of the Comcast/NBC conglomerate in action as she slides over from Golf Channel.  In spite of a few notable incidents, I’ve always like Tilghman’s work at GC.  She can be one of the breakout broadcast stars of the Games given MSNBC’s impressive portfolio of coverage.

NBC Sports Network

Hosts: TBA
Sports: Team USA, Basketball, Soccer, etc.

The Olympics are a godsend for the startup all-sports network with an almost unfathomable 292.5 hours of coverage from July 25-August 12.  NBCSN offers all day coverage from 4 AM-8PM ET most days and will cover many events live.  The question of hosts is an important one though.  Could Michelle Beadle stop by the network and add another boost or will we have to bear through Erik Kuselias?  Will the network highlight NBCers like Bill Patrick, Liam McHugh, and Russ Thaler or perhaps look at someone else in the Comcast family?  With the Games in London, MLS announcer Arlo White is a darkhorse option and another name to keep an eye on as a rising star at the network.

Most importantly though, NBCSN will draw in a cascade of viewers as the predominant home for Team USA.  It’s a brilliant strategy for NBC Sports Group to put the events and teams and athletes we most want to see on the network that needs those eyeballs while stocking the network with the most Olympic coverage ever seen.

Matt Yoder

About Matt Yoder

Managing Editor of Awful Announcing and award winning sportswriter. Bloguin consigliere. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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