The news on NBC’s plans for their Olympic coverage have been coming fast and furious this week. Just yesterday Matt told you about NBC’s plans to involve noted sportscaster Ryan Seacrest in their primetime Olympic coverage on the Peacock during the summer. And earlier this week, we told you about the historic levels of coverage NBC has planned for their new NBC Sports Network, specifically making it the home for Team USA. Along with the actual London Olympiad, it was assumed NBC would double down with historic levels of coverage dedicated to U.S. Olympic Trials to continue to build their all sports network.
That speculation has now been validated as NBC announced yesterday it would indeed shatter records for coverage of the U.S. Olympic Trials with 67 1/2 hours of programming, much of it coming on NBC Sports Network and much of it appearing live.
“A record 67½ hours of event coverage – 43 on NBC Sports Network and 24½ on NBC – will feature 10 sports, including live primetime coverage of trials for diving, swimming, gymnastics and track & field, as well as events for water polo and field hockey.
Trials coverage begins on Sunday, April 22, on NBC Sports Network with wrestling competition from Iowa City, Iowa, and concludes on Sunday, July 8, with the U.S Women’s Water Polo Olympic Team taking on the Chinese Olympic Team.
The 67½ hours of coverage on NBC and NBC Sports Network marks the most ever for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, topping the 49 hours of trials coverage in 2008 and 40½ hours in 2004.”
Of course, it’s much easier for NBC to provide an abundance of live coverage with the U.S. Olympic Trials occuring here on home soil. But, the dedication to the number of hours on both NBC and NBC Sports Network even surpasses what many may have predicted. A full day’s worth of Olympic Trials on NBC is impressive, although it’s not a surprise that most of those hours will go to Michael Phelps and swimming along with track & field and gymnastics. NBC will air each night of the swimming trials live in primetime for the first time ever. Certainly, those events will be the glamour events of the London Olympiad, so why not cover them extensively so fans can begin to familiarize themselves with athletes they’ll be rooting for later in the summer.
Clearly, NBC is placing Phelps and swimming above all others in terms of the coverage that will be devoted to the sport throughout the summer. You only have to see those strange Subway ads featuring Phelps and Jay Glazer (in a suit?) working out together to realize Phelps will once again be the main star of the games from an American perspective. Our buddy Ken Fang over at Fang’s Bites has the full schedule if you’re interested in catching Olympic fever early on this spring. I’d recommend circling your calendars now.